Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

1. From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

Visit breathtaking locations in Queenstown as you make your way to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Travel with a reliable tour guide who will share stories and rich background knowledge on Queenstown and the Mount Cook area. Start your tour in the stunning city of Queenstown. Drive through the Kawarau Suspension Bridge and marvel at the scenery the Kawarau Gorge has to offer. Stop at the Roaring Meg Lookout to take photos of your stunning view. Then, enter the region of Cromwell, famous for fruits and wine and where you can see huge fields of vines. Next, traverse the majestic Lindis Pass which lies between two valleys against a backdrop of a bright blue sky. This stretch of highway is one of the only three Alpine roads through the otherwise impassable Southern Alps. After taking photos at the top of the pass, drive through the Mackenzie District and visit the township of Omarama. Turning west, you'll enter Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, and Lake Pukaki will emerge in front of you. Proceed to the start of the Hooker Valley Track and depart on a 3-hour self-guided hike with amazing views of Hooker Lake, Hooker Glacier, and Mount Cook. Finish your tour by visiting High Country Salmon as you make your way back to Queenstown.

Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

2. Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

Experience dramatic glacier lakes, snow-capped mountains, and beautiful alpine walks on a small-group day trip from Christchurch. After pick-up from your hotel, journey to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, located a 4 hours' drive through spectacular and breathtaking landscapes. Visit the historic town of Geraldine. Then discover the heart of Mackenzie Country, the captivatingly turquoise Lake Tekapo, the iconic Church of Good Shepherd, and the well-recognized statue of Sheepdog. Travel through Lake Pukaki and admire stunning views of Mt. Cook from a distance. Enjoy a short scenic hike in the National Park to view the 23.5kms long Tasman Glacier which is the longest glacier in New Zealand. On your return journey, visit the Alpine Lavender Farm and capture some beautiful moments in the pristine environment.

Mount Cook: Tandem Skydive Experience

3. Mount Cook: Tandem Skydive Experience

Feel the thrill of a high-speed free-fall from the sky in New Zealand's South Island with this skydiving experience. Jump from a plane from a height of 13,000 or15,000 feet above the ground, and be paired with a professional tandem master who looks after you every step of the way. Enjoy New Zealand’s most stunning skydiving experience in Pukaki, which boasts some of the country’s most epic scenery. Skydiving around Mount Cook offers quintessential South Island views: snow-capped mountains, glaciers, lakes, and the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Free fall from the best piece of sky this beautiful country has to offer

From Queenstown: Mount Cook Heli-Hike and Tour Combo

4. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Heli-Hike and Tour Combo

Discover everything the beautiful Mount Cook and Tasman Glacier area has to offer on a guided small-group full-day trip from Queenstown. Meet your small group early in the morning and hop on the minivan which will take you to the Tasman Glacier, stopping at some of the area's most iconic sights along the way. Make your way through the Kawarau Gorge, passing the Kawarau Suspension Bridge and of course the famous Roaring Meg Lookout. Drive past sights such as the beautiful Lake Dunstan, Lindis Pass, and the Cromwell wine region, stopping for photos along the way, before arriving in Omarama. Here, spot Merino sheep and sample New Zealand's creamiest chicken pie before continuing to Lake Pukaki, where you can spot several Lord of the Rings filming locations. Next, get ready for the adventure of a lifetime with a Tasman Glacier Heli Hike. Combine the excitement of walking on New Zealand’s biggest glacier with the stunning scenic helicopter fly-bys of New Zealand’s largest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. After flying to a remote part of the glacier, follow your guide as they cut steps in the glacier, using skills handed down from New Zealand's mountain pioneers. Finish your hike with another spectacular scenic flight back to the base. After your flight, stop for a quick photo stop in Mount Cook village before continuing to High Country Salmon, a local salmon farm, where you can feed the fish and taste some of the freshest salmon in New Zealand. Stop at Mrs. Jones Suncrest Orchard to try or buy her delicious local fruit or real fruit ice cream before returning to Queenstown with your group.

From Wellington: 11-Day South Island Tour with Accommodation

5. From Wellington: 11-Day South Island Tour with Accommodation

Set off on an adventure-filled 11-day tour to discover and explore New Zealand's South Island. Hike the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, explore Queenstown, and create your own Greenstone jewelry. Day 1: Wellington to Kaikoura Meet your driver in Wellington and begin your adventure across the South Island. Board a ferry to travel across the Cook Strait. After disembarking, go for a wine tasting in the Marlborough region and visit the Kaikoura Seal colony. Day 2: Kaikoura to Christchurch Begin your day with a hike along the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Enjoy panoramic views of Kaikoura before heading to Christchurch to discover hidden gems on a city street art trail. Day 3: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Drive to Lake Tekapo to marvel at the stars in the Dark Sky Project. Visit The Church of the Good Shepherd, one of the most-photographed places in New Zealand. Finish the day with a hike up Mount John for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. Day 4: Mount Cook Spend the day at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park under the shadow of Mt. Cook, the country's highest mountain. Hike the Hooker Valley Track to Hooker Lake, enjoying the scenery, before returning to Lake Tekapo. Day 5: Lake Tekapo to Queenstown Travel to Queenstown to enjoy a delicious buffet dinner with panoramic views of Queenstown at the Skyline Stratosphere Restaurant (not included). Day 6: Queenstown Spend the day exploring Queenstown on your own. Visit the sights, go shopping, or relax at a cafe. Day 7: Glenorchy Head out to Glenorchy on a day trip from Queenstown. Cruise past the late, soaking up the views, and onto Glenorchy. Enjoy several short walks, taking in the scenery, before returning to Queenstown. Day 8: Queenstown to Wanaka Head to Wanaka to enjoy panoramic hikes. From November to May, hike Roys Peak, a 6-hour roundtrip trek, for breathtaking views over Lake Wānaka. For the rest of the year, enjoy the Mt. Iron hike with 360-degree views of The Pisa range. After your hike, visit the famous Wanaka tree. Day 9: Wanaka to Franz Josef Visit Thunder Creek Falls in Mt. Aspiring National Park. Next, head to Lake Matheson to enjoy its famous mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Spend the night in Franz Josef. Day 10: Franz Josef Design and carve your own Greenstone jewelry in a West Coast workshop (included) before enjoying the Glacier Valley Walk in Franz Josef. Day 11: Franz Josef to Christchurch Take a scenic hike across Arthurs Pass, and enjoy stunning views. Walk the Castle Hill track and admire the Devil's Punchbowl waterfalls before finishing your tour in Christchurch.

Mount Cook Ultimate Alpine Helicopter & Ski Plane Experience

6. Mount Cook Ultimate Alpine Helicopter & Ski Plane Experience

Explore the Mount Cook area from the ground and the air on this thrilling helicopter and ski plane tour. Start off by driving through the Kawarau Gorge for stunning views, enter the fruit and wine region of Cromwell as you pass huge fields of vines, cross Lake Dunstan and follow this beautiful lake towards Lindis Pass, which offers stunning views of the valleys below. See several of the famous Merino sheep on the drive before arriving in Omarama and continuing to Lake Pukaki, a brilliant blue lake framed by Aoraki and Mount Cook. Next, get ready for an unforgettable ski plane experience and helicopter ride which includes a glacier snow landing on the Tasman Glacier. Spend two and a half hours of free time in the national park before making your way back to High Country Salmon, a local salmon farm, where you can feed the fish and taste some of the freshest salmon in New Zealand.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook Skydive & Tour

7. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Skydive & Tour

Meet your guide in Queenstown before setting off for a day of thrills and adventure. Your guide will set the scene and prepare you for your skydive as you head out of the city and towards Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Admire the views as you pass through Kawarau Gorge, Lindis Pass and the Southern Alps. There will be a few short stops along the way to take in the scenery, and a longer stop in the quaint town of Omarama to get some lunch. After lunch, you will head to your skydive in Pukaki. Boasting some of the country’s most epic scenery and views of the snow-capped mountains, glaciers, lakes of Mount Cook National Park, this is one of the best bits of sky in the country. You will take a 10-minute scenic flight up to 9,000, 13,000, or 15,000 feet where you will get ready to dive. Enjoy a thrilling 30-second freefall before your professional instructor pulls the parachute for 3-5 minutes of incredible views across the South Island and Aoraki National Park. Back on solid ground, you will take a short drive past Lake Pukaki to arrive at Mount Cook village. You will have 2.5 hours to explore the National Park on foot, an ideal amount of time to take the easy hike along the Kea Point track. After a packed day of adventure, you will visit High Country Salmon to taste some of the freshest salmon in New Zealand. During the summer months, you will also stop at Mrs Jones Fruit Stall to try some fresh local fruit before heading back to Queenstown. Alternatively, you can choose to continue heading North from Mount Cook National park and end your day trip in Christchurch. If you would like to choose this, please select the ‘Drop-off in Christchurch’ option.

From Christchurch: Mount Cook Transfer with Lake Tekapo Tour

8. From Christchurch: Mount Cook Transfer with Lake Tekapo Tour

Christchurch to Mt Cook via Lake Tekapo Small Group Tour (1 way). This small group, fully-guided day transfer allows you to travel in style to Mt Cook while seeing all the key highlights along the way. Led by our famously passionate tour guides, notorious for bringing your journey to life by sharing their stories and rich background knowledge and run in modern, comfortable minibuses packed with extras ensuring your comfort and safety. Highlights: Lake Tekapo Mt Cook & Aoraki National Park Lake Pukaki While the destinations you will be visiting are truly spectacular, we believe it is our small groups, our guides, the journey and the little details that set our tours well apart. Secret stops, wildlife viewings, specially designed vehicles and many other pleasant surprises ensure our tours are an experience to remember.

Queenstown: Mount Cook Premium Guided Day Tour

9. Queenstown: Mount Cook Premium Guided Day Tour

The day begins with early morning pickup from your accommodation in Queenstown and heads through the heart of the South Island towards New Zealand’s tallest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook. Along the way, soak up unforgettable scenic views and stop at the Cromwell Fruit Bowl, Lindis Pass, Omarama, and Lake Pukaki. As you travel, listen to your guide’s fascinating commentary about the local scenery, history, and culture. Arrive at Mount Cook Village and spend 3.5 hours exploring. Choose to take a walk to the impressive Lake Mueller for a close-up look at Mount Sefton’s glaciers, or experience the incredible activities on offer at Mount Cook. On the return journey to Queenstown, enjoy a stop at the Twizel Salmon Farm, before arriving back to the city in the early evening.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook Transfer w/ Guided Landmark Tour

10. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Transfer w/ Guided Landmark Tour

This small group, fully-guided transfer allows you to travel to Mt Cook in style and see all the key highlights on the way. Led by our famously passionate tour guides, notorious for bringing your journey to life by sharing their stories and rich background knowledge and run in modern, comfortable minibuses packed with extras ensuring your comfort and safety. 1. Queenstown - Your tour starts in the stunning city of Queenstown. As we drive out of the city your guide will not only set the scene for your adventurous day but also point out and guide you past some of the areas top highlights. 2. Kawarau Suspension Bridge – Departing Queenstown we then make our way through the stunning Kawarau Gorge passing stunning views, the Kawarau Suspension Bridge and the famous Roaring Meg Lookout. Time and light permitting we will stop for that first great shot of the tour. 3. Cromwell – Exiting the Kawarau Gorge we enter the fruit and wine growing region of Cromwell. Passing huge fields of vines, we cross Lake Dunstan and follow this beautiful lake towards Lindis Pass. 4. Lindis Pass – Climbing in altitude, Lindis Pass has amazing views down through the valleys. Being one of only three alpine roads through the otherwise impassable Southern Alps, we stop at the famous lookout at the top of the pass for an essential photo. 5. Omarama – While driving through the endless plains of the Mackenzie district we will spot several of the famous Merino breed of sheep before stopping at the quaint township of Omarama. While in Omarama we have time for a break or even to try the best creamy chicken pie in NZ (in our opinion)! 6. Lake Pukaki – Turning west we begin to enter the Aoraki National Park and Lake Pukaki begins to emerge in front of us. Lake Pukaki is one of the bluest lakes you will ever see and is stunningly framed by the backdrop of Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps. We stop for some amazing photos and to just marvel at the sight that we are beholding. It’s not hard to see why many Lord of the Rings scenes were filmed nearby and we will point them out for you. 7. Mt Cook Information Centre – Arriving at Mt Cook Village, weather depending, we should get some amazing shots of the mountain itself. At 3724m, Aoraki/Mt Cook is New Zealand’s highest peak, however, the mountain can be viewed without any acclimatisation whatsoever from the village which is just 750m above sea level. Your guided transfer ends here but you adventure to explore Mt Cook is only just beginning.

Other Sightseeing Options in Lake Pukaki

Want to discover all there is to do in Lake Pukaki? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lake Pukaki

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 91 reviews

It was the best excursion I could do through GYG! Our guide, Anujk, was top notch! The fact of being in a small group (instead of 50 million people as for other excursions) was very appreciable and pleasant and allows us to create links more easily. The landscapes were breathtaking and our guide (who was also our driver) had an impeccable driving. We did not see the 10h pass!

This tour was absolutely wonderful, so worth all the travelling! Our tour guide was so friendly and knowledgeable which made the travelling part of the journey. All the stops are thought ahead and you have plenty of time in each place to enjoy it all! A perfect way to see what the South Island has to offer!

A well planned, enjoyable day. Guide was wonderful, kind and informative.

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Amazing, wonderful, would highly highly reccomend!