Lake Pukaki track

Lake Pukaki track

Ruataniwha Conservation Park, Mackenzie Basin


9 Rankers Reviews

6 Face-to-Face

8 Twizel

Online Maps

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Time: 5 hr return / Distance: 12 km

This walk starts at the Pines Camping area just east of the Pukaki River spillway. It is signposted off the northern side of SH 8 and there is plenty of car parking. The walk follows an old track around the southern and eastern shores of Lake Pukaki. It forms part of the Te Araroa Trail (Long Pathway). The Lake Pukaki section of the track finishes at Tekapo B Power Station.

Getting there

The Mackenzie Basin is situated in the centre of New Zealand's South Island. It features mountains, lakes, rivers, beech forest remnants and rolling tussock country.

All of the walking tracks described here are easy to access from main roads, and offer fantastic views of the Mackenzie high country.

Some of these walks include easements through private farmland. Please respect the landowners’ rights by keeping to the marked easements. These are well-signposted and marked by orange poles. Please ensure all public access gates for walkers are closed.


Feature Value Info


DOC Canterbury

Central government organisation


South IslandMount Cook - MacKenzieTwizel


  • Walking
  • Free


Tania B's avatar

Tania B

Ranking: 9/10

AMAZING VIEW... nice toilets and lots of space, but not much charm besides the view of lake and mountains

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Laura Samuel's avatar

Laura Samuel

Ranking: 10/10

This lake is soooo amazing. Compared to the two nearby it's pretty warm to swim in and such a gorgeous colour. We road the A20 in January and visiting this lake and the rail along side was the highlight. Views are outstanding is the weather is kind to you.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Ulrich K's avatar

Ulrich K


Ranking: 10/10

Most beautiful lake I have ever seen. Go there when it is sunny with some clouds. Turquoise water that is also incredibly clear.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in October 2016

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Daniele Greco's avatar

Daniele Greco

Ranking: 8/10

Not to easy to find the entrance but once inside is amazing and you can easy find nice spot and start relaxing. Near the trees you can find the public toilet but it stinks a lot.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago

Jaime Alarma Olmos's avatar

Jaime Alarma Olmos


Ranking: 9/10

Stunning blue water with Mt Cook in the horizon. Good and well maintained treks around the lake.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Jill Stebbing's avatar

Jill Stebbing


Ranking: 10/10

Came here after Lake Tekapo. Just so beautiful but much quieter. Great place to swim and picnic.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in March 2016

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Funhui Temp's avatar

Funhui Temp

Korea, Democratic People's Republic of

Ranking: 10/10

You should not miss this!

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Eric Hertort's avatar

Eric Hertort


Ranking: 10/10

The Lake Pukaki and the Tekapo Lake are one of the most beautiful spots on earth.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Jaime Suarez's avatar

Jaime Suarez


Ranking: 8/10

Nice lake which looks like a mirror. On sunny days the landscape is beautiful.

Reviewed over 6 years ago