Lake Pukaki is the largest lake in the Mackenzienz area, and it proudly shows off New Zealand’s tallest peak, Aoraki/ Mount Cook, from the many look out points around its shores.
The water colour of the lake is a bright turquoise due to glacial flour, made from extremely fine rock particles that have come from the surrounding glaciers. The lake is fed at its northern end by the braided Tasman River, which has its source in the Hooker and Tasman Glaciers.
When the sun hits the surface of the lake, it reflects off the particles transforming it to a brilliant blue. The combination of the magnificent lake, surrounding peaks and wide open skies are a dream for photographers and pose the difficult challenge of capturing the grandeur of the ever-changing landscape.
Lake Pukaki’s spectacular vista can be enjoyed by car with stop-offs for photographs at the various look out points. There are spectacular views of the lake on the drive on State Highway 80 to Aoraki/Mount Cook Village, and also along on the road between Twizeland Lake Tekapo Village. Alternatively, you can enjoy the lake on foot or by bike on one of the many tracks on its perimeter – including the stunning Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, or in the air via a scenic flight.