Maori were the first to venture into the Mackenzie Country, where they hunted moas, birds and eels before returning to the coast for food and trade.
The capture of Scotsman, James McKenzie in 1855, for being “in the company of a thousand stolen sheep” as he rustled them with his dog Friday, through a remote alpine pass into “a plain of immense extent” resulted in his deeds being immortalized and his name, albeit with a spelling change, applied to these highlands ever since.
A Place Of Legends
The famous sheep dog statue on the lake’s edge is in memory of the hardy mustering dogs “without the help of which the grazing of this mountainous country would be impossible.”
The nearby Church of the Good Shepherd was built in 1935 as a memorial to the pioneers of the Mackenzie Country. Congregations of three faiths worship regularly in the Church.
High energy & passive pass-times
The waters of the lake are harnessed for electricity through the Tekapo Canal, flowing 27km to the Lake Pukaki powerhouse then onwards through the impressive Waitaki Valley hydro system.
In addition to the lure of trout and salmon fishing, you may enjoy mountain biking, water sports, hiking, 4WD tours, skiing, snowboarding, scenic flights and golf. After a busy day, relax in your choice of the wide range of accommodation or the convivial bars and restaurants.
Click the image below to view more information about Lake Tekapo (Quick Facts, Business locations and Walkways in the area).