Regional Park across the lake The Lake Tekapo Regional Park, 165 hectares of coniferous forest and public recreation areas, is right across the lake from us. It’s a good place for walking, biking, exercising the dogs, horse riding and picnicking, or to gain access for swimming and kayaking, and in winter it’s used for cross country skiing.
Public access at several points is on Lilybank Road, off the State Highway on the eastern side of the lake. Disabled access for a public toilet is provided. There are several picnic spots. The park is open 7 am – 10 pm in summer and until 6 pm in winter.
It was first set aside as a soil conservation reserve in 1957, when planting of lodge pine, Corsica and Ponderosa pines and European larch was undertaken to stabilize the shifting sandy soils. That was six years after the Lake Tekapo Dam had been completed and the storage lake water submerged former homesteads and farm buildings.
There are some remnant natural features, such as a small bog and a small stand of matagouri but mostly it is introduced forest trees and silver birch, oaks and gums. The soil itself is uncemented glacial moraine and outwash, comprising low grade greywacke detritus.
There is an old rabbiter’s hut in the northern end of the park, a humble reminder of the rabbit plagues that have swept the Mackenzie Basin since European settlement.
The Canterbury Regional Council has a Management Plan with a 25 year vision to develop the Park further.Local input is provided through the Lake Tekapo Regional Park Incorporated Society (dating back to August 2008).