Important Notice for Visitors

The majestic setting of the Church of the Good Shepherd attracts visitors from all over the world. We encourage you to take a few quiet minutes to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the lake and mountains; in our opinion it is God's greatest cathedral.

The church is currently closed during the day, however we welcome visitors to enjoy the lake view and spend time on the grounds. If you would like to spend time inside the church please arrange with us before you visit the church. Day time tours can be booked in advance for groups of 5 - 40. Each tour will last around 30 minutes and enrich your experience with a history of the church and its spiritual significance. A donation to help support the church would be much appreciated if you are visiting us.

Church Opening Hours

The church gates will be open each day for visitors to stroll the grounds and walk down to the lakeside.


Church Grounds 8.00AM - 8.00PM 

Reflection Time inside Church 5.00PM - 8.00PM 


Church Grounds 9.00AM - 5.00PM

Reflection Time inside Church (Time to be advised)

    The gates are closed at  8pm.
Night time access is not permitted within the fenced perimeter.


General Visitor Information

Located on Pioneer Drive, Lake Takapō, the Church of the Good Shepherd is a sacred site set within a Residential and Heritage precinct. So that visitors may enjoy their visit and the good will of our neighbours we ask that you please respect and abide by the following instructions.



We encourage visitors to park on the village side of the footbridge and enjoy a gentle over stroll the river towards the natural heritage area surrounding the church.

From March 2020 vehicles will not be permitted in the church car park. Vehicular traffic will be reduced on Pioneer Drive as we begin to restore the natural landscape of the site.


Access to the nearest Public Toilets is on the village side of the footbridge (400m). Please note the toilets require a $1 coin or Paywave using a credit card.


It is preferred that all longer wheel based vehicles park on the village side in the designated carpark just over the State Highway 8 bridge beside the Godley Hotel. 

From March 2020 vehicles will not be permitted in the church car park. Vehicular traffic will be reduced on Pioneer Drive as we begin to restore the natural landscape of the site.



This is a church, a sacred place, please be respectful and quiet. 

  • When a worship service is in progress please be quiet and do not rattle the door or peer in the windows. We are praying.
  • When a private wedding or funeral is taking place please keep a respectful distance from the church. You may NOT come in.
  • NO PHOTOGRAPHY inside the church. 
  • NO SMOKING anywhere on the church grounds.
  • NO DRONES around the church or anywhere in the Lake Takapō Village. An airport is nearby so it is a no-fly zone.
  • The land surrounding the church is a heritage landscape and a residential area. Please do not climb on the fence. Stay on the paths and do not sit on the tussocks. You are welcome to sit on the matagouri.
  • Commercial photographers require a permit to take pictures on the church grounds e.g. wedding photographers, photography workshops.

The Church of the Good Shepherd cared for by a very small group of local parishioners. We do not receive any income other than that which is donated. Please help us keep the church open for visitors to this lovely place by contributing to the Donation Box when you visit. Thank you.


If you are planning to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Takapō you can make your visit more memorable by downloading the FREE Discover NZ Tourism App and making an in-App purchase of the Tekapo Video Tour Guide. It only costs around the price of a cup of coffee and half the proceeds go towards maintaining the church and its surrounds. For your convenience we recommend downloading the app before visiting the church.

Video Tour Guide Download


  • 360 degree views inside the church 
  • Over 10 Mackenzie and Tekapo video stories
  • Background to the Dog Statue and outlaw James Mackenzie
  • Flyover video of the church
  • Guide to local attractions

PHOTO CREDIT: Craig Simcox