Tekapo Springs is one of New Zealand’s leading tourism attractions, providing the perfect mix of relaxation and recreation in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Lake Tekapo. Our story is about a family who loved the wilderness and snow, who showed grit and determination in the face of challenges and never gave up on their plans and dreams.
In 1973 Karl Burtscher Snr. and Audrey Burtscher bought Richmond Station on the eastern shores of Lake Tekapo. Karl Snr was a hard-working visionary from a farming background in Austria, an avid skier having been on the Austrian Alpine Junior National Team before competing professionally in America. The allure of a high-country station with an undeveloped ski field was an attractive opportunity. The Fielding farm was sold and the move to the wild Mackenzie Region happened in May of that year. Karl Jnr, the future developer and owner of Tekapo Springs, was 5 years old.
Tekapo Springs was designed and built with sustainability in mind. Sixty Larch trees felled on site were used for the main building at Tekapo Springs, and rock material unearthed during construction was used for retaining walls and landscaping. Native plants and trees complete the picture of alpine beauty.
The ice rink requires a large refrigeration plant to artificially freeze the surface. For every kilowatt of power used to run this plant, three to four kilowatts of free energy are created which are then used to heat the hot pools. The water that is cooled by the refrigeration plant when making ice for the rink is then used to make snow for the snow tubing park. Ice shavings from the grooming of the rink are also used to top up the tube park when needed.
When the ice rink is closed, water from Lake Tekapo is utilised to heat the pools. Water is pumped through the refrigeration plant, cooling it, then pumped back into the lake creating heat for the pools. This sustainable and environmentally-friendly use of energy means Tekapo Springs has an energy efficiency rating of 1:4.
The pool filtration system uses natural sand filters which means no toxic by-products are produced. WAPOTECH water-cleansing agents are used to ensure minimal chlorine to achieve fresh, clean and safe water.
Tekapo Springs has evolved into a sustainable, multi-faceted attraction that continues to delight both New Zealanders and visitors from around the world, providing memorable experiences year after year. Karl Burtscher Jnr’s entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen and drive ensure continual development and evolving offerings at Tekapo Springs.
Further history on the Burtscher Family can be found in “High Country Stations of Lake Tekapo”, available from Mary Hobbs.
Our amazingly soft alpine spring water is drawn from an underground spring next to the Forks River two kilometers to the west of Tekapo.
This water originates in the Gamack range in the Southern Alps north west of Lake Tekapo. This water is exceptionally pure having been naturally filtered after travelling through kilometers of glacial moraine, sand, stone and rock before arriving at Tekapo Springs. Water testing laboratory “Hill Laboratories” results show our water is exceptionally soft, balanced and pure.
Tekapo Springs utilizes the latest modern technology in natural sand filtration to ensure our bathing water maintains its natural softness and purity. Because of our exceptional quality of water, and Tekapo Springs modern environmentally friendly sand filtration system, little water treatment is needed to keep our water balanced and soft. Our clever heat transfer system then brings that water temperature up to between 28-39 degrees Celsius for your bathing pleasure.
Our customers can enjoy an alpine bathing experience that leaves one refreshed and revitalized, knowing they have relaxed in the purest water mother nature can provide.
The original natural ice rinks in Lake Tekapo dated back to the 1930s and utilized this very same water source to fill up the natural ice rinks to make ice over the bitterly cold winters. The first rinks were situated down on the lake shore 150 meters away from our current location. The rinks were moved to where they are today in the 1980s as the lake level was increased for hydro electricity generation.
Today the same pure Forks River spring water covers our new refrigerated ice rink surface guaranteeing great ice for the winter skating season.