What to do in the Mackenzie Country

What to do in the Mackenzie Country
Kimberly

Written by Kimberly

Located in the centre of New Zealand’s South Island, is the Mackenzie district. This district is bustling with incredible sights, food and activities. Named after the famous outlaw and sheep thief, James Mackenzie, the Mackenzie district plays a big role in New Zealand’s cultural heritage and history. It is one of the nation’s most visited locations by tourists around the world. And, because it is such a desired destination, it can be difficult to decide on what to do in the Mackenzie Country. So, to help you with your journey and your campervan hire in New Zealand, read our tips below.

Astro Cafe

With a beautiful 360 degree view of the surrounding vistas, the Astro Cafe is a perfect place to go for lunch. This incredible cafe is located on top of Mt. John in a glass pavilion. The view from the Astro Cafe is matched only by its food, which is top of the line. From bagels to sandwiches to coffees and cakes, the Astro Cafe is a great place to eat and unwind.

Church of the Good Shepherd

New Zealand has never been short on beautiful churches. But, the Church of the Good Shepherd is truly something special. A long favourite for weddings and christenings, the Church of the Good Shepard is a place of architectural greatness. And, not to mention the surrounding view of the lake and mountains.

Church of the Good Shepherd
The Church of the Good Shepherd

Talbot Forest Scenic Reserve

It can be difficult to decide what to do in the Mackenzie Country, so we’re here to help. Getting lost in the woods is not always a misfortune, especially if it’s in the Talbot Forest Scenic Reserve. From the pretty white pines to the massive, 800 year old totara trees, this reserve is New Zealand’s best spot for connecting with nature.

Fairlie Heritage Museum

For those of you who are eager to peak through a window to the 19th century, the Fairlie Heritage Museum is the place to go. Filled with historical artifacts including early farm equipment, model aeroplanes, preserved tractors, and a homespun gyrocopter, the Fairlie Heritage Museum is loaded with interesting exhibits. A cafe with cakes and coffees inside will keep you nourished while you explore.

Mt. John Observatory

Finally, at the end of the day, you can check out the night sky at the Mt. John Observatory. The stars look especially dazzling here, though, anywhere in Mackenzie at night can still give you an extraordinary view of the galaxies above. The Mackenzie basin is called one of the least light polluted areas on earth, making the stars shine brighter here than almost anywhere else in the world, and lying out under the night sky is the perfect way to end your day.

Mackenzie is considered by many to represent some of the best of the country, and for good reason. Its natural beauty and rural culture makes it a place worth seeing. But, this is only a small list of what to do in the Mackenzie Country. There’s plenty to be explored in this beautiful district, so to help you better prepare read our trip guides for further tips.