Tapataia Mahaka/Peters Lookout, Lake Pūkaki Tapataia Mahaka/Peters Lookout, Lake Pūkaki Tapataia Mahaka/Peters Lookout, Lake Pūkaki Tapataia Mahaka/Peters Lookout, Lake Pūkaki Tapataia Mahaka/Peters Lookout, Lake Pūkaki

Tapataia Mahaka/Peters Lookout, Lake Pūkaki

Upgrading a popular tourist lookout

Tapataia Mahaka/Peters Lookout is a popular tourist lookout on the shores of Lake Pūkaki with one of the best photo opportunities for Aoraki/ Mt Cook.

Land Information New Zealand wanted to improve the landscape on the western shore of Lake Pūkaki following wilding pine removal programme in the area. The project vision was to upgrade the Peters Lookout site and its facilities and give something back to the community.

An informal working group was created to engage with key partners, including Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Kaitiaki Papatipu Rūnanga (including Arowhenua, Waihao and Moeraki); along with Waka-Kotahi/NZTA, Mackenzie District Council and the Department of Conservation.

This enabled discussions around the shared vision and the potential benefits the project would have for the community through a series of hui and site visits. Boffa Miskell was engaged to design, consent and oversee the implementation of the project.

The project focused on maximizing the site contours to extend and upgrade the limited site area, whilst nestling the lookout into the site and maintaining clear views of Aoraki.

The design included the formalisation of the existing car parking, car park extension, introduction of new toilet facilities, re-routing of the walkway to the lake, planting and interpretation signage.

Consent was granted for the upgrade of the site in 2018 and most of the site works, including planting and interpretative signage, were installed by the end of 2020. Stories and images about the area’s cultural significance are reflected in the new sign, which will aid in visitors’ understanding of the importance of Te Manahuna Aoraki (Mackenzie Basin).

The name Tapataia Mahaka was gifted to Peters Lookout and recognises the historic mahinga kai (food gathering) settlement situated on the edge of Lake Pūkaki.

Our role

Landscape Architecture, Cultural Advisory, Ecology

The facts

ClientLand Information New Zealand
Project teamKatie Chilton
Craig Pauling
Scott Hooson
Hilary Blackburn
Worked with

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Kaitiaki Papatipu Rūnanga (including Arowhenua, Waihao and Moeraki)

Waka Kotahi/NZTA

Mackenzie District Council

Department of Conservation

Project date2016 - 2020