Recommended Sponsor - Buy Original Artwork Directly from the Artist

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Work to improve the visitor driving experience in the Mackenzie Basin through new highway pull-over areas and upgrades to existing stopping places is now complete, says NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA).

Around nine South Canterbury locations along State Highways 8, 79 and 80 (see map below) have been improved including increased capacity and upgrading of existing rest areas, new rest areas at popular scenic locations, better signage, directional arrows, safety information, intersection improvements, road widening and passing opportunities.

Two new scenic rest areas have been built at:

  • Dog Kennel Corner (SH8)/Tewera’s Corner in Tekapo, and 
  • Lake Pukaki (SH8).

Pull-over areas that will help drivers pass safely have been built on:

  • SH8 (Timaru to Burkes Pass, Lake Tekapo and the hydro lakes) 
  • SH80 (the Mt Cook/ Aoraki highway alongside Lake Pukaki)

“The stunning alpine landscape of the Mackenzie Basin means people naturally want to stop to appreciate its beauty. The new pull-over areas and other improvements will mean people can do so safely,” says Sean Walsh, Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery for NZTA, Central and Lower South Island.

“The project will also benefit the regional economy by helping to accommodate the increasing number of visitors on these popular inland state highways and improve their driving experience.”

As part of the project, cultural artwork designed by senior Ngāi Tahu artist Ross Hemera has been installed at Dog Kennel Corner (SH8), also known as Tewera’s Corner, to further enhance the area. (See picture below of 14 metre pou). One final detail is still to be finished off in Burkes Pass as another of Ross’s artworks will be installed when the weather is warmer.


The project was funded as part of a Regional Investment Opportunities package and administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment through Kānoa (the Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit). The whole project has cost $5 million.

The work included:

Lake Pukaki area

A new rest area has been built and a right turn bay has been installed at the entrance to the salmon farm on Twizel-Omarama Road (SH8). The Haymans Road carpark off SH8 has been extended and improvements made to Peter’s Lookout and Acland Lagoon Lookout rest areas.

Lake Tekapo area

A right turn bay has been installed on SH8 at Godley Peaks Road and a new rest area built at Dog Kennel Corner/Tewera’s Corner, with cultural artwork installed.

Mt Burgess and Burkes Pass areas

On SH8, the road has been widened to provide for pull-over areas which allow vehicles to pull over and let traffic pass. A smaller piece of cultural panelling will also be installed in Burkes Pass.

Peter’s Lookout