A family story of Tekapo

The Cairns is proudly owned and operated by the Simpson family: Andrew and Karen, and their children, Ben, Amanda and Sam.

The family has been farming Balmoral Station in Tekapo for three generations and came to the Mackenzie area when Andrew’s father, then only 17-years-old, applied for a job posting at Mount Cook Station which called for someone who “must hate town life” and “must stand like an Arctic hero” while also having “plenty of common sense” and be medically fit but “brains not necessary.”
Since then, the Simpson family has cultivated the land they care so deeply about in an area they’re grateful to call home. Specialising in merino wool farming, the family continues to grow the natural and renewable wonder fibre used in premium clothes around the world. It hasn’t always been a smooth ride for the Simpson family. There have been droughts, crippling snowfall, and uncertainty in wool prices over the years but one thing has never wavered: the family’s undying love for the Tekapo region.
Today, the Simpson family is delighted to welcome you into their home and share their generations of knowledge of the area with you. The Cairns is here to help you discover the very best of what Tekapo has to offer, and stay in the best possible comfort while you’re here. From outstanding accommodation, to experiences which show you the magic of the Mackenzie, everything we offer is designed to share our passion for this place with you.
The Cairn

The word “cairn” comes from a Gaelic term meaning “heap of stones” and these small mounds of stones have been used for thousands of years to show the way along trails.

Scattered throughout Tekapo, we have chosen this name and shape as our emblem because we share the same purpose. Like a cairn showing you the way on a track, our purpose is to show you the way to the Mackenzie. 

The world’s best night sky, New Zealand’s most incredible landscapes, and our famous southern hospitality: a stay at The Cairns will stay with you for life.