New Zealand is the proud owner of many beautiful lakes, some with unfathomable depths and extraordinary diameters. Lake Tekapo covers an area of 83 square kilometres, which is relatively small in comparison with lakes such as Lake Taupo and Lake Wakatipu, but makes up for size in it’s beautiful crystal clear waters and stunning neighbouring landmarks.
In particular, Lake Tekapo is renowned for it’s starry night skies, away from the effects of light pollution, and the town profits from such a location beneath clear skies. To this day, I regret not fighting away sleep and staying up to watch the stars. However, I now have another excuse to return to Lake Tekapo and lie beneath the stars as the sand flies greedily eat me alive.
Nevertheless, the day and evening views did not disappoint. We drove along the dusty roads, greeted by huge gusts of wind as we stepped off the bus to check into our hostel. Luckily for us, we had front seats for the lake view in our room, peeking from our window, across the green, to a great expanse of crystal blue water. I thought we were the luckiest people in Lake Tekapo.
The town is also home to the Church of the Good Shepherd (featured below). Supposedly, it is one of the most photographed churches in New Zealand, clearly provided with a pretty agreeable backdrop to make up what I believe is the epitome of a ‘picturesque’ photo. The church was the first to be built in the Mackenzie basin to which Lake Tekapo belongs, and maintains it’s fame attributing to it’s position before the mountains.
After settling in, and prompted by Emily’s initial bravery, I felt was only mandatory that I should also go for a swim in the lake. Boy, did I not expect it to be that cold. I made sure my body was fully emerged in the water so that I could safely say I went for a swim, even if it was only for about 5 seconds. It counts! You can even see how cold I am, with my shoulders hunched right up into my neck. What else is there to do you ask? Well, one can walk up to the local town and buy an ice cream or a coffee and sit outside in awe of the lake views. There are lakeside spa pools that are great for families to visit, or ideal for those having braved the cold water.
I can’t believe that living here would ever get old for the locals. I found that the views changed ever so slightly, yet spectacularly, from day to night. The mountains would reflect the sunlight and slowly shadows would form behind the folds in the ground and the crystal blue water would take on a softer shade when the sun set behind the hills and the clouds were tinted pink. The contrast in itself was breath-taking and therefore made Lake Tekapo my second favourite stop along the Kiwi Experience.
I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful way to end our trip, and I was sad to leave this place behind. Despite it’s size, Lake Tekapo provides plenty of entertainment for avid walkers, brave swimmers and keen stargazers and I will definitely be returning to this place again, one day.
So, this marks the end of my Kiwi Experience. From Lake Tekapo, we returned back to Christchurch and spent the next couple of days gorging ourselves on the luxuries we hadn’t had access to for the previous 10 days. This meant endless hours of Geordie Shore, shopping for clothes that didn’t smell damp and unwashed, and fresh meals cooked by Emily’s very hospitable Aunt.
If I had the chance to do this trip all over again, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second.
I hope that this little series of posts has been enlightening to future travellers of NZ and interesting for those with a lust for beautiful views and adventure.
Most of all, thank you so much for reading!