A few years ago, I first heard of this unassuming place from friends who wouldn’t stop raving about how beautiful it was. I guess, you could say that I had unknowingly fallen in love with this place ever since, even without having physically been there before.
After having been there myself, I can tell you that no picture has done enough justice to showcase the beauty of this quiet town in the South Island.
When I say small, I really do mean that this town is small. It is essentially a popular road trip destination for those en route south from Christchurch or east from the Aoraki National Park, where Mount Cook is.
Lake Tekapo’s main attraction is its namesake; people travel far and wide to witness the beauty of this lake and also the surrounding view of ‘The Remarkables’ mountain ranges on a clear day.
It is perfect for a picnic after a long drive, or you could have lunch at their popular Japanese restaurant Kohan whose location is situated at the lakeside, giving you a full view of the brilliant turquoise lake. They also have hot springs nearby if you would like to enjoy a warm dip in the pool with a view to go with it!
I love Tekapo through all its seasons, be it during the cold wintery nights where the falling snow turns everything into a magical white, or summer; especially summer, when lupins of different colours scatter the entire lakeside.
Honestly, I have never seen any place like it; absolutely mesmerising!
Not many may know this, but Lake Tekapo is actually a Dark Sky Reserve, and if you happen to be there when a clear night is forecasted, head over to the Mt John Observatory for some stargazing. Or, bring a sleeping bag to the Church of the Good Shepherd to lie beneath a night scattered with stars – I caught sight of a meteor shower the last time I was there.
My love for this place is not just for it’s beauty, but also for very sentimental reasons. If time is in your favour, I highly recommend staying a night, not just for the stargazing but the beauty that greets you the following morning –
It’s hard to imagine this place could even more beautiful than what it is until I watched the rising sun gradually creeping in, creating an amazing reflection of the church in the distance.
If you’re ever in New Zealand, it would be a shame to not bookmark this destination. As it is, I can’t wait to return once again on my next South Island adventure!