Currently, I discover myself muttering issues like, I bear in mind when this place was solely this massive. Is that this an indication I’m getting outdated? I’ve been fortunate sufficient to name New Zealand residence for practically a decade, which implies I’ve watched loads of locations change, develop, and evolve with the instances, particularly in the case of tourism.
Lake Tekapo is a type of spots.
Eternally standard, Tekapo was positively heaving with vacationers till the borders closed. Like so a lot of our South Island cities, when the vacationers left, they grew to become quiet. However vacationers don’t make a city, and Covid didn’t destroy the center of this iconic lake city. Tekapo, like all of our favourite locations, endured.
Since certainly one of my dearest buddies Hollie of Mountain Home Inventive, moved there a couple of years in the past, I discovered myself once more stopping and spending time in Tekapo as I as soon as did once I first moved to the South Island. To go to Tekapo is to see certainly one of my favourite components of the South Island.
The previous few years have given Tekapo an opportunity to breathe and settle. Nestled within the coronary heart of the central South Island, within the Mackenzie Nation, Tekapo has earned its place among the many most iconic New Zealand views.
Earlier than the pandemic, Tekapo was a type of buzzy small South Island cities that drew individuals in like a magnet. However the previous few years meant it was quiet, like actually quiet. This implies it’s by no means been a greater time to go to! From unimaginable surroundings, a lot of journey, darkish night time skies, and the kindest locals you’ll ever meet, I used to be so completely satisfied to spend a number of days right here soaking all of it in. And when Tekapo places on her winter coat, effectively, there’s nowhere extra stunning!
Listed below are a few of my favourite pictures from a winter getaway to Tekapo – get pleasure from.
1. Take within the gorgeous views alongside the lakefront
My final journey to Tekapo was again in July, the center of our winter. Due to its dry, arid, inland local weather, Tekapo sees a few of the coldest winter days and hottest summer season days. Crisp winter mornings in Lake Tekapo are simply so stunning.
Name me loopy, however I believe Tekapo is probably the most stunning in winter, particularly when there’s numerous snow.
The intense turquoise lake is about in opposition to golden grasses that lead as much as the snowcapped Southern Alps. Our highest mountain, Aoraki / Mt. Prepare dinner, is seen within the distance. Perched completely on the shores of the lake is the enigmatic stone church. It’s probably the most well-known church in New Zealand, that’s for certain. Not that now we have so much in comparison with the place I grew up within the Bible Belt of America.
Lake Tekapo will get its iconic vibrant turquoise blue coloration from the tremendous nice glacial powder suspended within the water. The mountain glaciers grind rocks into nice mud on their journey towards the lake. The lake typically displays inexperienced within the clouds above on a cloudy day.
At all times take a while to stroll alongside the lakefront and take in the gorgeous mountain views.
2. Curl up and be cozy at Aldourie Lodge
The view from the entrance door of Adourie Lodge in Lake Tekapo is nearly pretty much as good because it will get!
A stone’s throw away from the well-known Church of the Good Shepherd, with a few of the finest views round, Aldourie Lodge delights and surprises all. On the lakefront within the oldest a part of Tekapo in one of many oldest homes in Tekapo, Aldourie Lodge invitations you in, making you not wish to go away. Nestled on the shores of Lake Tekapo, in an period of unprecedented growth throughout New Zealand, there’s one thing so beautiful about with the ability to keep in historic areas.
Right here you may keep in Aldourie Lodge itself, a fantastically renovated cottage that sleeps six, subsequent door within the Awa Cottage, which sleeps 4, or within the Sealy Road Studio, sleeping two. Whenever you go to Tekapo, try to keep right here.
3. Seize one of the best espresso and sit back on the Jack Rabbit Cafe
I’ll allow you to in on a secret, one of the best espresso and views on the town are from Jack Rabbit Cafe, proper throughout from the footbridge. As a author, I all the time search for cafe areas that really feel cozy and alluring. The vibe and luxury ranges are simply as necessary to me because the espresso and meals.
With heaps of area, Jack Rabbit is the form of place the place you may hang around for hours with buddies, conceal away with a great guide on a wet day, or convey your laptop and do some writing.
You’ll be able to’t go unsuitable right here with epic out of doors seating overlooking the lake and fairtrade natural espresso.
4. Go for a scenic flight round New Zealand’s highest mountain
In recent times one of many must-dos if you go to Tekapo, is to take a scenic flight across the iconic mountains. If you happen to suppose the views from the bottom wow you, simply wait til you hit the skies. Air Safaris is a Tekapo establishment, flying across the mountains right here because the 70s. Household-owned and operated, they fly in fixed-wing small plane and helicopters. Each are wonderful.
The journey you wish to do is the epic Grand Traverse, which flies over the gorgeous excessive nation stations and braided rivers. You’ll move by Aoraki/Mt. Prepare dinner, alongside the alps and the glaciers, together with the Tasman Glacier. Ultimately, you’ll cross the divide to the West Coast by Franz and Fox Glaciers earlier than heading again to Tekapo. The helicopter model is an hour-long flight, the Mt. Prepare dinner Franz and Fox Magic tour is simply as wonderful and features a snow touchdown.
My favourite half is hovering over the long-lasting pink mountaineering huts in Mt. Prepare dinner Nationwide Park. Sitting at 2200m, Plateau Hut appears instantly throughout the huge Grand Plateau icefield to the east face of Aoraki/Mt Prepare dinner. Perched on the world’s edge, the Grand Plateau icefields drain into the Hochstetter Icefall, descending all the way down to the Tasman Glacier. This hut might be abuzz with climbers on their option to sort out New Zealand’s highest mountain within the summertime.
5. Choose up a guide or two at Petronella’s and the native gallery upstairs
My new favourite bookstore in all of New Zealand is true within the middle of Lake Tekapo – Petronella’s Gallery Bookstore. I can’t even start to explain how a lot I like a considerate, well-curated bookstore. They make me so completely satisfied.
I simply spend an hour or so strolling up and down the aisles selecting issues up and placing them down till I’ve an ideal choice – 5 is all the time my restrict, which is excessive in New Zealand, contemplating how a lot books price right here. However humorous sufficient, irrespective of my monetary state (and the way broke I’m), I all the time be certain that I can purchase a guide.
To me, books are as important as meals and lease – are you able to relate?
I drive by means of Tekapo typically lately on my journeys to and from Wanaka to Lyttelton as I test in on my store NODE. I all the time be certain that to name in to go to Petronella’s for some inspiration. Upstairs you’ll discover a gorgeous gallery that includes improbable artwork and iconic Tekapo items. Lovingly cared for and tended to by native Wilma, locations like these are the center and soul of our South Island cities. I hope, as a world tradition, we by no means cease studying.
6. Try the unimaginable night time skies with a personal stargazing tour
Tekapo is legendary for a lot of causes, however maybe probably the most well-known is that it sits inside the largest darkish sky reserve within the Southern Hemisphere. The Aoraki Mackenzie Worldwide Darkish Sky Reserve is comprised of Aoraki/Mt. Prepare dinner Nationwide Park and the Mackenzie Basin. There are strict guidelines round mild air pollution, which blocks out the sky. This implies Tekapo is among the finest locations in New Zealand to look at the celebrities.
The stone church with the Milky Method twinkling above is among the most iconic photos of Tekapo and one I lastly shot for the primary time on this journey. Whenever you go to Tekapo, you’ll see how standard that is.
Joseph Pooley is a neighborhood skilled photographer who provides personal stargazing excursions and astrophotography workshops proper right here in Tekapo. With Alpha Crux Stargazing, he involves you with personal, bespoke stargazing excursions throughout Tekapo. With a high-powered telescope and laser, you may study and think about the celebrities with an skilled proper the place you’re staying; how wonderful is that?
As a result of I’m additionally a photographer, I used to be curious to study extra about deep area pictures, one thing Joseph is an skilled in (take a look at his Instagram to have your thoughts blown). I discovered a lot, most of which was that it’s actually complicated and time-consuming, however the reward is price it if you get these iconic, nebular-like pictures of distant galaxies. Right here’s my first try at deep area pictures, the Eta Carina Nebula, which just about Joseph shot and edited, and I watched.
7. Soak your bones on the Tekapo Sizzling Springs
I don’t learn about you guys, however I’ve by no means met a scorching pool I didn’t love. Tekapo Springs is a must-visit on any South Island journey to go to Tekapo.
Formed and named after the Mackenzie area’s iconic lakes, it’s the right place to park up for sundown, particularly within the winter. I adore it right here. There’s one thing so pleasant about stress-free at a spa, one thing I reckon all of us could possibly be doing extra of lately.
Tekapo sits 720 meters above sea stage, one of many few alpine environments with a city right here in New Zealand. Whereas the new swimming pools in Tekapo aren’t geothermal, they’re stuffed from an exceptionally pure underground supply. There’s additionally a ravishing spa, stargazing at night time, an ice rink in winter, and saunas, after all.
8. Go for a improbable feed at Reflections Cafe
If I needed to decide a favourite meal in Tekapo, it might undoubtedly be at Reflections Cafe. It was so good that I ate there twice in three days.
Tremendous cozy with roaring fires, nice views over the lake, and among the best menus round, you received’t be in need of something right here. So many eating places in vacationer cities have high-priced menus with repetitive menus. Reflections Cafe breaks the mould with some unimaginable dishes. After a protracted chilly stroll, I parked by a window and stayed for hours studying within the sunshine.
Get the scorching pork stomach – you received’t remorse it.
9. Go take a look at Lake Alexandrina
There are various well-known lakes round Tekapo, by certainly one of my favorites is the smaller Lake Alexandrina, simply exterior of city. An iconic South Island excessive nation lake, it’s spring-fed as a substitute of glacial-fed, which means it’s a darker coloration than close by Lake Tekapo.
Well-known for fishing, I do know it effectively as a protected wildlife space. Residence to many native birds and no boats or engines makes Lake Alexandrina extremely serene and quiet.
It’s the right place to get away and go for a stroll.
10. Marvel on the hoar frost phenomenon
Lake Tekapo is among the few locations in New Zealand the place you would possibly encounter the phenomenon of a hoar frost. Have you ever heard of it? Yeah, me neither.
Come wintertime, on freezing, nonetheless nights, generally a dense fog rolls in from the hills. The water freezes on every little thing the fog touches, revealing an icy panorama. It appears like snow, but it surely’s frost. All the things it touches sparkles. Clearly, this implies icy roads too. A hoar frost is among the few issues that may shut the highway across the Mackenzie Basin in wintertime.
Tekapo is among the finest locations to expertise winter in New Zealand. To go to Tekapo is to expertise a very completely different facet of the South Island.
Have you ever been to Tekapo earlier than? Would you journey right here in winter? Spill!
Many due to Aldourie Lodge for internet hosting me to go to Tekapo – like all the time, I’m preserving it actual – all opinions are my very own like you may count on much less from me.