Picturesque by day and dazzling by night, Lake Tekapo is part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing.
Lake Tekapo is about three hours drive south-west of Christchurch in the Mackenzie Basin. The township faces north across the remarkable turquoise coloured lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps. Lake Tekapo gets its intense milky-turquoise colour from the fine rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in the water.
On the shores on the lake you'll see the beautiful Church of the Good Shepherd, where the altar window frames a perfect view of the Southern Alps beyond the lake. The church was built in 1935 for the pioneer families of the Mackenzie district.
Lake Tekapo is the second-largest of three roughly parallel lakes running north–south along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin in the South Island of New Zealand (the others are Lake Pukaki and Lake Ohau). It covers an area of 83 square kilometres (32 sq mi), and is at an altitude of 710 metres (2,330 ft) above sea level.
The lake is fed at its northern end by the braided Godley River, which has its source in the Southern Alps to the north. The Lake Tekapo Regional Park, administered by Environment Canterbury, is located on the southern shore of the lake.
An astronomical observatory is located at Mount John, which is to the north of the town, and south of the small Lake Alexandrina.
We woke up to beautiful morning. It was only about 10 degrees C but there was no wind. Today was a day for walking. We started out from our apartment at The Mantra Tekapo on the South Eastern shore of the lake. The walk would take us through the town centre where we stopped for the obligatory coffee :). From there we continued along the lake and up into the hills on the Western shore. The path would lead us up to Mount John University Observatory...where the wind was blowing a gale but the views of Tekapo and the surrounding mountains (Including Mount Dobson) were spectacular. This took us most of the day but so worth it!