MOUNT COOK → LAKE TEKAPO & CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD, via SH 80 & SH 8
Drive from Mount Cook to Lake Pukaki via state highway 80. Then drive from Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo via state highway 8.
Lake Tekapo & Church of the good shepherd
Lake Tekapo is surrounded by rugged mountains, wide open skies, tussock vegetation, and at times, brightly colored lupins.
Picturesque by day and dazzling by night, Lake Tekapo is part of UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing.
Lake Tekapo has been ranked one of the best spots in the world for stargazing. Most of the areas in the Northern Hemisphere had too much light pollution which prevented good stargazing, whereas the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, of which Lake Tekapo was part, had used special shields and lightbulbs for 30 years to point the light downwards in order to preserve the night sky.
Lake Tekapo (and Lake Pukaki) are my most favorite lakes in New Zealand. The view of the lakes and surrounding area are so breathtakingly beautiful. I was mesmerized by the view. The color of the lakes are turquoise (bluish-green color). Lake Tekapo gets its intense milky-turquoise color from the fine rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in the water. The lakes looks much more impressive when you see it in person than it does in photograph or video. But you have to catch the lakes on a sunny day to get to see its mesmerizing color.
There are lots of beautiful lupin flowers on the shores of the Lake Tekapo when I was there on December (summer).
On the shores of the Lake Tekapo, you’ll see the Church of the Good Shepherd, where the altar window frames a perfect view of the Southern Alps beyond the lake.
Built as a memorial to the pioneers of the Mackenzie region, the Church has been home to thousands of weddings, and has seen more than its fair share of visitors to its grounds.
The foundation stone was laid by HRH the Duke of Gloucester, on January 15 1935. The builders of the Church were instructed that the site was to be left undisturbed, and that even the matagouri bushes surrounding the building were to remain.
Videos (Lake Tekapo & Church of the good shepherd):
video by Mark Gee
video by Fraser Gunn (beautiful night sky in the Tekapo – Mt Cook area: milkyway, aurora, etc)
Photos (Lake Tekapo & Church of the good shepherd):
To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? Final part