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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 13: Lake Tekapo

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10, 11, 12.

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):

Church of the good shepherd

lupin flowers on the shores of Lake Tekapo

lupin flowers on the shores of Lake Tekapo

lupin flowers on the shores of Lake Tekapo

we slept here, in front of Lake Tekapo

in front of Lake Tekapo

we had breakfast here, in front of Lake Tekapo

 

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? Final part

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Posted by on May 20, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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New Zealand trip, where to go? part 11: Lake Pukaki

Before reading this post, you might want to read part 1 (road trip map), part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10.

LAKE OHAU → LAKE PUKAKI, via Glen lyon Rd

Drive from Lake Ohau to Lake Pukaki via Glen lyon Rd.

LAKE PUKAKI

Lake Pukaki is a glacial lake. It is the largest of three lakes (others are Lake Tekapo and Ohau) occupying ancient glacial valleys in the Mackenzie Basin.

Stunning Lake Pukaki was chosen as the filming location for Laketown in the movie “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”.

Lake Pukaki (and Lake Tekapo) 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). These 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.

Mount cook with snow on its peak (even on summer you can see the snow on its peak) on the background of Lake Pukaki adds the beauty to the lake scenery.

There are spectacular views of the lake on the drive on State Highway 80 to Aoraki/Mount Cook Village, and also along on the road between Twizel and Lake Tekapo Village.

Photos (Lake Pukaki):

Click the link (word with color) to see a great photo of Lake Pukaki with snow-capped Mount Cook in the background 

video by Richard Magid

To be continued to New Zealand trip, where to go? part 12 (Mount Cook, via SH 80) 

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2017 in new zealand, travel

 

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