35 pictures to encourage you to go to Tekapo
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 previous? 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 occasions, particularly on the subject of tourism.
Lake Tekapo is a kind of spots.
Eternally well-liked, 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 guts of this iconic lake city. Tekapo, like all of our favourite locations, endured.
Since one in every of my dearest pals Hollie of Mountain House Creative, moved there a number 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 one in every 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 Country, Tekapo has earned its place among the many most iconic New Zealand views.
Earlier than the pandemic, Tekapo was a kind 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 unbelievable surroundings, a number of journey, darkish night time skies, and the kindest locals you’ll ever meet, I used to be so joyful to spend a number of days right here soaking all of it in. And when Tekapo places on her winter coat, effectively, there may be nowhere extra stunning!
Listed here are a few of my favourite pictures from a winter getaway to Tekapo – get pleasure from.
1. Take within the beautiful views alongside the lakefront
My final journey to Tekapo was again in July, the guts of our winter. Due to its dry, arid, inland local weather, Tekapo sees a few of the coldest winter days and hottest summer time 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 may be a variety of snow.
The brilliant turquoise lake is ready in opposition to golden grasses that lead as much as the snowcapped Southern Alps. Our highest mountain, Aoraki / Mt. Cook 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 positive. Not that we’ve rather a lot in comparison with the place I grew up within the Bible Belt of America.
Lake Tekapo will get its iconic vivid turquoise blue colour from the tremendous effective glacial powder suspended within the water. The mountain glaciers grind rocks into effective 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 beautiful 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 nearly 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 depart. Nestled on the shores of Lake Tekapo, in an period of unprecedented improvement throughout New Zealand, there’s one thing so beautiful about having the ability to keep in historic areas.
Right here you possibly can 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 Street Studio, sleeping two. If you go to Tekapo, attempt to keep right here.
3. Seize the most effective espresso and sit back on the Jack Rabbit Cafe
I’ll allow you to in on a secret, the most effective 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 welcoming. The vibe and luxury ranges are simply as vital to me because the espresso and meals.
With heaps of house, Jack Rabbit is the form of place the place you possibly can hang around for hours with pals, cover away with a great guide on a wet day, or deliver your pc and do some writing.
You’ll be able to’t go flawed right here with epic outside 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 once you go to Tekapo, is to take a scenic flight across the iconic mountains. Should you 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 superb.
The journey you wish to do is the epic Grand Traverse, which flies over the beautiful excessive nation stations and braided rivers. You’ll go by Aoraki/Mt. Cook 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. Cook dinner Franz and Fox Magic tour is simply as superb and features a snow touchdown.
My favourite half is hovering over the long-lasting purple mountaineering huts in Mt. Cook dinner Nationwide Park. Sitting at 2200m, Plateau Hut appears to be like instantly throughout the huge Grand Plateau icefield to the east face of Aoraki/Mt Cook dinner. Perched on the world’s edge, the Grand Plateau icefields drain into the Hochstetter Icefall, descending right down to the Tasman Glacier. This hut shall be abuzz with climbers on their technique to deal with 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 correct within the heart of Lake Tekapo – Petronella’s Gallery Bookstore. I can’t even start to explain how a lot I really like a considerate, well-curated bookstore. They make me so joyful.
I simply spend an hour or so strolling up and down the aisles choosing 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 value right here. However humorous sufficient, irrespective of my monetary state (and the way broke I’m), I all the time make sure that I should buy a guide.
To me, books are as important as meals and lease – are you able to relate?
I drive by Tekapo typically as of late on my journeys to and from Wanaka to Lyttelton as I verify in on my store NODE. I all the time make sure that to name in to go to Petronella’s for some inspiration. Upstairs you’ll discover a beautiful gallery that includes incredible artwork and iconic Tekapo items. Lovingly cared for and tended to by native Wilma, locations like these are the guts and soul of our South Island cities. I hope, as a world tradition, we by no means cease studying.
6. Take a look at the unbelievable 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 International Dark Sky Reserve is comprised of Aoraki/Mt. Cook 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 observe the celebs.
The stone church with the Milky Means twinkling above is among the most iconic pictures of Tekapo and one I lastly shot for the primary time on this journey. If you go to Tekapo, you’ll see how well-liked that is.
Joseph Pooley is an area professional photographer who affords 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 possibly can be taught and examine the celebs with an professional proper the place you’re staying; how superb is that?
As a result of I’m additionally a photographer, I used to be curious to be taught extra about deep house images, one thing Joseph is an professional in (try his Instagram to have your thoughts blown). I realized a lot, most of which was that it’s actually advanced and time-consuming, however the reward is value it once you get these iconic, nebular-like pictures of distant galaxies. Right here’s my first try at deep house images, the Eta Carina Nebula, which just about Joseph shot and edited, and I watched.
7. Soak your bones on the Tekapo Scorching Springs
I don’t find out about you guys, however I’ve by no means met a sizzling 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 find it irresistible right here. There’s one thing so pleasant about stress-free at a spa, one thing I reckon all of us might be doing extra of as of late.
Tekapo sits 720 meters above sea stage, one of many few alpine environments with a city right here in New Zealand. Whereas the recent swimming pools in Tekapo aren’t geothermal, they’re stuffed from an exceptionally pure underground supply. There’s additionally an exquisite spa, stargazing at night time, an ice rink in winter, and saunas, after all.
8. Go for a incredible feed at Reflections Cafe
If I needed to choose a favourite meal in Tekapo, it could positively 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 top-of-the-line menus round, you gained’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 mildew with some unbelievable dishes. After an extended chilly stroll, I parked by a window and stayed for hours studying within the sunshine.
Get the scorching pork stomach – you gained’t remorse it.
9. Go try Lake Alexandrina
There are a lot of well-known lakes round Tekapo, by one in every of my favorites is the smaller Lake Alexandrina, simply outdoors of city. An iconic South Island excessive nation lake, it’s spring-fed as a substitute of glacial-fed, that means it’s a darker colour 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 may encounter the phenomenon of a hoar frost. Have you ever heard of it? Yeah, me neither.
Come wintertime, on freezing, nonetheless nights, typically a dense fog rolls in from the hills. The water freezes on all the pieces the fog touches, revealing an icy panorama. It appears to be like 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 totally totally different aspect 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 maintaining it actual – all opinions are my very own like you can anticipate much less from me.