35 images to encourage you to go to Tekapo
These days, I discover myself muttering issues like, I bear in mind when this place was solely this large. 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 instances, particularly in relation to tourism.
Lake Tekapo is a kind of spots.
Eternally widespread, Tekapo was positively heaving with vacationers till the borders closed. Like so lots 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 one in every of my dearest associates 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 after 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 folks 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 evening skies, and the kindest locals you’ll ever meet, I used to be so blissful 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 images 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 center of our winter. Due to its dry, arid, inland local weather, Tekapo sees among the coldest winter days and hottest summer season days. Crisp winter mornings in Lake Tekapo are simply so stunning.
Name me loopy, however I feel Tekapo is probably the most stunning in winter, particularly when there may be a whole lot of snow.
The brilliant turquoise lake is ready towards 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 loads in comparison with the place I grew up within the Bible Belt of America.
Lake Tekapo will get its iconic brilliant turquoise blue colour from the tremendous advantageous glacial powder suspended within the water. The mountain glaciers grind rocks into advantageous mud on their journey towards the lake. The lake usually displays inexperienced within the clouds above on a cloudy day.
All the time 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 pretty much as good because it will get!
A stone’s throw away from the well-known Church of the Good Shepherd, with among 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 need to go away. Nestled on the shores of Lake Tekapo, in an period of unprecedented improvement throughout New Zealand, there’s one thing so pretty about with the ability to keep in historic areas.
Right here you’ll be able to keep in Aldourie Lodge itself, a superbly renovated cottage that sleeps six, subsequent door within the Awa Cottage, which sleeps 4, or within the Sealy Street Studio, sleeping two. Whenever you go to Tekapo, attempt to keep right here.
3. Seize the very best espresso and sit back on the Jack Rabbit Cafe
I’ll allow you to in on a secret, the very 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 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 sort of place the place you’ll be able to hang around for hours with associates, conceal away with a superb e book on a wet day, or convey your pc and do some writing.
You’ll be able to’t go improper 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
Lately one of many must-dos once you go to Tekapo, is to take a scenic flight across the iconic mountains. When you assume 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 need to do is the epic Grand Traverse, which flies over the beautiful excessive nation stations and braided rivers. You’ll cross 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 wonderful and features a snow touchdown.
My favourite half is hovering over the enduring purple mountaineering huts in Mt. Cook dinner Nationwide Park. Sitting at 2200m, Plateau Hut appears to be like straight 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 can be abuzz with climbers on their solution to deal with New Zealand’s highest mountain within the summertime.
5. Choose up a e book or two at Petronella’s and the native gallery upstairs
My new favourite bookstore in all of New Zealand is true 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 blissful.
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 be certain that I can purchase a e book.
To me, books are as important as meals and hire – are you able to relate?
I drive by Tekapo usually lately on my journeys to and from Wanaka to Lyttelton as I verify 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 beautiful gallery that includes unbelievable artwork and iconic Tekapo presents. 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 worldwide tradition, we by no means cease studying.
6. Try the unbelievable evening skies with a non-public stargazing tour
Tekapo is known for a lot of causes, however maybe probably the most well-known is that it sits throughout 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 without doubt one of the finest locations in New Zealand to look at the celebs.
The stone church with the Milky Manner twinkling above is without doubt one of 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 widespread that is.
Joseph Pooley is an area skilled photographer who presents non-public stargazing excursions and astrophotography workshops proper right here in Tekapo. With Alpha Crux Stargazing, he involves you with non-public, bespoke stargazing excursions throughout Tekapo. With a high-powered telescope and laser, you’ll be able to be taught and examine the celebs 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 be taught extra about deep house images, one thing Joseph is an skilled in (take a look at his Instagram to have your thoughts blown). I realized a lot, most of which was that it’s actually complicated and time-consuming, however the reward is value it once you get these iconic, nebular-like images 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 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 proper place to park up for sundown, particularly within the winter. I find it irresistible right here. There’s one thing so pleasant about enjoyable at a spa, one thing I reckon all of us might 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 phenomenal spa, stargazing at evening, an ice rink in winter, and saunas, after all.
8. Go for a unbelievable feed at Reflections Cafe
If I needed to decide a favourite meal in Tekapo, it will 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 among the finest 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 mould 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 take a look at Lake Alexandrina
There are lots of well-known lakes round Tekapo, by one in every of my favorites is the smaller Lake Alexandrina, simply exterior of city. An iconic South Island excessive nation lake, it’s spring-fed as an alternative 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. House to many native birds and no boats or engines makes Lake Alexandrina extremely serene and quiet.
It’s the proper place to get away and go for a stroll.
10. Marvel on the hoar frost phenomenon
Lake Tekapo is without doubt one of 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, typically a dense fog rolls in from the hills. The water freezes on all the things the fog touches, revealing an icy panorama. It appears to be like like snow, however it’s frost. Every part it touches sparkles. Clearly, this implies icy roads too. A hoar frost is without doubt one of the few issues that may shut the highway across the Mackenzie Basin in wintertime.
Tekapo is without doubt one of the finest locations to expertise winter in New Zealand. To go to Tekapo is to expertise a very totally different aspect of the South Island.
Have you ever been to Tekapo earlier than? Would you journey right here in winter? Spill!
Many because of Aldourie Lodge for internet hosting me to go to Tekapo – like all the time, I’m retaining it actual – all opinions are my very own like you might count on much less from me.