Lately, I discover myself muttering issues like, I bear in mind when this place was solely this large. Is this an indication I’m getting previous? I’ve been fortunate sufficient to name New Zealand house for practically a decade, which implies I’ve watched loads of locations change, develop, and evolve with the occasions, particularly in relation to tourism.
Lake Tekapo is a type of spots.
Eternally well-liked, 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. But 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 among my dearest associates Hollie of Mountain House Creative, moved there a couple 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 among 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.
Before the pandemic, Tekapo was a type of buzzy small South Island cities that drew folks in like a magnet. But the previous few years meant it was quiet, like actually quiet. This means it’s by no means been a greater time to go to! From unimaginable surroundings, a lot of journey, darkish night time skies, and the kindest locals you’ll ever meet, I used to be so completely happy to spend a number of days right here soaking all of it in. And when Tekapo places on her winter coat, properly, there’s nowhere extra lovely!
Here are a few of my favourite images from a winter getaway to Tekapo – get pleasure from.
1. Take within the gorgeous views alongside the lakefront
My final journey to Tekapo was again in July, the center of our winter. Because of its dry, arid, inland local weather, Tekapo sees among the coldest winter days and hottest summer time days. Crisp winter mornings in Lake Tekapo are simply so lovely.
Call me loopy, however I feel Tekapo is essentially the most lovely in winter, particularly when there’s quite a lot of snow.
The vivid turquoise lake is ready towards golden grasses that lead as much as the snowcapped Southern Alps. Our highest mountain, Aoraki / Mt. Cook, is seen within the distance. Perched completely on the shores of the lake is the enigmatic stone church. It’s essentially the most well-known church in New Zealand, that’s for positive. Not that we have now so much in comparison with the place I grew up within the Bible Belt of America.
Lake Tekapo will get its iconic vivid turquoise blue shade from the tremendous wonderful glacial powder suspended within the water. The mountain glaciers grind rocks into wonderful mud on their journey towards the lake. The lake usually displays inexperienced within the clouds above on a cloudy day.
Always take a while to stroll alongside the lakefront and take in the gorgeous 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 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 depart. Nestled on the shores of Lake Tekapo, in an period of unprecedented growth throughout New Zealand, there’s one thing so pretty about having the ability to keep in historic areas.
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. When you go to Tekapo, try to keep right here.
3. Grab one of the best espresso and sit back on the Jack Rabbit Cafe
I’ll allow you to in on a secret, one of the best espresso and views on the town are from Jack Rabbit Cafe, proper throughout from the footbridge. As a author, I at all times search for cafe areas that really feel cozy and alluring. 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 associates, cover away with ebook on a wet day, or convey your laptop and do some writing.
You can’t go unsuitable 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 current years one of many must-dos while you go to Tekapo, is to take a scenic flight across the iconic mountains. If 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 for the reason that 70s. Family-owned and operated, they fly in fixed-wing small plane and helicopters. Both are wonderful.
The journey you need to do is the epic Grand Traverse, which flies over the gorgeous excessive nation stations and braided rivers. You’ll go by Aoraki/Mt. Cook, alongside the alps and the glaciers, together with the Tasman Glacier. Eventually, 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 Franz and Fox Magic tour is simply as wonderful and features a snow touchdown.
My favourite half is hovering over the long-lasting purple mountaineering huts in Mt. Cook National Park. Sitting at 2200m, Plateau Hut seems to be immediately throughout the huge Grand Plateau icefield to the east face of Aoraki/Mt Cook. 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 approach to deal with New Zealand’s highest mountain within the summertime.
5. Pick up a ebook 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 like a considerate, well-curated bookstore. They make me so completely happy.
I simply spend an hour or so strolling up and down the aisles selecting issues up and placing them down till I’ve an ideal choice – 5 is at all times my restrict, which is excessive in New Zealand, contemplating how a lot books value right here. But humorous sufficient, irrespective of my monetary state (and the way broke I’m), I at all times be sure I should purchase a ebook.
To me, books are as important as meals and lease – are you able to relate?
I drive by means of Tekapo usually today on my journeys to and from Wanaka to Lyttelton as I examine in on my store NODE. I at all times be sure to name in to go to Petronella’s for some inspiration. Upstairs you’ll discover a gorgeous gallery that includes improbable artwork and iconic Tekapo items. 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 world tradition, we by no means cease studying.
6. Check out the unimaginable night time skies with a non-public stargazing tour
Tekapo is legendary for a lot of causes, however maybe essentially 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 National Park and the Mackenzie Basin. There are strict guidelines round mild air pollution, which blocks out the sky. This means Tekapo is likely one of the finest locations in New Zealand to observe the celebrities.
The stone church with the Milky Way twinkling above is likely one of the most iconic photos of Tekapo and one I lastly shot for the primary time on this journey. When you go to Tekapo, you’ll see how well-liked that is.
Joseph Pooley is a neighborhood skilled 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 study and look at the celebrities with an skilled proper the place you’re staying; how wonderful is that?
Because I’m additionally a photographer, I used to be curious to study extra about deep house pictures, one thing Joseph is an skilled in (try his Instagram to have your thoughts blown). I discovered a lot, most of which was that it’s actually advanced and time-consuming, however the reward is price it while you get these iconic, nebular-like images of distant galaxies. Here’s my first try at deep house pictures, the Eta Carina Nebula, which just about Joseph shot and edited, and I watched.
7. Soak your bones on the Tekapo Hot Springs
I don’t find out 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.
Shaped and named after the Mackenzie area’s iconic lakes, it’s the right place to park up for sundown, particularly within the winter. I adore it 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 today.
Tekapo sits 720 meters above sea degree, one of many few alpine environments with a city right here in New Zealand. While the recent swimming pools in Tekapo aren’t geothermal, they’re stuffed from an exceptionally pure underground supply. There’s additionally a fantastic spa, stargazing at night time, an ice rink in winter, and saunas, after all.
8. Go for a improbable feed at Reflections Cafe
If I needed to choose a favourite meal in Tekapo, it might undoubtedly be at Reflections Cafe. It was so good that I ate there twice in three days.
Super 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 unimaginable dishes. After a protracted 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 many well-known lakes round Tekapo, by one among my favorites is the smaller Lake Alexandrina, simply exterior of city. An iconic South Island excessive nation lake, it’s spring-fed as a substitute of glacial-fed, which means it’s a darker shade than close by Lake Tekapo.
Famous for fishing, I do know it properly as a protected wildlife space. Home 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 likely one of the few locations in New Zealand the place you may encounter the phenomenon of a hoar frost. Have you 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 seems to be like snow, however it’s frost. Everything it touches sparkles. Obviously, this implies icy roads too. A hoar frost is likely one of the few issues that may shut the highway across the Mackenzie Basin in wintertime.
Tekapo is likely one of the finest locations to expertise winter in New Zealand. To go to Tekapo is to expertise a totally completely different facet of the South Island.
Have you 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 at all times, I’m maintaining it actual – all opinions are my very own like you possibly can count on much less from me.