Lake Tekapo


It's truly amazing the revitalizing impact 24 hours, open country road, alpine-spring fed hot pools, and a sleepy lakeside town situated at the foot of the southern alps can have on your mind, body, and spirit. 





Awwe, yes… I am so happy September is over. I can confess with certainty that it was one of the most exhausting and trying months this little family has experienced so far…. I’m not complaining. Really. Quite frankly, I know its just life. And I know that many of these stresses are self-induced or merely consequences of the choices and sacrifices we’ve picked. However, I am recognizing that several of these milestones have been significant and should not be glazed over as though they’ve left no impact on our home.

I know I am being vague. Honestly, I have been writing and re-writing this post, trying to articulate some of the things we’ve been struggling with, but I keep running into a wall that just doesn’t feel right…. This happens to me sometimes when I write. Usually, what this tells me is that the details I think I would like to print probably aren’t the necessary items to share…. And really they aren’t the reason I want to write this blog anyway. What I want to capture from this season and share with you are the good things; the positive moments or lessons learned from our journey as a recently married couple working together to create a new home from scratch in a country as far across the globe as you can get from the security of everything familiar to us… Really, in this case, what I want to share with you is the vast and gorgeous landscape we encountered last weekend while we spent some much needed family time reconnecting and rejuvenating together.

This was our first over-night trip since moving to the South Island. Yes, Drew and I spent nearly 2 months traveling the North Island coast before settling in Christchurch last February, but since then we’ve been spending every single extra penny on either setting up our new house or securing residency, so we haven’t had time or money to do much exploring of the region we now call home. 

Our residency application has finally been submitted (actually, we were recently notified that its now being processed - Yay!), and the medical expenses we’ve had to pay for my multiple recent and unexpected doctors visits are at a place where we can come up for air, so we decided it was the perfect time to indulge in a quick, romantic get-away to help us detox and relax.

Lake Tekapo is about a 4 hour drive south-west of Christchurch. It’s a sleepy pass-through town on the way to bustling and tourist infested Queenstown. It sits near the foot of the Southern Alps, is home to only about 300 residents, and is well known for a just few things - A secluded little set of hot pools fed by nearby alpine springs, which we immediately indulged in upon our arrival and were absolutely amazing! We decided next time we will be sure to budget more time at the Springs. The price you pay is for an all day pass so, really had we given ourselves more time we could have stayed far longer than we did. They have an onsite cafe and spa too, so if you get overheated or want to really indulge the senses you can easily make it an all day endeavor. 

The historic stone church fondly known as the Church of The Good Sheppard has one of the best views of the surrounding mountains situated right on the lake-shore. I was surprised to learn that it is still a functioning church and offers several interdenominational services a month (we just missed the start time, so we’ll have to come back to experience it). Regardless, it was a great place for a little picnic and quick photo opp.

The lake itself is known for having extremely intense blue waters, an effect of a particular species of algae living in it. However, the cloud cover and lack of wind throughout our visit hid much of its intensity and instead created some beautiful reflections of the surrounding landscape. The water was so still. It looked like glass.  The balcony of our little bungalow provided epic views of the lake all evening! Totally relaxing and mesmerizing!

Lake Tekapo is also known for stargazing. Yes. This town is known for stargazing. It is so far removed from any city lights that the night sky is supposedly one of the most majestic sights to behold. There’s an observatory in the town that offers night tours. However, at $125 a pop, we chose to pass! Perhaps next time we visit we'll splurge on the night tour. We did hear that its worth the money... but, considering the cloudy night sky we experienced that evening, I think we made a good choice to splurge on our little villa instead! It was totally worth it!

And although this early spring adventure was a mostly cloudy, somewhat stormy trip, we still managed to capture a few good camera shots and thoroughly enjoyed our short escape from the city noise and construction! Mission accomplished!
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