- Hiking / Trekking
- Place or Religious Monument
With just over 300 inhabitants, Tekapo is a small village that comes to life in the day as tourists pass through, returning to absolute calm as night falls. There's nothing special to do in the village itself, except for visiting the charming lakeside church.
Tekapo is nonetheless a pleasant place to stop off during a stay in New Zealand. I enjoyed strolling along the shores of the turquoise lake, admiring the stunning views of the New Zealand Alps. If you enjoy fishing, you can enjoy the view while peacefully waiting for a fish to take the bait.
At night, lie down in the grass and contemplate the stars! With a clear and unpolluted sky, Tekapo is an ideal place to view the Milky Way. To learn all about the constellations, visit one of the evening sessions offered at the Mount John Observatory. If, like me, you are there during a full moon, you won't be able to indulge in this pleasure, but you can always console yourself by enjoying a magnificent moonrise reflected in the lake.
The second largest lake on New Zealand’s South Island, Tekapo sparkles in shades of blue, that change with the weather. At the foot of the Southern Alps, the lake's landscape looks like a postcard, mixing the green of the plains, the yellow of vegetation,the blue of the water, and the brown of the mountains... this image is frozen in my memory.
The Cowans Hill hike first goes along the river, then into the forest, and comes to a hill overlooking Lake Tekapo. The walk is rather easy and gave me the chance to gain some altitude, thus allowing me to take advantage of a magnificent view of the lake and region. Don't forget to stop at the Church of the Good Shepherd, a charming religious building erected on the shores of the lake.
Subsequently, I went to the Mount John Observatory, which is located a few kilometers from the city, overlooking the lake. At night, you can observe the stars and the Milky Way. In fact, Tekapo is reputed to have the most pure sky in the country, conducive to astronomical studies.