Before we leave NZ we had to have a final whiz around the spectacular South Island. We spent a week revisiting Christchurch and Queenstown, taking a different route to our summer trip and stopping over in Lake Tekapo on the way.
Conveniently located half way between the two cities, this small township in the Mackenzie Country has only 300 permanent residents. Similar to the Fox and Franz Glacier settlements, it serves the tourism brought by the geographical beauty. The town overlooks an azure glacier lake against a backdrop of tussock land and snow-capped mountains – not a bad place for a stop over.
We arrived mid-afternoon and went on a loop walk up to Mt John. We scaled the hill walking through the first snow we’ve seen in NZ. At the summit there’s an observatory used as one of the country’s primary astrological stations.
After our walk we unwound in the hot pools. Lake Tekapo springs have 3 large pools at temperatures of 36, 38 and 40 degrees – the hottest for the adults only. Rob wasn’t keen on the idea but he was convinced after a couple of hours of soaking as the sun came down.
For dinner we turned to trusty Tripadvisor, going for the #1 rated restaurant in town – Kohan Japanese. In a basic setting, similar to a food court, it served authentic, fresh food. We went for Bento boxes for a selection of sushi, sashimi and rice – the salmon was delicious.
We stayed in the YHA in a private cabin on the lakefront. It was so peaceful for a restful night’s sleep.
If you’re taking a direct route from Canterbury to Central Otago, make sure you stop off in Lake Tekapo.