A Weekend at Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand
A Little Piece of Heaven
New Zealand is a beautiful country, with many amazing scenic places to visit and a variety of activities to take part in, from snow boarding to trout fishing.
A few months ago, my husband, myself and our two children went to Lake Tekapo for a weekend. It was such a lovely place that I feel anyone visiting New Zealand South island should make a stop and take in the beauty.
Activities available are walking trails, horse riding, star gazing and much more. In this lens I have mentioned some of the activities.
Scenic Resort Motel
This motel is situated right in the center of Tekapo village, one can see the lake from your front door. What we enjoyed about staying her is that we could walk to the restaurants and bars.
The Motel was clean and neat, however for the money we paid we expected more than what we got.
The sleeper coach was lumpy and there was no separate lounge, the lounge was the second bedroom (our children's room).
The TV was also in there. Which did not make sense as children usually go to bed first. Not to worry we managed to move it into the main bedroom.
There was an open plan kitchenette and a dinning table.
The manager was friendly and they had a few DVDs that could be borrowed for free.
Things To Do when visiting Lake Tekapo
THE LAKE - is a great place to relax with a picnic or you can hire some horses and take a trot around the lake.
If you don't ride you can follow one of the walking trails. There is usually a sign at the beginning of a trail that lets you know how long it will take.
You could hire a boat and spend a wonderful few hours just relaxing, taking photo's or just appreciate the beauty of this lovely place.
In summer you can do some water skiing and a number of other water sports.
The Lakes water is so blue and when the lavender is in full bloom it is spectacular.
AIR SAFARIS - is a company that offers helicopter rides, giving you the opportunity to see Lake Tekapo from the air as well as the majestic glacier mountains with their snow covered tips.
Air Safaris are very accommodating with regards to the weather which is like most of New Zealand and not at all predictable. They will allow you to book a flight and if the weather is not conducive to flying, they more times then not allow you to take another flight when it is better weather. They are very helpful and experienced.
EARTH AND SKY - I strongly recommend that you book a trip to the observatory, of course this experience also depends on a relatively cloudless evening.
You catch a shuttle bus from Tekapo town, you are then driven up a very steep road up a mountain to the observatory. Where your tour guides who are university students explain the night sky to you, they use laser light to point out the different constellations and other interesting things.
At the end of the tour you are offered hot chocolate. We where only there for two nights and did not manage to book the first night and it was very cloudy on the second. Friends at work who have done the tour explained how it worked to me.
ALPINE HORSE TREKKING - These are done during the day and you do not have to know how to ride, the horse riding lesson before you leave gives you enough skills to remain on the horse.
The ride up hills are exhilarating, the ride through the forest lit with rays of light filtering through the trees and the birds singing gave me such a senses of oneness with nature.
The breathtaking views of the lake that suddenly comes into view is indescribable.
This was our family's favorite, and when we visit again we will go riding and hopefully remember the camera this time.
TEKAPO SPRINGS - The hot springs is an activity the whole family can do, and you can have a soak no matter the weather. We were hoping for snow when we went, unfortunately it only rained, it snowed the next day when we were leaving.
We had a great time. There are three pools, the water in these pools differ in temperature from 36degress to 40 degrees.
All the pools have jet streams, which are lovely to lean against and rid oneself of those muscle knots.
The springs have a lovely restaurant and next to this is the skating ring.
You can also book full body and beauty treatments.
If you want a bit of excitement and it is the right time of the year (winter) you can treat yourself to a ride on the snow tube.
RESTAURANTS - There are many. From Hot rock steak ranch type to Japanese, the variety is amazing.
If you stay at the motel we stayed at they are all within walking distance. So no need to worry about having that extra glass of wine.
A Few More Pictures - All photos in this lens are taken by myself.Click thumbnail to view full-size
I found the Lake Tekapo Tavern lovely it is spacious and has ceiling to floor windows allowing you to take in the breathtaking views of the lake, safe from the elements. The tavern is a sports bar so if there is a rugby match on all T.V's are on the match.
18 hole Putt putt can be booked at the Lake Tekapo Tavern and is situated just in front. Great fun for the children as they have made the courses very interesting.
I am sure there are many more things to do at Lake Tekapo and I know you can go skiing quite close to the lake or travel to Mt Cock. I have described a few of the things we did and somethings we plan on doing next time.
I would give my weekend at Lake Tekapo 5 stars. A real piece of heven.
If anyone reads this and visits Lake Tekapo I would love to hear from you.
If you were on holiday at Lake Tekapo
What Activity would you Do First?
Some Books on New Zealand
I have selected a few books for you to help you plan your New Zealand holiday.
For directions I find Google Maps great.
I welcome any comments and as I mention earlier if you have or are going to visit Lake Tekapo I would love to hear all about it.