NZ #4: Lake Tekapo [Jan 4th]

This was one of the most lovely views I got in New Zealand. Lake Tekapo is 700 metres above sea level and covers 83 square kilometres, so it is really impressive with the mountain view behind the lake. Like a giant’s bathing place!

Lake Tekapo with Mountain View
Lake Tekapo with Mountain View

Be sure to wear sunscreen when visiting one of the lakes, the water reflects so much of the UV rays that you almost immediately can get a sunburn. I forgot to reapply on my feet, so the pattern from my walking sandals stayed with me for almost half a year. Not so nice!

Me at Lake Tekapo
Me at Lake Tekapo
Chapel at Lake Tekapo
Chapel at Lake Tekapo

There is a chapel at Lake Tekapo, the Church of the Good Shepherd, where many couples get married. When you got to see the mountain view right behind the altar … you know why:

View through Chapel's Window
View through Chapel’s Window

From the astronomical observatory at Mount John hilltop you have a great view upon Lake Alexandrina which has dark blue water.

Lake Alexandrina, the dark blue Lake
Lake Alexandrina, the dark blue Lake

Looking from the other hilltop side you see Lake Tekapo with its stunnig turquoise blue water.

Lake Tekapo, the turquoise blue Lake
Lake Tekapo, the turquoise blue Lake

When you take the gravel road north, you get closer and closer to the Southern Alps. I promise you, when you are there, you will feel a little bit like in one of the Lord of the Rings movies, only better because you can explore everything all by yourself.

Mount Cook View
Mount Cook View

What we indeed got to see much of that day was the gravel road. 20 kilometres to the mountain view, 20 kilometres back, … the lupins cheer you up. Also you get to see so many birds, that’s amazing!

Endless Gravel Road
Endless Gravel Road

If you ever gonna be in New Zealand, make sure to have enough time to spend at Lake Tekapo. Grab some picnic stuff and make yourself comfortable at the shore. Rest, get some peace of mind.

NZ #3: Mt. Somers and Sharplin Falls [Jan 3rd]

On my way from Christchurch to Geraldine I gazed at the mountain view at the horizon. The snowcapped mountains seemed so near, and yet it was hot summer. Hot south summer, as at home there was heavy snowfall. I was completely deranged yet enjoying the weather.

Simultaneously to the jetlag I got a really bad cold. The air conditioning in the airplanes and airports in combination with a coughing husband was not good for me, so I was physically at the end, completely exhausted. Therefore I only did a short mountain walk at Mt. Somers. Everywhere in NZ there are creeks, I haven’t seen so many creeks in my whole life!

Creek at Mount Somers
Creek at Mount Somers

The walking track followed the creek to a double waterfall:

Sharplin Falls at Mount Somers: Part one
Sharplin Falls at Mount Somers: Part one
Sharplin Falls at Mount Somers: Part two
Sharplin Falls at Mount Somers: Part two

The water in NZ is very clear, one can swim nearly everywhere – if you don’t mind the temperature. So take your swimsuit with you in your daypack. And don’t forget the sunscreen, the UV level is extreme in NZ. I put on SPF 30 every single day.