Back to the travel blogging…
The Hubs and I arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand and immediately drove ourselves to Lake Tekapo, in the heart of the south island.
Lake Tekapo is mostly known for the turquoise colored lake as a result of the run-off from the surrounding glaciers. The lake is the largest and highest glacial lake in New Zealand, nestled in the foothills of Southern Alps.
We arrived at night and just in time for dinner. There isn’t much in the way of restaurants in Lake Tekapo so we headed to the cozy lodge-like restaurant, Pepe’s Pizza, where we had our first venison (deer) pizza. It was fantastic and the wait staff was so friendly. After the pizza, we piled on the layers for warmth and got ready for a star gazing tour at Mt. Cook Observatory. Lake Tekapo is one of the best places in the Southern hemisphere for star gazing as it is protected from the coastal weather fronts by the Southern Alps and therefore has the most number of clear days and nights a year. We saw several planets, including Saturn and three of its moons, Pluto (although, isn’t Pluto no longer a planet?) and various constellations.
The next day, we woke up early and decided to do a scenic flight over the Southern Alps, taking in Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman and glaciers such as Franz Josef and Fox. The last time we were in New Zealand, we did the heli-hike in which we were helicoptered to the top of the glacier and then applied our cramp-ons and hiked the glacier. This time, we opted for a private flight in a little Cessna. The weather was rolling in from the west so it was a bit bumpy. All I could think was death by glacier crash! Fear not, our pilot was super and kept climbing higher and higher to get us out of the turbulence. It wasn’t nearly as bad as our last New Zealand Cessna flight but something about flying over glaciers rather than land gives one no hope for survival in the event of a crash… at least this is how my mind works, ha!
Anyway, it was seriously beautiful from above. The glaciers, lakes, mountains and valleys were simply stunning, and of course, pictures don’t even begin to do it justice.
After we landed safe and sound back on solid ground, the Hubs and I decided to check out the lake and the Church of the Good Shepard. It’s the most photographed church in all of New Zealand.
A sushi lunch later and it was time to hit the road to Wanaka… that blog entry to come soon!