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Magical Lake Tekapo
The intriguing town of Lake Tekapo is well worth a visit during a bus trip to the South Island. Nestled high up in the Mackenzie country under the imposing backdrop of the Southern Alps this azure blue lake provides one of the most untouched landscapes in New Zealand. Known for having some of the clearest skies in the Southern hemisphere, stargazing and astronomy are popular. The astronomy observatory on the summit of Mount John offers both day and night tours of the observatory which provide an interesting insight into the Southern skies through telescopes and guided tours. Lake Tekapo attractions and activities include horse treks, cycling, fishing and the Tekapo Springs. Hire a bus from Christchurch to enjoy all that Lake Tekapo has to offer.
Tekapo Springs is a multi-level hot pool complex snuggled into a forested hillside overlooking Lake Tekapo and across to the Southern Alps. Visit in winter and the hot pools are surrounded by snow. There are three natural outdoor hot pools and a day spa in the complex which also has a year-round skating rink and tube park attached. In the centre of Tekapo, you will find the beautiful little stone Church of the Good Shepherd which overlooks Lake Tekapo through a panoramic window frame. Close by there is a bronze statue of the iconic sheepdog depicting the history of high country farming throughout the Mackenzie country.
Scenic flights depart from Tekapo across tussock covered hills, glacial lakes, snow capped mountains and massive glaciers. The popular ski resort of Mount Cook is just a 1 ½ hour bus drive away and the tourist mecca of Queenstown just over 3 hours drive away.
Fishing in the lake and river systems around Lake Tekapo with the main targets being rainbow and brown trout in the lakes and Salmon in the rivers. Fly fishing is especially popular due to the pristine water conditions and spectacular scenic backdrops, not to mention the size of the fish. Visit Lake Tekapo in summer to experience the stunning wild lupins in blossom.
If you long for a whale and dolphin experience then head for Kaikoura. It is rich and abundant is sea life.