There is no denying the fact that New Zealand is one of the most stunning destinations in the world. There are very few places with the rugged beauty that New Zealand (aka Middle Earth) possesses.
As I mentioned before, I was in New Zealand this past Christmas and spent a significant number of those days under the stars at Lake Tekapo. We drove into Tekapo from Christchurch right after we landed and while the first half of the drive is forgettable, the second half of it was absolutely gorgeous.
Just as you turn West toward the lake and the Southern Alps, you are greeted by the Burkes Pass:
After crossing the pass, you come upon beautiful plains adorned with the mountains of New Zealand in the distance with sheep everywhere:
The roads in these areas are iconic in the sense that you can get pictures of them as they wind their way through the eternally uninhabited plains.
Sitting on the shores of Lake Tekapo is one of New Zealand’s oldest churches: Church of the Good Shepherd. The church and the lake it sits on are in the midst of one of the world’s dark sky reserves (there are only 4 in the world). I mentioned earlier that I thought this was my favorite picture of last year:
The color of the lake is a beautiful cerulean owing to its glacial origins and the rocks make for a perfect spot to capture a selfie of yourself:
One day I came upon this lone flower in the midst of the lake and for some reason I think this might be one of my favorite pictures from the area. So there are plenty of small treasures to photograph in the area and there were not many tourists in the area for the most part. I think the most people I saw was around sunset when a Chinese tour group dropped by for a few moments.
You can’t really see the sun go down over the lake due to the mountains, but the clouds which roll through the area provide for some great colors. In case you are wondering, the clouds usually break around midnight during the summer, when the Milky Way is visible above the area. If you head over to the Mount John Observatory (which is open during most summer nights), you can also use one of their telescopes to gaze on up into the ‘beyond.’ I believe they run star tours and star gazing parties over there too. I didn’t get a chance to do so because I had a star gazing party of my own next to the Church.
If you are in New Zealand make sure you spend some time in the Lake Tekapo area. You won’t be disappointed!
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United Club SFO Concourse F Rotunda
United Global First Lounge – SFO (Now Replaced with the Polaris Lounge)
United NEW Polaris SFO-AKL (777-300ER)
Air New Zealand Economy AKL-CHC
AirBnB Review: Lake Tekapo
Focal Point: Tekapo
Focal Point: Mt Cook National Park
Te Waonui Forest Retreat: Franz Josef Glacier
Focal Point: Lake Matheson
Focal Point: Korowai-Torlesse Tussocklands Park
Crowne Plaza Christchurch
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Focal Point: The Twelve Apostles
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Singapore Airlines Private Room @ Changi
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Singapore Airlines Economy Class Singapore – Hyderabad
Westin Hyderabad Mindspace
Focal Point: Hyderabad – Old City
Plaza Premium Lounge Hyderabad
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Etihad Business Class Lounge Abu Dhabi (US Departures)