Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo in the Mackenzie Country was once a sleepy, poor cousin to the southern lakes region. It had a couple of shops that specialised in selling souvenirs to tourist bus passengers.

Its main claim to fame was the stunning turquoise blue that it often (but not always) displays, reflecting the suspension of post-glaciation mineral particles in the water. The colour is still a feature today, and it is a much nicer place to stop for a break.

The lakefront is more accessible – the Church of the Good Shepherd is a favourite stopping point – and it has benefitted from being the first Dark Sky Reserve in the world. It is also one of the start point options for the Alps 2 Ocean 6-day cycle trail, which goes all the way to Ōamaru on the east coast.

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