Lake Tekapo is a tiny town located on the shores of a turquoise glacier lake very near to the highest mountain in New Zealand - Aoraki Mt Cook (3754m). An exquisitely natural area, Lake Tekapo experiences a crisp and clear atmosphere resulting in very cold winters. Despite this, the area receives 200 more hours of sunshine a year than the New Zealand average.

It is one of the best places in New Zealand to star gaze due to the clear skies, and offers amazing photo opportunities in all directions. There are a few restaurants and bars in the town but don’t expect to be out dancing until the early hours! With a population of only 303 according to the 2001 census, Tekapo is a place to kick back, chill out, and enjoy the scenery. There are a few nearby attractions to check out while you are in the area, so read below to find out more.

Mt John Observatory

Located just outside Tekapo township, Mt John Observatory is internationally recognised as one of the best places in the world to stargaze the southern hemisphere's night sky. The area is devoid of light pollution and has a large number of clear nights each year. The University of Canterbury has its astronomical telescopes located at Mt John, and the observatory runs both day and night time tours.

Tekapo Hot Springs

The Hot Springs at Tekapo overlook Lake Tekapo as well as the Two Thumb mountain range, which makes it the perfect place to unwind after a day on the snow. With three pools ranging from 36 to 40 degrees Celsius, the warm waters will soothe your aching muscles and revitalise you so that you are ready for your next day on snow! There is also an ice-skating rink, and tubing for the kids, if you are traveling with your family.

Church of the Good Shepard

If you have ever seen any photos of Tekapo in the past, chances are, they will contain the Church of the Good Shepard. The church was built in 1935 and was the first church built in the MacKenzie Basin. A tiny stone church, it may well just be the most picturesque church in the country, if not further afield. Wander inside and you will see the lakes and mountains framed by it's beautiful alter window.

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