The drive from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo was a long one, filled with meadows, farms and long stretches of mountains and rivers in the distance. As lovely and calming as the outside of the bus was, the inside was getting real. There’s nothing quite like a game of ‘Bullshit’ to build and then destroy friendships, so as always I was glad I bought a deck of cards on the trip. It not only helped the South Island Friends (Oh friend!) get to know each other, it also taught us very quickly that none of us were to be trusted.
After a few more infuriating games that we won’t talk about, it wasn’t long before we arrived in Lake Tekapo just as dusk was descending on the area. Lake Tekapo itself is famous for its almost supernatural blue colour when in sunlight, but unfortunately we arrived just a tad too late to see the lake in its full glory. What we did get however, were a sunset and a sunrise unlike any I’d ever seen in my life.
Across the horizon from Lake Tekapo is a curve of mountains in the distance with forest-covered hills and a crisp, clear lake completely still and untouched. This was obviously a perfect spot for selfies, countless pictures and general long-distance introspection as the sun bounced off the lake and gave us the moments we’d been dreaming of since we stepped off the plane in Christchurch.
After an evening having a dinner way above the usual standard for backpackers (nothing like eating a steak on a hot stone), we headed back to the hostel to continue the bonding sesh by binge-watching IT Crowd as the English introduced the Aussies and the Canadian to one of the best British comedies ever made. It was an early night, because the next morning we all agreed to wake up for sunrise, except Miles who braved the cold at stupid o’clock to go fishing. Fair play, mate, fair play.
The sunrise was unlike any other I’ve experienced in my entire life. What struck me most is how the colour of the sky and the water changed so quickly, within minutes the colours shifted so fast that you could almost track it with your own eyes.
It was an absolutely spectacular view. The combination of the colours, the mountains, the clouds and the way the light hit all of it was a photographer’s dream. We took so many pictures because we didn’t want to miss a single shift in colour or forget a single moment of that morning. I will always remember this spot and it’s become one of my favourite places on the planet.
When the sun had risen, the lake was no less beautiful. We didn’t quite get the alien blue that we had been promised, but considering this was one of the few days we had cloud cover, we can’t complain too much. In parts, you could see just how clear and blue the lake could be in the areas where the sun sat directly on the water, and it just gives me an excuse to come back here on a clearer day…as if I needed another excuse.
Some of the other tour goers were even brave enough to step into the freezing cold water, but having dipped my hands in, I can tell you that there was no way in hell I was taking a dip in that ice pit. Despite my cowardice on that front, the next stop on the tour was all about facing fears and braving the adrenaline-junkie activities that litter a little place called Queenstown. Before that though, we journeyed to Milford Sound, a ghostly and awe-inspiring part of Fjordland National Park on the west coast of New Zealand.
I will be back tomorrow with more unbelievable pictures (if I do say so myself) and all of the fantastic little spots we stopped off at on the way to Milford Sound and Queenstown.
Thank you for reading!
Goodbye and leave in haste at night