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View from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo.

We drove down from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo and the journey is one to remember throughout your life.The breathtakingly beautiful mountains of the southern Alps and the pristine blue water of the river meanders as far as those sore eyes can see.

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Lake Tekapo

Picturesque by day and dazzling by night, Lake Tekapo is part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing. The township faces north across the remarkable turquoise coloured lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps. Lake Tekapo gets its intense milky-turquoise colour from the fine rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in the water.

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We were welcomed by a rainbow at Lake Tekapo on our first day.
PLACE OF ACCOMODATION-MANTRA

This  accommodation has been designed to settle peacefully into its natural alpine setting, with cleverly landscaped exterior and an interior that gives you that home-away-from-home feeling.Now I would like to mention that since our earth and sky tour got canceled, it is from this place where we saw the clear sky full of stars and constelattions.So it does help , staying in a good accommodation with a god view of the surrounding mountains and nature because Lake Tekapo is one place where the weather is very unpredictable.Be prepared for your tours to get canceled and spot the stars on your own.

MUST SEE PLACES

CHURCH OF  THE GOOD SHEPHARD

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Good Shephard’s Church.

On the shores on the lake is the beautiful Church of the Good Shepherd, where the altar window frames a perfect view of the Southern Alps beyond the lake.This church is apparently the most photographed church and people die to wed at this church.So if u want to get married at this church be prepared to wait for years, yes that’s how long you have to wait for!Words are not enough to describe this place and pictures don’t do justice.Its so surreal and a moment out of a story book , just standing at the church and looking out the altar window and just then you realise that dreams do come true.

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View from the altar window inside the church.

STARGAZING AT THE EARTH AND SKY TOUR-MT.JOHN OBSERVATORY TOUR

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MT. JOHN Observatory during the day.

The earth and sky organisation have a lot of tours and you can select the one best suited as per your interests.However we selected the Mt. John observatory tour and much to our dismal our tour got canceled for both the days we were at lake Tekapo due to terrible weather conditions.The weather at Lake tekapo is very unpredictable , you really have to be very lucky to find clear weather.People travel to this place like a zillion times to try their luck and spot the stars and milky way and a clear sky.But whoever has been on these tour has described their experiences as one of a lifetime.It something like you have never seen before and a must try or a bucket list thing to do.

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Good Shephard’s church at night with clear weather and clear skies !

Since our tour got canceled and we were very disappointed , we started checking the weather and it showed clear skies around 2 a.m in the night.We set the alarm for 2 a.m. in the morning and much to our excitement what we saw at 2 in the morning was nothing less that magic.Cloudy skies had given way to clear sky full of stars and constellations and milky ways.This is when we decided to drive down to the Good Shephard’s Church and discover the nocturnal world of an astronomer through a naked eye.I felt like I was in heaven.If u keep staring at the sky for sometime you will definitely see a shooting star or two.Words are not enough to describe the feeling.I hope my pictures do justice.These pictures have been taken by a chinese tourist who was kind enough to help us capture this dream come true moment as we were not able to capture the stars with or without flash.Belive me  you need to be a professional to capture these stars.It is not easy.We struggled for about half an hour but everything was worth it.With this our trip was successful and by far the most beautiful place I have ever been to.

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In this picture the cluster os stars that you can see is the milky way and we could spot two of them.

MACKENZIE BASIN

This is on the way to Astro cafe or the Mt.john observatory.It is a perfect backdrop for pictures and probably a photographers dream location.Every season provides a different view of the awe-inspiring scenery and I am sure it is breathtaking whether in summer or winter.The Basin is 700 metres above sea level and reaches 100 km north to south and 40 km east to west. It’s landscape is a stark brown in the summer and green during other times of the year with a sprinkling of snow during winter.

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A very enthusiastic couple on their pre- wedding photoshoot!
MUST TRY RESTAURANTS

ASTRO CAFE

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Their coffee is amazing.You can easily have two cups , especially if the weather is a bit cold.

 

This is by far my favourite cafe in the whole world or wherever I have traveled so far.The food here is fresh,organic and super healthy.You just cannot get enough of just one helping, you will crave more and more and Astro Cafe probably has the best view to offer,360-degree views across the entire Mackenzie Basin – quite possibly one of the planet’s best locations for a cafe. Tuck into bagels with local salmon, or fresh sandwiches; the coffee and cake are good, too.We went here twice for breakfast, just couldn’t resist going the second time on our way Mount Cook and the 2nd time we did get sunny weather, perfect for pictures.

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Carrot cake with cream cheese!yum!

 

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The view from inside Astro cafe.On a cold , windy day its hard to find a place to sit here.
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To have breakfast or a meal by this view is just unreal.The view from outside Astro cafe.

Lake Tekapo was an experience I will never forget in my life and I wish to visit again , where I can probably take the tour the next time.Be lucky enough to get good weather and watch the stars under the telescopic eye.It is a different world all together, very magical.

Our next stop was Mount Cook!