Posts Tagged With: lake tekapo

Photo of the Day: Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

This photo is of the very picturesque Lake Tekapo – which is located on the road from Christchurch to Queenstown. This was taken during our year living in New Zealand, in October 2012. As it is one of our favourite lakes we always stop by to take in the stunning views any time we are passing, so were lucky enough to also visit in May 2013 and August 2013 – both of which I blogged about so take a look if you are interested in seeing more photos. Back in 2006 on our very first trip to New Zealand Lake Tekapo was also the first lake we ever saw. And what a beautiful sight it is!

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All photographs are copyright of Nicola Barnard Photography.

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Categories: New Zealand, Photo Of The Day, South Island | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One last New Zealand road trip

Sunday 25th August – Tuesday 27th August: Queenstown to Mount Cook to Christchurch

So our final road trip in New Zealand was upon us. 600km, 48 hours – us and a free Toyota Camry!!

It has taken me a while to write my last post about our time in New Zealand – it is now well over a month since we took our final road trip. I think I partly feel that once I write this our amazing New Zealand adventure is over – that writing this closes that chapter on our life. However, I want to try and feel like the memories and legacy from this trip will live on in everything we do and in how we live our lives.

Our Camry

Our Camry

As my last post explained, we sadly left Queenstown on the Sunday morning, but what it didn’t mention is where we were headed next and how! During our time in Queenstown we always knew our next step was going to be that we flew to Christchurch before staying for a couple of days and flying out of there on the Tuesday. Now despite feeling like we should see Christchurch and spend time there, all we really wanted to do was spent time in our favourite place in New Zealand before flying out – Mount Cook. So we decided to make a change – we decided instead to cancel our flight (we had got an incredibly cheap deal via grabaseat and paid months ago so could afford to let this go) and hire a car instead and drive ourselves from Queesntown via Mount Cook to Christchurch airport.

We love Mount Cook

We love Mount Cook

Having spent a year in New Zealand we knew this was one of our favourite and most scenic drives, and also after three previous visits to Mount Cook that we couldn’t leave without saying one final goodbye. I gave Thrifty in Queenstown a call (who we had hired a couple of cars with previous and had been great) and discovered that could offer us a relocation (or a ‘relo’ as they put it!) for FREE! They needed a car taking from Queesntown to Christchurch airport within 48 hours and all we had to do was pay for petrol 🙂 The best bit was what car it was – a lovely amazing Toyota Camry! It was huge, and posh and completely wonderful! We never had so many comments on our journey about what a great car it was – and all for free! Thank you Thrifty.

So despite leaving Queenstown with a heavy heart back on that Sunday, we knew we still had one last road trip and one last adventure to come. Being in the Camry was a real dream, and John said it was so comfortable to drive it didn’t feel like he was really driving! It made all the difference on our two long journeys.

At Peter's Lookout

At Peter’s Lookout

We set off on the road to Mount Cook, passing through New Zealand’s beautiful scenery, passing the mountains we had come to know so well. We said goodbye to Lindis Pass as we passed, and hello to lovely Twizel. We made a stop here to visit one of our favourite places to eat in New Zealand – Shawtys – to eat their delicious pizza! After our lunch stop we headed for Mount Cook, taking that turn off up to the stunning scenic road that winds alongside the gorgeous Lake Pukaki. We stopped at one of our favourite lookouts – Peter’s lookout for some photos across the lake towards Mount Cook. We carried onward and soon Mount Cook was out in front of us, as we drove ever closer –  and soon arrived. We checked in to our favourite place to stay at Mount Cook – Aoraki Court Motel – where we were given a lovely view towards the mountains. We felt at home!

View from Hooker Valley bridge

View from Hooker Valley bridge

We headed out shortly after arriving to a really memorable spot for us at Mount Cook – the first Hooker Valley swing bridge. All of our visits to this area have included a walk here – particularly one with my parents when they visited back in December. There is something really special about the walk from the car park through the stunning scenery, to the viewpoint over Mueller lake and the walk down to the bridge below. It will always hold such lovely memories for us. The following morning we took a walk to Kea Point – where we were the only ones on the walk and had it all to ourselves. We reached the lookout and enjoyed the scenery and silence. We said goodbye and took one final visit to the visitor centre, before heading back to our Camry for the last part of our journey.

As we headed off leaving Mount Cook behind, I think back to October last year and our first visit to Mount Cook – venturing out for the first time on walks in the area (many in the rain!), and our amazing trip out on the Tasman lake with Glacier Explorers. And on to our two other visits since then (including one in our spaceship). So much has happened and we have come so far.

Beautiful Lake Tekapo

Beautiful Lake Tekapo

We made a final stop at Lake Tekapo and took a walk down by the lake to take in its beauty. Lake Tekapo will always hold a special place in our hearts as it was the first place in New Zealand we visited on our first trip here back in 2006. We drove from Christchurch airport late at night and woke up in the morning in a motel overlooking the lake to the most amazing view. I will never forget that feeling of amazement at seeing the shimmering beauty of Lake Tekapo and feeling a strong love for New Zealand after only one day! Now 7 years later we were at the end of an epic year here, and it felt like a fitting final place. We took our lovely Camry on his final leg to Christchurch airport, stayed overnight in a motel near the airport and flew out early Tuesday morning.

So our amazing New Zealand travel adventure had come to an end – this will be my last post about our time in New Zealand – and have one last post left about our stopover in Singapore, which will be my last about our year away.  New Zealand had given us so much – it really is hard to put into words. But as I said we will take our amazing experiences and memories with us on our journey through life, and especially take that amazing positive kiwi mentality! Goodbye New Zealand – we will be back.

Categories: Accommodation, Activities, New Zealand, Photographs, South Island | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Back on the road and a fantastic campsite!

At Lake Tekapo

At Lake Tekapo

Day 37 – Leaving Queenstown (via Lake Tekapo) and staying at Waihi gorge campsite

On the road

On the road

On Day 37 of our Spaceship adventure we sadly departed beautiful Queenstown (after making a quick stop in the town centre before we left). We were back on the road today with quite a few kilometres to cover – but were in good hands with Draco who was as reliable as ever. We were planning to arrive in Hanmer Springs tomorrow so had planned a stop off tonight at a DOC campsite near Geraldine called Waihi gorge. The drive up is quite a scenic one, and there had been snowfall on the mountains the night before so we saw lots of snow-capped mountains along the way.

Mount Cook lookout

Mount Cook lookout

We passed through Lindis pass which actually had snow at ground level. It had been cleared from the road which was lucky as we hadn’t been given snow chains! It looked really pretty in the snow. We took a stop at Twizel at a great place to eat called Shawtys – who do really delicious ham and pineapple pizza (my favourite!). They are always really busy too which is a good sign of a great place to eat. We have used trip advisor a fair bit to find good places to eat and so far we have found loads of good places this way. Next stop was a lookout with views towards Mount Cook.

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Even though the place of the sun at that time made photos a little difficult it still looked beautiful. We also stopped at one of our favourites – the ever-beautiful Lake Tekapo. They actually were experiencing a power-cut when we arrived so everywhere was shut! This waylaid our plans to pick up a coffee for John as it was a long drive! Crazy. We took some photos here though and enjoyed the sunsine. We stopped a bit further down the road at Fairlie for John to get a coffee and finished our journey on a gravel road up to the DOC campsite at Waihi gorge.

Waihi gorge DOC

Waihi gorge DOC

We loved camping here! It was a really peaceful and pretty campsite. We chose a great spot right down by the river with our own picnic table and not too far from the loos. We enjoyed a nice picnic here before settling down for the night to watch a dvd in our spaceship. It was also our first night camping in Draco since the swap. We actually found him more comfortable than Ron (sorry Ron!). This was mostly due to the fact that the bed was lower down in the back (he is a slightly newer model) and as such there is a little more headroom. So you can actually sit on the mattress and your head can fit as you sit upright.

Camping in Draco

Camping in Draco

We also found the shape of the bed was different and worked better and the slightly different configuration in the back worked better too (our water was in a different place so we had a bit more space). Of course we were still sleeping in a car so of course it was small! But the little things can make all the difference and we actually had quite a good night’s sleep. We did take one early morning trip to the loo in the dark and managed to step in quite a few sheep droppings on the way back! But it all adds to the adventure and it certainly was a memorable time there. We enjoyed a nice breakie by the river in the sun before getting back on the road and heading for Hanmer.

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Categories: Accommodation, Activities, New Zealand, Photographs, South Island, Spaceship | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beautiful Lake Tekapo

Friday 19th October: PM Lake Tekapo

We then drove to Lake Tekapo and checked in to the Lake Tekapo Scenic resort (where we stayed on our visit back in 2006) to enjoy our gorgeous view of the lake. Lake Tekapo is a really beautiful lake and such a lovely blue colour – it is probably my second favourite lake after Lake Pukaki – and definitely worth a visit (usually on route between Christchurch and Queenstown). We headed straight up to the Mount John Observatory (as the road up here closed at 5pm) and took in the stunning panoramic views of the lake. Heading back down we then ate pizza at the Lake Tekapo Tavern (quite a strange place, which burnt our pizza and ended up cooking another one and giving it to us for free!) and enjoyed a lovely walk along by the lake. We also took a longer walk to the Church of the Good Shepherd and enjoyed the views from there. We are driving to Christchurch tomorrow and will be really sad to leave South island but hesding to Auckland and then on Monday our Great Barrier Island adventure begins!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

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