Lake Tekapo, a New Zealand’s gem.
Just as for Mount Cook, I had the chance to visit Tekapo twice during our road-trips with Dimitri and Baptiste. That would be a shame If we didn’t take the time to enjoy as much as possible the charms of this small 400 inhabitant town.
Lake Tekapo and the « Church of the Good Shepherd »
The Church of the Good Shepherd is a picturesque church, made of oak and stones, which was build in 1935 on the verge of the lake. Now it’s a famous wedding celebrations place as this little church found her place in a fabulous panorama in front of the Lake Tekapo, one of the New Zealand most glorious icon.
This is not by chance that Lake Tekapo is one of the most famous in the country. The lake, with its beautiful turquoise water, is surrounded by a great numbers of purple and rose flowers bending at the mercy of the wind. All these colours are a real delight for the eyes. Far away, the snow-capped mountains made this landscape just perfect! Once more, I am admiring an incredible view. New Zealand is always surprising me! Unfortunately, when we came back a month later, at the end of December, the sparkling colours turned into pastel tones. Among the hundreds of flowers we saw that just a few of them were still there.
Unfortunately it is really difficult to be able to look at this landscape quietly. It is the price for fame: the flow of tourists is never ending, all day long. They invade the place, in a more or less respectfully way. So to enjoy this beautiful landscape you have to come in very early in the morning or very late in the evening when all the touristic buses went back to the hostels. You can also return during the night to observe and photograph the starry sky. Indeed, lake Tekapo is a really good place to photograph the stars as there is no light pollution.
Mount John and its observatory
During our first visit at Tekapo, the boys decided to climb Mount John in order to admire the panorama of the lake and the mountains from the 1029 metres high summit. To reach it by walking you will need between an hour and an hour and a half from the beginning of the “Mt John Summit Circuit Track » which starts just near the « Tekapo Springs » leisure activities center. According to Dimitri and Franck this walk path climbs a lot which makes it impossible for me to do it with my wheelchair despite the pathway being well-maintained.
Never mind! Back in Tekapo with Baptiste we decided to reach the summit by the road. When we arrived at the beginning of the road we were surprised to discover that we have to pay $8 per car to access it. We paid and we really didn’t regret it. The panoramic view is magnificent. From up there we have a perfect look at the lake and at the snow-capped mountains. The Lake Tekapo’s turquoise colour seems even more intense from there.
The accessibility is very good. There is a mobility parking as closely as possible to the observatory and to the restaurant which are at the Mount John’s summit. This way it is possible to avoid the steep walk that you have to do between the main car park and the summit. The ground is made out of concrete in order to make the access at the view point and at the restaurant easier. The cafe staff is attentive. While if the restaurant deck is completely accessible, you will have to go over a sill to go inside.
Relaxing moment at Tekapo Springs
What better way to end this beautiful day than to relax in some hot pools? Let’s go to the leisure activities center « Tekapo springs »! This resort, built in front of the lake, offers different activities: hot pools, spas, playground slide during the summer and skating rink during the winter. There is also a food hall but we will just go to the hot pools. Unlike the natural ones in Taupo, here the pools are filled with cold spring water from the mountains which is then heated. Of course, the atmosphere is less magical than in Taupo but it does good to chill out in a very hot water before set off again for new adventures. In total, there are five pools: one for children, one in a usual temperature and three hot pools ranging from 28 to 39 celsius degrees.
The accessibility was perfectly thought. Two pools are equipped with slopes: the usual temperature one and one of three hot pools. A wheelchair is available on demand and the staff is understanding. The sanitary facilities, showers and toilets, are wheelchair accessible. Regarding the parking everything is fine as there is a mobility parking just near the entrance.
You want to travel all around New Zealand? Find many ideas of awesome destinations in north island and south island in my other articles as well as wheelchair accessibility tips.
Did you like this post? Feel free to check out my Patreon page to see how you can support the creation of new ones and be a part of iwheeltravel!
And of course, you can share, like and subscribe, to be aware of the lastest posts.