We left Christchurch and headed to the middle of the South Island. This part of our trip to New Zealand was the most challenging to plan and I was not really looking forward to it. I'm so glad I was wrong though-it was the best few days!
We rented a car in Christchurch and started driving west. Brennan did excellent driving on the left side of the road while sitting on the right side of the car! We enjoyed mountains around us and the 3 hour drive was relatively uneventful.
We arrived in Lake Tekapo and checked into our Airbnb. This town is a jumping off point for Mt. Cook National Park, as well as a dark sky area, so it's a very popular place to rent an Airbnb. Brennan went for a run, then we headed down to the springs. We had this view of the lake on our way back to the Airbnb to change before dinner around 7:00PM.
We were up early the next morning to start the drive into Mount Cook National Park. It took a little over an hour to drive there from where we were staying and we passed this lavender farm on the way! We stopped and enjoyed the smell and beautiful view before continuing on toward the mountains.
We had to take some pictures-it was amazing to have mountains surrounding us in three directions!
We parked and started out on the trail. We chose to do the Hooker Valley Trail, which is rated as one of the most popular hikes in New Zealand. It's 5km out to a lake, then you hike back the way you came in to get back. We had small windows of the peak of Mt. Cook through the clouds, but the scenery around us was beautiful too.
Along the trail, there are several suspension bridges to cross. These were wobbly and shook as more people crossed them, so I had to not think about it too much as I crossed over. They had amazing views!
We made it to the lake! This lake had floating icebergs in it and lots of people around enjoying the scenery. I even saw one person jump in, although I don't know how he did it. The water was really cold!
We walked down to the rocky beach and climbed onto this huge boulder, just as the sun was coming out more. These are some of my favorite photos we've taken on our trip this far!
Look! Real icebergs!!
We walked back up to the trail and started our hike back to the car. Walking the same path isn't usually as exciting the second time, but because the sun was now out, it felt like everything was more vibrant. Plus, many of the clouds went away, so we were able to have even better views!
Our drive back to Lake Tekapo was more beautiful, since the sun was out. We got back to town, changed into our swim suits, and headed for the springs. This area was made up of multiple man made pools fed with spring water that is heated to different temperatures. They also had a sauna and cold plunge pool. We spent a few hours. here before returning to our Airbnb.
Lake Tekapo is in an area known as a dark sky park. This means there is not much light pollution and you are able to see the stars more clearly. We weren't sure if it would be possible, because of the clouds earlier in the day, but we were able to see the stars that night! I am really impressed that my phone was able to capture this photo. It was amazing to be able to see the Milky Way and so many stars, on the same road as our Airbnb!
On our way out of town the next morning, we stopped at this small church and walked down to the beach. It was a great way to end our time in this small town with incredible beauty!
We're Brennan & Megan
Since June 2022, we have been traveling to learn more about ourselves and the world around us.