Thursday, September 15, 2016

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand travel diary - The Church of Good Shepherd

A few years ago, me and hubby went to the South Islands in New Zealand for a week or so after attending a friend's wedding. It was a really relaxing road trip to travel along cities of Queenstown, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch and Akaroa. During this trip, we remembered this particular place at Lake Tekapo where the Church of Good Shepherd was. It was such a beautiful place where we almost felt like we were in another realm, or even somewhere that doesn't belong to Earth. So today I wanted to share this amazing place with all of you, and hope more people will visit this heavenly spot in the future ^^


Here's a view of the glaciers when we first arrived, and we almost couldn't believe the surreal turquoise colour of the lake at first glance.



Oh here's me enjoying that amazing view and soaking up in the gentle sunlight. Just look at the colour of the water!!

So why is the water at Lake Tekapo in this colour??

"The majority of water flowing into the headwaters of Lake Tekapo comes from large river systems that extend right back into the valleys of the Southern Alps. Feeding these rivers are large glaciers. Glaciers are slow moving rivers of ice.
Glaciers start as fallen snow high on the mountain plateaus of the Alps. As more and more snow falls, the weight of the new snow compresses the older layers until it becomes a thick, heavy layer of ice.
Gravity draws the ice from where it formed and down the slopes of the mountains.
Just like water, the ice collects in valleys and pushes its way down the valley, ripping loose rock from the valley walls and trapping it in the moving ice.
Any rock trapped against the sides of the ice flow is ground, with huge force, along the solid rock of the valley floor and walls. Such is the force, the grinding action of rock against rock results in a powder as fine as flour. It is often referred to as glacial flour.
The fine flour is carried with the ice down the valley until the warmth of the lower altitude reduces the ice to water.
In the case of Lake Tekapo, the glacial flour continues its journey in the river waters of the Godley, Cass and Macaulay rivers until it flows into the lake where the majority remains suspended within the water. This results in the turquoise colour."


Extract from http://www.tekapotourism.com/info/index.html

To be honest, we almost thought the colour was artificial at first!! I guess we just couldn't believe there was such a beautiful place existed on Earth, it was seriously more like a dream to me.


We went there around November so it was still Spring, and we were lucky to see the lavender field.


There it was, the Church of Good Shepherd standing at the distance. I think we snapped quite a few photos around this spot, as it was just so easy to get a postcard-like photo and the scenery looked perfect from every angle.


The Church of Good Shepherd is open from 9 am to 5 pm from October to April, and 10 am to 4 pm from May to September. Apparently you can also have your wedding here (http://www.tekapotourism.com/weddings.html), or...you could even consider a proposal around here too since the atmosphere is so romantic.



The Church of Good Shepherd looked amazing no matter what time of the day, but I think our favourite time was probably around sunset. When the golden light washes over the lavender field and the Church itself, it created a magical mood.


Another must-do activity at the Church of Good Shepherd is definitely stargazing! Did you know this area is considered as one of the best stargazing spot in the Southern Hemisphere? Or even on Earth? Since 1980s, lighting control has started to minimize light pollution and thus maintained this clear night sky.

Here's a photo we took at about 1 am at the Church of Good Shepherd, and it was absolutely worth the wait. You will be stunned by the amount of stars you can see from this area, and I guarantee that you will be strongly mesmerized by this sight.

This trip has really made us fell in love with New Zealand. It was so pure, so natural and the air we breath has never been so fresh. I do highly recommend people to visit the South Islands in New Zealand at least once in a lifetime, where you can totally immerse yourself in nature. And if you do, hope you will stop over at this beautiful spot called Lake Tekapo, where it will remain in your memory forever.


Map:



Address: Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand

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