NZ 2012 – Day 1 – Christchurch to Tekapo

I’m sorry I left you too soon. You are so beautiful and marvellous. I’ve posted countless photos of you and they say you look simply irresistible. They say you’re impossible to be that beautiful in nature’s way. I defended you deeply, for I’ve seen you with my own eyes, and therefore, you’re real for sure. Oh, my NZ~!

What were you thinking???? 😀


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Day 1
Christchurch to Lake Tekapo

Google Map: Christchurch to Tekapo


First day in NZ was pretty fuss-free. It was a cloudy day but the temperature was just nice. After getting our supplies, we took to the road and began driving towards south. Needless to say, the drive was amazing, we were rewarded with fantastic view of the plains. As we rolled further away from the city, we could see more sheep and cows feeding on the grasslands.

It didn’t take long before we made our first unscheduled pitstop, at Rakaia. I guess we were attracted by a giant salmon replica standing proudly by the main road. Rakaia is actually the salmon capital of New Zealand. There is a cafe right opposite the replica, but we had to move on as we have spent a lot of time in Christchurch earlier.

All yer salmon belong to me!

After about 20 minutes stop, we continued to drive towards Geraldine, another town. We stopped by for a quick break. It is a nice, quaint town with very little traffic and just two rows of shops.

Lovely town of Geraldine

We did not stop at Fairlie, however, as we wanted to be sure we reach Tekapo before the sun sets. And as we inched nearer, the landscape turned from plains to rolling hills. It was a sight to behold, and we just had to stop to etch these stunning landscapes into our cameras.

Somewhere in NZ
Look ma! No car! Isn’t that awesome?

Lake Tekapo Scientific Reserve Area
The surreal landscape of NZ

Finally, at about 6 in the evening, we finally arrived at Tekapo and after checking in to YHA Lake Tekapo, we headed straight to the lake which is just within walking distance from the hostel.

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo is the second-largest of three roughly parallel lakes running north–south along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin in the South Island of New Zealand (the others are Lake Pukaki and Lake Ohau). It covers an area of 83 square kilometres (32 sq mi), and is at an altitude of 700 metres (2,300 ft) above sea level.

The sun showed up for a while (sun sets about 8pm) before disappeared into the thick clouds. We spent quite some time by the lake trying to soak up the NZ atmosphere before making our way to the Church of the Good Shepherd, located about 2-3 minutes drive from our hostel.

The small but beautiful church that sits by the lake offers an unobstructed panorama view of Lake Tekapo, and immediately becomes a hit for tourists like me.

Church of Good Shepherd

It was buzzing with visitors, so we detoured and walked up a bit to the lonesome bronze statue of the NZ Collie sheepdog. It is nothing near the Hachiko story but at least the statue was a nice addition.

Friday, the Collie Dog

We returned to the church as it was getting late. After getting the routine done, we duly returned to hostel and prepared dinner for the night.

YHA Tekapo
Lounge area at YHA Tekapo. Seriously awesome view.

YHA Lake Tekapo
Communal kitchen and dining area

Any lingering hope of stargazing before calling it a day was quickly diminished as the clouds were just too much and it was darn windy too.


View posts by chleong
A travel addict and food junkie. When he is not traveling, he loves penning his thoughts on his latest adventures, whether food, places or anything that fascinates him. His travelogues often include intriguing photos that capture the moments as he believes a photo speaks thousand words.


  1. […] Day 1 – Christchurch to Tekapo Day 2 – Tekapo to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park Day 3 – Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park to Dunedin Day 4 – Dunedin Day 5 – Dunedin to Te Anau Day 6 – Te Anau to Milford Sound to Queenstown Day 7 – Queenstown Day 8 – Queenstown to Wanaka Day 9 – Wanaka to Franz Josef Day 10 – Franz Josef to Greymouth Day 11 – Greymouth to Hanmer Springs Day 12 – Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura to Christchurch Day 13 – Christchurch – KL […]

  2. peichenApr 4, 12

    All the scenery photos are amazing! Day 2 when?

  3. chleongApr 4, 12

    Soon! 😀

  4. peichenMar 7, 13

    cant believe i going there soon… hehe…

  5. […] Part 1 – Journey from Christchurch to Tekapo. [Day 1 Story] […]


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