A weekend getaway to Lake Tekapo


I have just spent a long weekend in Lake Tekapo – a wonderfully scenic destination that has to be one of my favourite places for a short break away. It’s a 2.5 hours’ drive from Christchurch to Tekapo, but in some respects it might has well be light years away. It’s so calm, peaceful and far away from broken buildings, roads with pot holes and the politics of rebuilding a broken city. I love Christchurch, but it can be a tiring place to be all of the time, so getting away to somewhere close but very different is a refreshing change. I was struck in particular by the quiet of this place. Christchurch (at least my part of it) is a cacophony of the neighbours dog barking until midnight, the relentless rumble of cars crossing the Ferrymead Bridge 24/7 and boy racers screaming down a road somewhere. The noise in particular from the bridge is so bad now, that I’ve invested in ear plugs.


This picturesque scene is so typically New Zealand – mountains and a blue lake with sheep in the foreground. I took the photo on the side of the road that takes you to Lake Alexandrina.


This is Lake Alexandrina – it’s not far from Lake Tekapo and is a very special spot and not very well known.


These two birds are Australasian Crested Grebes – they are quite rare in New Zealand but can be seen at Lake Alexandrina. They are a fascinating bird and I hope to go back and watch them more some day. They never leave the water, even building floating nests. Visitors to the lake are advised to keep 4 car lengths away from the birds – hence I took these photos with a big lens.


  • 4 years ago

    Fabulous phots, fabulous place! We spent a few days there in the summer – Dec 2012 – and loved the lake, the little town, and Lake Alexandrina. The grebes were there too. Lovely walk along the east side of Alexandrina. Did you get to the observatory on Mount John?

    • 4 years ago

      Hi Alison,

      Yes I got to the observatory – we went up there after are little trip to Lake Alexandrina. The views from the top of Mt John are just breath-taking. I would loved to have been up there a few weeks back when Tekapo was buried in snow, it would have been an incredible sight.

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