Helen and Randall on the road

A bit about our adventures 2011-2012

Sunday 30th Oct – Tuesday 1st Nov: Lake Tekapo

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Lovely Lake Tekapo. Well, really, lovely Peppers Bluewater Resort with the fantastic bathroom and the enormous comfortable bed where we spent a significant part of the 3 days, aside from when we were in the Restaurant, eating.

Lake Tekapo itself is rather lovely and deserves a mention though. It’s in a huge basin surrounded by snow-capped mountains, but with one 1300m mountain next to it, Mt John. As there isn’t much around and the tall mountain ranges keep out light pollution and a lot of the weather, the night sky is the clearest and most extensive in NZ (possibly in the southern hemisphere), so a  number of universities collaborate on the Mt John Observatory.

We hiked up to the Observatory but (typically) it was cloudy so we forswore the guided tour in favour of coffee and cake in the tiny but spectacular Astro Cafe instead:

As it turned out we missed the first turning for the hike up to the observatory and ended up doing the 3 hour round trip ‘scenic route’ that followed the lakeside then climbed steeply round the back of Mt John to reach the observatory, although it did mean we got a round trip instead of re-tracing our steps, so Randall (birthday boy) was happy.

The beautiful blue colour of the lake is a result of the Tyndall Effect on the lake which is essentially a suspension of ‘rock flour’,  very finely ground rock, ground from the sides of the mountains by the glacier at the source of the lake.

We skipped the ‘Alpine Hot Pools’ after I discovered they were chlorinated (Randall allergic) so instead revelled in our fantastic wet-room shower then brought forward our dinner booking, stuffed our faces with yummy food and fizzy wine, then stumbled back to our huge bed.


Written by helenbcn

November 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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