Tekapo

Day 19….Road out from White Horse Hill car park. Behind us in the wing mirrors Aroaki/Mount Cook was receding, alongside we followed the perfectly flat valley, carved out by glaciers over millions of years, stretching approx 17 km all the way to Lake Pukaki.

Tekapo….A different season visiting here Lake Tekapo greeted us with swathes of colour on its shoreline. Pinks, blues, yellows and purples of colonising Lupins amongst them pockets of bright orange California poppies shone against the backdrop of the vivid blue lake and backdrop of mountains behind.

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Tekapo seemed to be going through a redevelopment programme, building sites were everywhere. We headed over to the busy, inside and outside toilet block – a tourist attraction in its own right on account of its fully automation status and Star Trek voice…

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Door open, Welcome to exoloo, Door Closed – spooky felt like a space capsule inside, then….your maximum use time is 10 minutes! Scary if you are ill….Toilet will flush while washing hands or door opening….it did!

Church of the good Shepherd. We climbed Mount John last time here and missed this. Taking a break from mountains for a day…from our town car park it was a short two mile return walk to the church alongside the lake. Busy place!

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More Lupins

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The small church surely must be in one of the most picturesque settings, situated solitary, its alter overlooking Lake Tekapo and beyond the snow capped mountains.

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There were so many people already here, coach loads in fact, making it difficult to get a perfect shot but a patient wait and a rare people free glimpse through the doorway – photography is not permitted inside – my man behind the lens got his perfect shot!

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Tekapo Peninsula loop Track 3.49 miles 1.5 hour return. This walk is certainly off the tourist grid. We hardly saw a soul during this beautiful head swivelling walk over open grasslands. Clear uninterrupted views over Lake Tekapo and towards Mount John.

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The whole route is clearly marked by red topped poles and just follows a worn path over gently rolling hills.

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Sheep and more surprisingly lambs covered the whole area – some tracks we were hoping to walk in the South Island had been closed for lambing.

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Walking past a shady clump of trees a little away from the track two ewes, one with a small lamb and one unexpectedly just at that moment gave birth. So quick we almost missed it, all looked well and the very long legged lamb, back legs first then front wobbled to standing promptly finding mum for its first feed!

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This was a track different from any we had walked so far, the openness was a change from mainly enclosed forests we had come from.

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Pattersons Pond Freedom Camp….fifteen minute drive on gravel road crossing over the Tekapo Canal by bridge to find our beautiful spot beside the Tekapo River.

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A chance for Long-suffering to get the drone airborne. He was in good company as it turns out, another drone was up already from a fellow freedom camper way over yonder!

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Our first warmish evening, we ate supper outside…

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