Beautiful mountains

Trip Start Aug 24, 2008
Trip End Jul 07, 2009

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Sunday, June 7, 2009

From Wanaka we drove for 2 hours to Lake Tekapo, which took 2 hours, passing through snow-covered mountains and a town called Twizel. We made a brief stop on the way at Lake Pukaki, which had pastel-blue coloured water. We could see across the lake to the summit of Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. It was beautiful. We continued on, stopping for photos of the blue lake, and finding a dead bird in our bonnet which we still haven't removed (lovely). Eventually we reached Lake Tekapo, a tiny town consisting of a few motels and an information centre. We headed straight for the Church of the Good Shepherd, a tiny church with a huge glass window behind the altar, giving fabulous views across the lake to the mountains. We went for a walk around the church, soaking in the scenery, and then had lunch on a rock by the water. We walked along the lake front to a statue of a collie, to say thank you to the dogs for their help in making the land arable. We skimmed some stones in the lake and then went further round the side to get a good view of the church with the lake and the mountains behind it

Next we took a car up Mount John, 9km to the west of Lake Tekapo. You can actually drive to the summit of Mt John, so we climbed the winding roads that David loves so much to the observatory at the top. The views on the way were spectacular. We could see for miles. The mountain had blue Lake Tekapo on one side and acres of grassland on the other, the whole lot encircled by a chain of snow-covered mountains. There wasn't a building in sight. It was an amazing view, so we took some time to appreciate it before warming ourselves in the cafe with a drink. The area is primarily used as an observatory so there were a few huge telescopes on the top of the mountain. We looked through a small one in the cafe; it was so powerful that I could see tracks in the snow on the distant mountains. Next we headed into the cold wind to do the summit walk, which took us in a circle around the top of the mountain, showing us those amazing views from as many angles as possible. It took about 45 minutes and then we drove down again. We headed back, stopping to use the supermarket in Twizel. It was dark by the time we got back to Wanaka, so we cooked dinner and researched Japan on the internet.
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