Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd in central South Island, a few hours south of Christchurch set on the edge of an azure aqua- coloured lake (caused by minerals from the Alps at the head of the lake). There is an observatory here (Mt John) because the skies are so clear. The open heavens above Lake Tekapo are now a Unesco World Heritage Site because of the air clarity. This means there are limits to street lighting etc in the area to preserve the distinctive night sky as a lens to the stars. Star gazing in NZ can be truly breath-taking and is more dramatic than this photo can show. On occasions the Southern Lights (the Australis Borealis) can be glimpsed as it dances across the atmosphere.
The world’s largest trout are caught in a clear-water canal here, which forms part of a large hydro scheme between Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki (the one with Mt Cook at its head), beneath salmon farms housed in the canal. Wild trout sit beneath the cages gorging themselves on the pellets that fall through.
There is also a pine wood island in the middle of the lake, which we’ve boated to and camped on. We love NZ. Just awesome and Lake Tekapo (which has awesome fishing and skiing) is a fav. holiday spot for us. Its much photographed bronze statue of a shepherding dog sits on the lake shore right of the church. The area was known for sheep rustling by Mackenzie, a Scottish immigrant and rogue, after whom the area is named.