Day 85 – Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

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Lake Tekapo is a beautiful glacier blue color d/t the high deposits of glacier dust

Aren’t you surprised to not see “Queenstown” up there again? That’s right. I have finally left the beautiful town of Queenstown and have continued onto the last leg of my New Zealand trip. I got picked up outside of my hostel promptly at 0830 by my new bus driver, Gina, and drove through the small fruit haven of Cromwell before finally arriving at our destination in Lake Tekapo.

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Since the weather was really gloomy today, our bus driver put on a movie for our drive. I might add that Gina is also a Lord of the Rings fan as we soon found out as we started watching The Fellowship of the Ring. Even though I had my own LOTR marathon at the hostel last night, I still had to watch it. I mean, when in New Zealand, right? It was cool watching the movie on the bus because you could literally look out the window on either side of you and the scenery outside mimicked the background in the movie perfectly. It felt like a real 3D movie.

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Classic Kiwi moment, sheep on the road. #sheepxing

Okay, nerd rant over. We arrived in Lake Tekapo fairly early because the weather was rainy and cloudy and not the ideal for the original “picnic lunch at the lake” plan. After checking-in to the Lakefront Lodge, I chilled at the hostel for a tiny bit then got changed into my swimmers to go to the hot pools!

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Tekapo Springs has a series of three outdoor hot pools, which are essentially large, oversized hot tubs very similar to the glacier pools in Franz Josef but the key difference is that Tekapo Springs overlooks the Two Thumb mountain range. Unfortunately, we were still stuck with the not-so-good weather but that did not stop three of us, plus our driver, Gina, from enjoying ourselves. Even though the rain was cold and the air was chilling, the water was perfectly warm and relaxing. It was the perfect way to end three weeks of backpacking and endless “free walks” from the Kiwi trip. After two hours of soaking (and dry sauna!), we finally left the hot pools and headed back to the hostel. I chugged a third of my water and cooked some pesto with fresh pasta for dinner.

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Lakefront Lodge in Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo is within a Dark Sky Reserve, which means it is an ideal spot for stargazing and a chance to see the Southern Lights if you’re lucky. But sadly, the sky has been filled with gray clouds since we left Queenstown, and I don’t think we’ll be seeing any dancing lights tonight. Oh well, all more reason to plan another trip to New Zealand (or Alaska or Iceland!)

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