Day 3: Lake Tekapo

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Lake Tekapo, where we would be heading to today, is halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown so anyone who wishes to break the long journey between the two cities will most likely stay for at least a night here.

I had already planned to cook while in Tekapo and Queenstown (where we would be staying for 2 nights each) to cut down on costs and also to provide more options for both the vegan (Sarah only) and non-vegans (the rest of us). So before we left the city for Tekapo, we got our groceries from the Countdown Supermarket and the halal meat from Maihan. Maihan is not just a halal butchery; they stock a wide variety of sweet and savoury foods, both cooked and uncooked but mostly Middle Eastern. Groceries outside the city are costlier so do buy what you need while you are still in Christchurch. Apparently, Pak’n Save priced their items lower than the other supermarkets. Plan your meals well so that you don’t need to buy too many items and end up with too much leftovers at the end of the trip. Bring condiments like salt, pepper and soya sauce (save those packets you get from sushi restaurants when you buy takeaways!) from home. If you’re a fan of Thai Chili Sauce, you can get them easily here in NZ. It’s a versatile item – not only do we have it as a dipping sauce, I also used to marinade, make dressing and other sauces! Tips on what to buy and cook will be up in another post. 🙂

We left Christchurch for Lake Tekapo before 10 am knowing that it was going to be a long drive (about 3 hours) and we wanted to enjoy as much daylight as possible when we got there. Here’s a great thing about driving in NZ (at least in the South Island) – the roads are well-maintained and there aren’t that many other road-users. Be patient – it’s not going to be scenic at first as you’ll be passing by a lot of flatland before they give way to jaw-dropping scenes of the rolling hills, mountains and lakes.

Yup, cherry blossoms!

Hubby made a stop just to take pictures of the alpacas!

I wished I had taken more pictures of the dramatic landscapes to show you how scenic the route was but at that time I didn’t think that I would be writing this blog.

Peppers Bluewater Resorts was an obvious choice when it came to choosing the accommodation for our two-night stay here. Not only did it look gorgeous (on websites), it’s a short walk to the lakeshore and the town centre where you can find a supermarket, a huge souvenir shop and several eateries. We booked a two-bedroom suite with mountain view. Because our suite was not ready by 2 pm, we were offered a better data plan than we were originally entitled to.The suite was bigger than I had expected but I was disappointed that there was only one bathroom. The accommodation here ranges from hotel rooms to 3-bedroom villas.

View from the reception
Living room and the balcony
Dining room and kitchen (which I found to be lacking in some essential tools like a spatula!)
Another living room with a sofa bed
One of the bedrooms. The other one does not have a window like this.

The bedrooms, bathroom and the laundry room are on the ground floor while the living and kitchen areas are on the floor above. The balcony is such a nice spot to just enjoy the view of the lake and the mountains. Sarah and I would grab the duvet and make ourselves hot cups of beverage to chill here. The temperature in spring ranges from 5 to 12 degrees Celsius but it could dip further as night falls.

Sarah studying overseas 🙂

Lake Tekapo is worth at least a night’s stay. There is nothing much to do but to just take in the sight of the beautiful lake and the range of mountains bordering the lake that provides such a spectacular backdrop.

View from the balcony

Hubby took the kids out for a walk while I prepared dinner. I was actually glad to be able to do domestic stuffs like cooking and washing, haha! There’s a washing machine and a dryer in the suite. Laundry detergent is provided too. After 2 days, I could not wait to wash the dirty laundry. There’s no way I was going to wait till we came home to wash them! Having a place where you can do your laundry also means that you can pack lighter. I told the kids to pack only 4 sets of clothes (for an 8-day trip) because I had intended to wash them here and they could repeat the attire.

Here are some pictures dear hubby took while out on a walk with the kids.

The currents were pretty strong that afternoon.

Church of the Good Shepherd – probably the most iconic landmark in Lake Tekapo

We spent the evening watching sitcoms on TV while enjoying the warmth from the fireplace. Wished I had some marshmallows to toast!