Guys, I found my piece of heavens in this part of NZ. Could God's creation be any more beautiful than this? Surely there is, but at that point of time, I was just deeply, madly in love with Canterbury region:

'OK, next I need to find Legolas somewhere in Middle Earth...'

After driving for almost one whole day, we finally arrived at Lake Tekapo. Straightaway we went searching for our rented studio apartment. The name itself is catchy enough to us - Simply Stunning:

I am going back here someday. I promise you this.

If there is something I love other than the beautiful scenery in NZ, that is their rented accommodation. Most of the ones that we stayed have been renovated and decorated with modern furniture and tasteful design. Our accommodation at Lake Tekapo was amongst the most charming that we stayed in during our road trip:

The small studio apartment is thoughtfully designed to appear spacious without sacrificing the functionality of the space

Apart from a queen-sized bed overlooking a gorgeous view outside, there is also a bunk-bed, each equipped with its own flat TV at the foot of the bed
Although everything is tiny, the house is quite comfortable for four pax

The hosts are kind enough to stock complimentary beverages including this delicious hot chocolate to drink during the cold weather at night
Don't be fooled by this small kitchen - it comes complete with electric stove, microwave, dishwasher, cutleries, plates, fridge etc.
The view we get to enjoy whilst on the bed overlooking the snow-covered mountains that is the heavenly backdrop of Lake Tekapo
Although we were pretty tired after the long drive from Christchurch, we didn't want to waste time resting. Instead, we had a quick prayer, then prepared a quick lunch before we set out to explore the lake's surrounding.

The sisterhood of Lake Tekapo

Although our apartment is slightly far from Lake Tekapo, it is still within walking distance. On our way down, we encountered wild hares that scampered away into the bushes / their holes as soon as we approached them. 

Tips: Wear appropriate footwear if you are going down to the lake as the shore is full of rocks.
Rocks everywhere

Posing in front of the majestic view of clear turquoise lake against snow-capped mountain backdrop

Lake Tekapo is also famous for one activity - stargazing. Being part of UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, it is the perfect spot to gaze at the stars and trying to figure out the Milky Way from Earth. Unfortunately, we were not able to book a tour to the observatory where it is said where the Earth Meets Sky.

We did however make the time (and effort!) to walk along the lake to visit Church of the Good Shepherd, the most photographed building in NZ:

After a  long drive, stretching my legs along NZ's road in the chilly weather seemed like a good idea

Us against the Church of the Good Shepherd in the background

A good spot for photographers

We then took a long way back to go back to our studio. Although we were exhausted, we couldn't help admiring the beautiful architecture and interior of the houses in the neighbourhood that we passed (some houses had floor to ceiling glass windows to perhaps showcase their beautiful home). 

Once we reached our place, we were chilled to the bones and had hot chocolate before retiring to bed.

Trying our hand to catch a glimpse of the stars using the telescope

The next day, we were up early to go to our next destination. We did stop to take photos at Lake Pukaki, which is another stunning lake within those area:

Lake Pukaki

Whoever did this is probably a talented artist.

Will cover more on Lake Pukaki in my next entry =) Stay tuned!
After we have stocked up our food ration, we set off on the 7-hour journey to Lake Tekapo, our first pit stop. We decided to embark on a scenic adventure and took the longer route through Darfield on State Highway No. 77.

Road trip journey begins...

Although it was a long journey, we hardly felt the time passed by as we simply couldn't stop gushing and admiring the breathtaking scenery along the way! We stopped several times to capture our memories here and enjoyed the crisp fresh air by the roadside:

Yup, we just started the trip but we've already captured by the view of the snow-capped mountain in the far distance

The snow-capped mountain is perfectly captured in my background here

Sisters in shades

The view is extremely beautiful along the way


This is how I imagined Heidi lived 

Gorgeous! 

Tips: Speed limit in NZ is 50km/h (cities) and 100km/h (open road). Occasionally drivers will come across bridges, and depending on the signage, one party will have to give way to the other as the bridges normally allow for only one way crossing.

Along the way we also stopped by Rakaia Gorge to admire the gorgeous turquoise blue river which is a photographer's dream comes true.

Subhanallah! The view is magnificent!

One more with the snow-capped mountain

From here onwards, we passed by wide open grasslands with unrestricted views of the magnificent Southern Alps.

It was extremely windy but we loved it anyway

Will continue in my next posting on our accommodation at Lake Tekapo and the Lake Tekapo itself :)