Lakeside resort town
Dawn over the lake, May 2016
Traditionally Tekapo has been a gas and comfort stop on the route between Christchurch and Queenstown. Fifty years ago the town would have had about as many permanent residents, but today like so many other small towns, it’s bursting at the seams and struggling to cater for the increasing number of tourists.
Back in the old days, working people from the East Coast cities and towns may have had a weekend holiday home at Tekapo where they could go boating and fishing or use the village as a base to explore further afield into the mountains. Today it has a permanent population of about 380 and is one of five
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Blue sky’s, openness and sometimes drama
Geographically, what the locals refer to as the Mackenzie Country is actually the Mackenzie Basin. It is a wide alluvial plain and a tussock grassland within the South Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island.
After travelling south from the plains of Canterbury, the Mackenzie country provides a refreshing change of vista as well as some refreshingly fresh air.
Despite being nestled between the mountains, the daytime temperatures in summer can be very hot and in winter heavy snows will occasionally is the roads. As such this is a delightful winter playground with ski fields at Ohou, Round Hill and Mount Dobson.
Some scenes for Peter Jackson’s movies the Lord of The Rings and
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Big Sky Country
The Mackenzie Country located in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island is a vast alluvial grassland basin sheltered by the mountains of The Southern Alps in the west and the Two Thumb Range to the east. The region has higher than average sunshine hours and a low rainfall. The warm and welcoming spirit of this small region will make your visit a very enjoyable experience.
There are several large lakes including Pukaki, Tekapo, Poako, Ruataniwha and others which are fed by snow and glacial melt waters. The lakes are connected by a series of canals which serve to control water flows for hydro electricity and they now also serve as an excellent resource for salmon farming
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Approx 7 hours drive
Take highway one south from Christchurch from Hornby or Templeton where there is usually heavy traffic. After you pass the satellite town of Rolleston, you finally get the sense you are going somewhere.
The traffic often remains heavy and drivers really have to pay attention and although there are a number of passing lanes. The almost straight highway runs through farmland with occasional views of the alps. (If you have a extra hour to spare, take the Foothills Scenic Route to avoid highway one.)
About 30 minutes south from Christchurch you come Rakia after crossing the long concrete Rakia river bridge. There is a café, restrooms and you can
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