Friday Flashback – Exploring The Night Sky In Tekapo, New Zealand

December, 2008: On our way down to Queenstown we stopped over for a night in Tekapo.

It’s a small village with only 300 inhabitants, set 750 meters above sea level. It’s the closest village to Mt Cook, the highest mountain in South Pacific, and the night sky in this place is out of this world!

At a place this high up and no city lights to lighten the sky, you could see so many stars that there is almost no space between them. I woke up to go out for a pee in the middle of the night, and as I looked up I thought I was still dreaming.

First I just stood there for a few minutes looking up, thinking it was my sleepy eyes that was duplicating everything. Then after I rubbed them and it wouldn’t go away I realized that what I saw was real.

For some reason I thought it would disappear from me any minute, so I threw myself back into the tent shaking Nathan ferociously, almost in panic, to wake him up and come out to see it – I have never experienced something so amazing since, and any pictures you see really can’t do it justice!

What made Tekapo such a beautiful place was the lake. It had the most amazing color of turquoise. Milky, thick and bright. It looked very tempting, but turned out (after I had a dip) that it was only 8 degrees COLD!!! … (more about this next week – have a wonderful weekend & see you here again on Monday!)

19 Responses to Friday Flashback – Exploring The Night Sky In Tekapo, New Zealand

  1. Juno June 4, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    Oh my god!! You wrote same thing as me!
    Tekapo, definately the best night sky ever. Did you guys go to Observatory?
    I stayed at Lake Tekapo for a while. Just for stargazing. haha!!
    And you know what? I have a half wrote-drafted artible about Lake Tekapo! haha!! :)
    <Surreal Southern Night sky. http://su.pr/1q4S1J > <- this is the one I wrote about a month ago.

  2. Sofia June 4, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    haha hey Juno! nah we didn't get up to the Observatory – wished we did, but we were rushing to Queenstown at that time :p Tekapo was an amazing place! did you go for a swim??? COLD!

  3. Sofia June 4, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    yeah you can take so many amazing pictures in the South Island of New Zealand – amazing nature!

  4. manisha chopra June 4, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    The photographs are really amazing specially the first one

  5. Candice June 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    Damn, this looks absolutely amazing.

  6. Sofia_AsWeTravel June 5, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    it really is an amazing place – just like the whole south island – you have any plans on going to New Zealand?

  7. Amanda June 5, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    I've been to Tekapo twice, but never at night! Will have to be sure to do that one of these days. Maybe next time in NZ.

  8. Dina VagabondQuest June 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    I went to Tekapo about 2 weeks ago, unfortunately it was when the crazy rain that caused many floods (especially in the East Coast) hit the South Island. We still love being there, but it was minus the sky and the alps. Maybe someday if we go back there again… Btw, do you try the fresh salmon sashimi in the salmon farm on Pukaki Lake? I'm craving it right now.
    Your starry sky picture is amazing!

  9. Sofia_AsWeTravel June 8, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    yeah make sure you do that next time – we didn't know about it either, and only cos I went outside to the bathroom (from our tent) did I realize what was up there – strange they don't really advertise it much.

  10. Sofia_AsWeTravel June 8, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    oh thats a real shame! tekapo is best where there is blue sky, you can see Mt. Cook and see the stars – yeah fresh salmon in NZ is amazing :) how is NZ right now? we were there about a year and a half ago – really miss that place – especially the south island!

  11. Dina VagabondQuest June 9, 2010 at 12:50 am #

    Our first week in NZ was dark, cloudy, rainy, and floody. Here's a picture to illustrate it:
    http://www.vagabondquest.com/new-zealand/friday
    Get luckier the 2nd week, sunshine and sometimes no cloud, when we do the Milford and to the north in west coast.
    Now we are in Wellington. We had hails and strong wind yesterday, but sky looks gorgeous today.
    Totally can related when somebody say they miss NZ, I'm still here and I'm already hoping to come back in the future in summertime :D

  12. backpackingmatt June 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    Beautiful photos! I only stopped in Tekapo for a beer as we had to get our rental car back to Queenstown – but it's a stunning place. The drive to Mt. Cook village is pretty sweet as as well!

  13. Jen June 11, 2010 at 4:41 am #

    How very cartoonish of you to rub your eyes and look again. I'm generally not a fan of being awoken mid sleep but this is one of the few situations where the opposite would be true. Great pix. Totally jealous (…but not for long!)

  14. Sofia_AsWeTravel June 11, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    Thanks! Yeah it's really nice to have a drink with a view over the lake with that amazing turquoise color!
    It's a beautiful but freezing lake (8 degrees), so it wasn't very nice swimming in it..

    It must have been such a beautiful experience to around New Zealand!

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