Tekapo: Milky Blue Lakes & Flying Over Mount Cook

November 26, 2014  •  2 Comments

-by Edyta-

We left Queenstown with a bit of sadness. Our time in New Zealand was coming to an end and we were leaving one of the most beautiful places we have ever stayed at. However, since we are 'glass is half full' kind of people, we were looking forward to our next stop, the small town of Fairlie near the beautiful Lake Tekapo. We arrived there on November 16th, 2014 and stayed for two nights. 

The drive was very scenic as it is the norm in New Zealand. The most memorable stop was Lake Pukaki only a half hour away from Tekapo. The weather was very sunny making the milky blue lake and snow covered mountain peaks look exceptionally stunning. The best thing about this rest stop was being able to see Mount Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand, in its glory. 

Our Airbnb room, in a large 100 year old villa in Fairlie, was very comfortable and nicely decorated. The best part about it was the small fireplace which we fell asleep to both nights we were there. We decided that aside from obelisks in our backyard (Vlad's takeaway after Europe) we would also get fireplaces in every room of our future house (hey, one can dream). Our hosts were really nice and we chatted with them about local living and their travels. We have been very lucky so far staying with some of the nicest strangers in both Australia and New Zealand. 

As you may remember from the previous post, I was a bit bummed about not being able to paraglide in Queenstown. I really wanted to do it for my birthday as a way of pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Unfortunately Fairlie did not offer any similar extreme experiences so I "settled" for a scenic plane ride which turned out to be one of my favorite experiences. The ride lasted 50 minutes and we flew over Lake Tekapo, glacier rivers, snowy mountains as well as Franz Josef and Fox glaciers. Our 8 person plane got really close to the mountains including the famous Mount Cook. We even flew above the Franz Josef Glacier which we visited only two weeks ago. It was a wonderful birthday adventure which we both enjoyed. 

Later that day we explored the Lake Tekapo area and enjoyed some down time by our fireplace. Two days in Fairlie went by very fast and soon enough we made our way to our last stop in New Zealand, Christchurch. 

Milky blue river near Lake Pukaki.  At Lake Pukaki with Mt.Cook aka Aoraki in the background. The milky blue color is caused by tiny glacier rock particles (glacial flour) mixed in with blue water. 

Vlad in his All Blacks Maori Jersey. I think this is the only souvenir he got on this trip.  Close up of Mount Cook which is the highest mountain of New Zealand standing at 3,724 meters / 12,818 feet. What a spectacular mountain.  Lake Tekapo is also very blue. 

Airbnb house we stayed at in Fairlie, a half hour drive from Lake Tekapo.  Our bedroom with a working fireplace and lots of cute decorations. 

We used the fireplace on both nights. Funky kitchen with a dining room table made by our host. The stove was an antique and not in use. There was a set of modern amenities not pictured here. Zoe the dog. She was very friendly. 

Scenic flight with Air Safaris lasted 50 minutes.   At the begining of the flight - Lake Tekapo. We first flew over Lake Tekapo and the glacial river. 

Milky blue water looked spectacular. Lake Tekapo in its full glory. 

Getting close to the mountains. 

Flying over Franz Josef Glacier which we hiked about 2 weeks before. The glacier ends in the valley which is covered with clouds in this photo.  Flying above snowy peaks was amazing. We could not get enough of the views.  Flying by the top of Mt. Cook. You can see a small avalanche on the bottom right hand side of the photo (looks like a small snowy waterfall falling over the rocks).  On the way back.  Trees looked like lime green cauliflowers.  With our pilot.  Birthday coffee. 

 Vlad's dish at  Run 77 Cafe.   

Walking along the shore of Lake Tekapo.  Adding a tiny pebble to the top of the sculpture we found by the lake. 

Beautiful lupins grew on the shore of Lake Tekapo.  We actually sat among them and admired the view.  We found some free ziplines near the lake.  I went for about 14 rides and got a lot of dirty looks from some 12 year old who was waiting in line.  For the non believers - I drove! And no one got hurt. :-) 




Lady Astin(non-registered)
This spot was top five favorite of mine :) so beautiful, glad no one got hurt lol xo
Was it just you guys on that plane ride? Amazing. Was it cold flying over the snowy mountains or did that not matter? Man, what amazing views (and photos!). Yet again, the surroundings are breathtaking. How has New Zealand managed to be so unspoilt by humans? Is it the culture/values of the people there or is it the law? What do you guys think?
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