Set between the mountains of the Mackenzie Country and the grandeur of New Zealand's Southern Alps lies Lake Tekapo (pronounced TEE-kuh-poe). Due to a high content of reflective rock flour in the lake water, Lake Tekapo is one of the most brilliant and pristine lakes anywhere on Earth. A small recreational area on the southern shore of the lake near the village of Lake Tekapo is the easiest way to see the stunning lake. The park is spacious and has many amenities and sights, including a boat launch—the highlight of which is the Church of the Good Shepherd. Built in 1935, the small chapel provides a perfect foreground to the lake and a unique photo opportunity.
Located about 105 kilometers from Mount Cook Village, 225 kilometers from Christchurch, and 250 kilometers from Queenstown, Lake Tekapo is truly in the middle of nowhere, lying in the heart of the mountainous and sparsely populated Mackenzie Country. As a result, the area is typically a stop on the way for those driving between two of the aforementioned places. The main street of the village of Lake Tekapo has a very tourist-oriented feel to cater to travelers, with many souvenir shops and places for visitors to get a quick snack or even get waited on for a nicer meal before continuing one's journey.