Lake Tekapo // hiking Mount John

trail marker on Mount John

the journey to the summit of Mount John was not one we had planned to take.

the rain was pouring as we pulled into our campground along the shores of Lake Tekapo. I quickly rushed inside to check us in, and the man at the desk made mention of a hike we might like to attempt, if the weather cleared. we already planned to visit the famous Church of the Good Shepherd, but a hike above the crowds of bus-riding tourists sounded like a worthwhile addition to our itinerary.

and it was.

mountain views from the summit of Mount John
spotting Lake Tekapo from the trail on Mt John
Lake Tekapo and the trail on Mt John

we climbed up, and up, and up through the forest. the moment we stopped for a break and I could see the blinding blue of Lake Tekapo below, I knew it was going to be worth it. we broke through the treeline and I could see across the golden hills to the mountains in the distance - I almost wanted to cry. this was the New Zealand we had come to see.

beautiful blue Lake Tekapo
at the summit of Mount John

from the top of Mt John, in the blazing afternoon sunlight, the blue of Lake Tekapo looks unreal. in my research on this lake, I had seen photos and not quite believed them. [Pinterest has fooled me one too many times.] but it's really this lovely shade of aqua, I swear to you.

we followed the trail along the back side of the summit, rounding to the front and finding a crop of rocks just made for lounging. Husband says this was one of his favorite moments from our entire trip, and I can't really disagree.

when in New Zealand, from time to time you must accept your Husband will pull off his wedding band and do a Gollum impression. and as payment for interrupting his mountaintop reverie to take pictures, you must promise to post his precious his photo on your blog.

this day - and our visit to Lake Tekapo in general - was one of my favorite parts of our entire three week NZ trip. I would highly recommend taking a hike up to the summit of Mount John [and I hear it's even more gorgeous to visit the observatory to watch the sky by night.] thank you for the suggestion, Mr Random Guy who works at the Lake Tekapo holiday park. I'm so glad we decided to be adventurous and take your advice, because it led us to this amazing place.

Mount John summit hike, Lake Tekapo NZ

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