New Zealand: Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki

The road trip from Christchurch to Queenstown was another long one with lots of beautiful stops along the way.  The 600 kilometers that we covered took about six hours and wound us around glacier lakes, through mountains, and into the foothills that surround Queenstown.  We were oo-ing and ah-ing every time we rounded a turn and remained glued to our windows throughout.

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The first lake that we stopped at was Lake Tekapo, an incredibly blue glacier lake.  The notably still water reflected the sky and clouds above, creating a beautiful landscape.  The lake was surrounded by purple and pink flowers; these flowers lined much of our drive, and I really loved them.  At times, the whole field would be solid purple.
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Sitting just above Lake Tekapo was a small, serene church called The Church of the Good Shepard.  The key attraction of the church, which is almost a century old, was the window that ran across the entire front wall, showing the lake and mountains behind.
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The second lake along the way was Lake Pukaki, where Lake Town was filmed for The Hobbit.  Since the water flowed down from glaciers, it was freezing!  One neat thing about this lake was the rain storm that hung over the other side of the lake.  We were sad that we couldn’t see the peak of Mt. Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand, due to the clouds, but it was neat to see the rain across the way. Due to the glacial waters, it was also an unrealistic shade of blue.  I didn’t change the color in these pictures at all! Patrick and I went on a short hike around the side of the lake, where it seemed to be even more blue.

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As we continued towards Queenstown, the mountains grew larger and larger.  The rain stopped, the sun came out, and everything was gorgeous.
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Finally, just before we got into town, we stopped at a river called Raging Meg.  There are lots of legends about how the river got its name, but my favorite included men from the mines and a memorable woman.  They say that all were returning from some sort of social function, and the men, being gentlemen, carried the ladies across the two rivers that they came upon.  Meg was causing a racket, fidgeting and kicking and yelling, so they named the first, more swiftly flowing river after her.  Annie, her friend, was more subdued, so they named the next, more peaceful river after her: Gentle Annie.

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I have been so overwhelmed by the amount of beauty that God put in such a small country, and so thankful that I have the opportunity to be here enjoying it!

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