Lake Tekapo – Lake Tekapo, New Zealand - Atlas Obscura
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Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Lake Tekapo

A perfect turquoise lake colored with glacier dust. 

In a large basin, combine 100 parts water with one part glacier-formed rock dust. Mix over millions of years and allow to settle until human kind inhabits South Island, New Zealand.

This simple recipe has created a beauty so rare and a landscape so striking it deflates your lungs within moments of arriving at its shores.

Lake Tekapo is an idyllic alpine spot at the foot of Mt. John, on the South Island of New Zealand. The color of the lake’s water truly sets it apart from other lakes. It’s a beautiful turquoise blue created by rock flour from surrounding glaciers. The glaciers in the headwaters of Lake Tekapo grind rock into a fine dust on their journey down towards the lake. This rock flour is suspended in the water and causes the magnificent turquoise.

The amazing color of the lake set against the backdrop of snow-capped peaks and wild flowers makes Lake Tekapo extraordinarily dramatic and a must see on a trip to New Zealand. The best views can be had from the top of Mt. John, which is home to University of Canterbury’s Mt John Observatory. 


Know Before You Go

Buses are available from Christchurch and Queenstown, along with a number of smaller cities on the South Island

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