Lake Tekapo and Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park on New Zealand's South Island
© Sophie Dover/Getty Image
Blue Zealand. Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Welcome to New Zealand’s South Island, where finely ground rock particles suspended in glacial waters create the striking blue waters of Lake Tekapo.
Melting snow from the nearby Southern Alps also feeds two similarly stunning turquoise lakes in the Mackenzie Basin area, Lake Pukaki and Lake Ohau. New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook, seen in the background of this image, reigns in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.
The name Tekapo is a misspelling of the Māori word Takapō, which means ‘to leave in haste at night’. But the night here is mesmerising. Lake Tekapo is a certified Dark Sky Reserve, one of the world’s largest. Its night skies are almost completely free of light pollution and tours cater to manuhiri (visitors) interested in astro-tourism. If that’s not reason enough to stay over, the abundant skiing and fishing opportunities might be. There’s certainly no need to rush off.