Burcu Başar

New Zealand, Lake Tekapo

Tekapo, which is home to one of the most famous views of the South Island of New Zealand is a tiny little town. It however attracts a lot of attention thanks to the photogenic the Good Shepard Church and the lupine flowers blooming in November. Our bus departing from Christchurch, a city, which has been unfortunately home to many earthquakes, arrives in Tekapo in about 4 hours. Even though we have a dark weather since the beginning of the trip and the forecast shows rain for the entire day, the sun shines up as soon as we get our first view of Lake Tekapo. The turn of the weather even surprises our driver. The view of the lake hidden behind the trees covered by fall colors amazes me. I am almost about to leave my luggage unattended and start taking photos before it starts raining again. Luckily, the rain never comes and I get back to my senses and stop by my hostel first to drop my luggage. Even though I am quite nervous at first since it will be my first hostel experience after 15 years, YHA Tekapo Hostel has probably the best view out of all the places I stayed in New Zealand and it is immaculately clean. My walk to Good Shepard Church, which is a mere 10 mn walk from my hostel, takes around 2 hours with numerous photo stops. I learn that this very small church hosts many weddings. You are not allowed to take photos inside the church but you can still photograph the church standing at the door – of course if you can find a people-less moment, which is the tricky part. I in the evening decide to dine at the coziest looking restaurant in Tekapo – Tinplate, which has a fireplace. This turns out to a great choice as I meet two Americans who had previously lived in the tiny Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, where I spent a year as an AFS exchange student. Tekapo is a very beautiful little town and also home to very nice coincidences for me bringing up many good memories from the past.