We went to New Zealand back in November of 2019. Timing of our trip was actually primarily motivated by the sights in Lake Tekapo – the lupine bloom! Lupine flowers can be found all over Lake Tekapo, and they bloom around the end of November. They are absolutely gorgeous in full bloom. So happy we caught it in time!
ANWYAY. Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki – those were the two most memorable sights for me. Both lakes have gorgeous glacier blue waters. Lake Tekapo was definitely more crowded, but understandable given the lupines. Lake Pukaki is a much more peaceful alternative. I would recommend going early in the morning when it’s practically empty. Enjoy the view, bring a snack, and take it all in! We saw a few camper vans near Lake Pukaki so if you’re thinking of traveling New Zealand that way, this would make for the perfect camp spot! We were not as adventurous this time, although we had quite the epic lodging experience in Kaikoura, New Zealand.
Beautiful right?? We only spent one night in Tekapo, but I honestly felt like it was enough. Especially if you have other points on South Island planned out, a half day plus the next morning is more than enough to see Lake Tekapo. Some other sights around the area to consider:
- Mt. John Observatory (ridiculously windy, but the views up top are gorgeous)
- Church of the Good Shepherd (right next to Lake Tekapo)
- Mount Sunday (if you’re coming from Christchurch, this is a great spot with some epic LOTR views)
If you want to catch the lupines in full bloom, also highly recommend going around the mid to late November time frame 🙂 Trust me, it’s a sight you don’t want to miss!