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Christchurch in June - Lake Tekapo

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Christchurch in June - Lake Tekapo

1. Posted by jasonh2015 (Full Member 156 posts) 6y

Hello, not long to go now, then im off to New Zealand.

Just a thought. I'm starting in Christchurch, cause I would like to spend a week at Lake Tekapo, and was wondering if the weather would be good enough? or if it was the rain season? Or would I be better off starting in Auckland? Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks :)

2. Posted by Kelvin Ang (Budding Member 45 posts) 6y

Wow, a week at Lake Tekapo!

I love Tekapo and it's beautiful. Gorgeous in fact. As a tourist with limited time I might not be staying for so long there though unless I've got plenty of time in NZ (like a year, maybe?). I've recently been there (photos linked were from the trip) and found accommodation to be pretty much fully booked! You might have to book up to a week in advance for most places as you know around this time it's peak tourist season.

If you're going to do both the North and the South Island, do the North first. That way you won't get overwhelmed by the awesome-ness that is the South Island and then find the North to be boring and uninspiring ;) [I'm exaggerating there but there is some truth in that - the South is where the pretty scenery is whereas the North is more cultural and cosmopolitan.]

From Tekapo (and if you still crave for lakes) you can head down to Wanaka. Pretty good scenery too although I would prefer Tekapo's.

3. Posted by Kelvin Ang (Budding Member 45 posts) 6y

Ahh, just saw in another thread that you're heading this way in June. That's just about the worse time to visit New Zealand - perfect! No need to worry about not having accommodation and buses aren't always full to the brim! I did the same myself in 2006...

Tekapo in winter is absolutely stunning. You'll have to do the obligatory ice-cream eating by the lake in the snow, however

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4834 posts) 6y

There's always a bit more chance of rain that time of year than during summer, but nothing you could call a "rain season", and it wouldn't surprise me if you had a week of nothing but sunshine. (Ok, you'd be terribly and unfairly lucky, but hey.) ;)
Winter in Lake Tekapo is gorgeous, especially if it's just been snowing, with the mountains all covered in freshly fallen snow. That said, June / early July is probably the worst time of winter to be in Lake Tekapo, as the short daylight hours limit the time you have to enjoy the place, and most of all, the Church of the Good Shepherd will never catch the light of the setting sun, but instead be covered in shadow prematurely, due to the sun disappearing behind Mt. John, rather than peeking out to the left of it, as it does the rest of the year. If you can, I'd postpone the Tekapo visit to late July / early August. Still as much chance of fresh snow, but better light. :) (Go do the west coast first or something, doing a month-long loop before arriving in Lake Tekapo? For the glaciers it doesn't matter as much if it's June.)
Still, even without that sunset light, the place never fails to take my breath away. Be certain to sip many a cup of hot chocolate at the observatory cafe on top of Mt. John! :)

Kelvin: "June" is mentioned in the thread title as well, and Jason's going to be in New Zealand for two years. *envy* :)

P.S. I have some hope of returning to Lake Tekapo in late August or the second week of September myself - will keep you updated if I do. Kelvin: you're still based in Christchurch?

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Jan-2010, at 03:00 by Sander ]

5. Posted by Kelvin Ang (Budding Member 45 posts) 6y

Quoting Sander

Kelvin: "June" is mentioned in the thread title as well, and Jason's going to be in New Zealand for two years. *envy* :)

P.S. I have some hope of returning to Lake Tekapo in late August or the second week of September myself - will keep you updated if I do. Kelvin: you're still based in Christchurch?

I must have seen the words "Lake Tekapo", got so excited and ignored everything else Two years, that's awesome! Plenty of time to see the changing colours of Lake Tekapo if you were to spend a year in the South. I myself try to make a trip each season to Lake Tekapo and found that I like Summer Tekapo least. Good, but tend to be a bit crowded (by Tekapo standards) and I don't like the flies very much. Like Sander said, Winter Tekapo after a blanket of snow is just stunning.

Do I sense a Lake Tekapo TP meet-up?

Sander, I'm currently working and living in Christchurch city but have plans to move to the countryside, approx 1 hour's drive north of ChCh. I'd love to meet up with you for a drink someday, so keep me posted if you're heading back to God's Own Country. Depending on how my own living arrangement ends up, I'd be more than happy to host you when you're in the area if it's practical ;)

6. Posted by jasonh2015 (Full Member 156 posts) 6y

Thanks for the info guys. I might head to Auckland first, I've had enough of snow this week lol. I've got a visa for a year, so I might go their mid August.

Kevin the pictures look great, makes me want to be their now :)

7. Posted by Kelvin Ang (Budding Member 45 posts) 6y

I would suggest mid-September if you aren't a fan of winter as the really cold temperatures really hit NZ at around mid-July to early August and it's really only mid-September or later that it begins to feel Spring-like. That said, you should always be prepared for the excitement the NZ weather brings. Just over the New Year's (so technically it's almost mid-summer by the calendar definition) we've got hail in the cities and snow in the hills. I was in Dunedin at that time and the backpacker hostel where I stayed in actually had to get the fire going!

As you probably know, layering pieces of clothes with an outer lightweight waterproof jacket is the best way to adjust to the NZ weather.