| New Zealand|
Sunday 6:08 AM
| Environment Canterbury|
| Mackenzie District Council|
8°C, Wind E at 6 km/h, 97% Humidity
Church of the Good Shepherd, Roundhill Ski Area, Sheepdog Statue
Lake Tekapo is a small town located at the southern end of the lake of the same name in the inland South Island of New Zealand. It had 369 residents according to the 2013 Census, being one of five settlements in the sparsely populated Mackenzie Basin.
SH 8 runs directly through the township of Lake Tekapo - 227 km from Christchurch and 256 km from Queenstown. Daily shuttle services link Lake Tekapo to Christchurch and Queenstown. The lake is a popular tourist destination, and several resort hotels are located at the township. Lake Tekapo Airport is located 5 km west of the town. Chartered flights are available at locally based Air Safaris.
Lake Tekapo (town) Wikipedia
The Maori were the first people to discover the Mackenzie Basin. The name Tekapo derives from the Maori words taka (sleeping mat) and po (night). The Mackenzie Basin became known to Europeans in 1855 when, in order to find a less conspicuous route, James Mackenzie, a Scottish sheep thief, ventured inland and discovered the high country that now bears his name. In 1857, John and Barbara Hay established the first sheep farm in Mackenzie on the shore of Lake Tekapo.
Lake Tekapo township started to grow after the construction of hydropower stations in the 1930s. The project was delayed due to World War II, but it was eventually completed and commissioned in 1951. The Church of the Good Shepherd was built in 1935. Now, it opens to the public from 9am to 5pm during summer (Oct to Apr) and 10am to 4pm in winter (May to Sept). Dog Statue, which is dedicated to the working collies of Mackenzie, was commissioned on 7 March 1968.
Lake Tekapo has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfb) with mild, sunny summers and cold, dry winters. On average, Lake Tekapo has 2180 sunshine hours (200 hours more than the New Zealand average) and 78 rain days producing 600 mm rainfall annually. Temperature is generally warm in summer and extremely cold in winter, by New Zealand standards.
Selected for its very clear atmosphere, large number of clear sky nights, and relative freedom from light pollution, Mount John University Observatory is located on a small hill to the north of the town, and south of the small Lake Alexandrina. Originally set up by the University of Pennsylvania (looking for a southern hemisphere location), it is now operated by the University of Canterbury. From 1969 to 1982, the United States Air Force had a satellite tracking station adjacent to the observatory. In June 2012, an area of 430,000 hectares (1,100,000 acres) around Tekapo was declared the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark-Sky Association, one of only four such reserves around the world.
The New Zealand Army has a large training range located at Tekapo. It is used for general military exercises and for pre-deployment training of forces being sent to Afghanistan.