While purple, pink, and blue-hued lupin flowers may not be native to New Zealand (they hail from North America), the really do seem to bloom the most vibrantly on the nation's South Island. At Lake Tekapo, in particular, the flowers juxtapose against the backdrop of the water to create one of the country's most stunning vistas.
Lake Tekapo is the second-largest of three roughly parallel lakes running
north - south along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin in the South Island of New Zealand (the others are Lake Pukaki and Lake Ohau). It covers an area of 83 square kilometres (32 sq mi), and is at an altitude of 710 metres (2,330 ft) above sea level.
The lake is fed at its northern end by the braided Godley River, which has its source in the Southern Alps to the north. The lake is a popular tourist destination, and several resort hotels are located at the township of Lake Tekapo at the lake's southern end. The Lake Tekapo Regional Park, administered by Environment Canterbury, is located on the southern shore of the lake.
An astronomical observatory is located at Mount John, which is to the north of the town, and south of the small Lake Alexandrina.
Lake Tekapo has an oceanic climate (Kappen climate classification: Cfb) with mild, sunny summers and cool winters, sometimes snowing in the township once or twice a year. 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.
The Maori were the first people to discover the Mackenzie Basin. The name Tekapo derives from the te reo 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.