Lake Tekapo offers the perfect chance to switch off and recharge your batteries without needing to root around in your bag for that elusive adaptor!
Having partied your life away in the high-octane adventure that is Queenstown, you desperately need a relaxing time of things. Not to mention a cheap alternative, as approximately 100% of people will have been drawn to spend more money than originally budgeted by this stage of the tour.
The journey to Tekapo kicks off reasonably early, so make sure the night before isn't TOO big. Note: Not too big for Queenstown standards is much different to the rest of New Zealand standards! Ordinarily, you could sleep on the bus but this isn't recommended, as the scenery is amazing.
Endless views of snow-covered mountains and sights from every corner of the bus are worth staying up for. Most notable is the terrific photo opportunity of Mount Cook you're presented with. And it's a cook that doesn't even require the oven that you've missed so much, too! (Bad joke, barely worth the time and effort, I know!)
A brief ride onward takes you to Lake Tekapo, a beautiful location in the middle of nowhere, aside from being on a lake (if you hadn't guessed from the name). This stop provides the perfect place to recuperate before heading to the Christchurch experience.
Picturesque walks are the order of the afternoon, if weather permits, and some of the views from the top of the mountain 200m from the hostel's front door are the best you'll see all day. I wish I was talking from experience, but as I headed toward the mountain with every intention of hiking up it, I passed the spa. I got no further up the hill.
The spa is the perfect option for anyone who wants to truly relax for the first time since they landed in New Zealand. With heated pools, sauna and steam room, set aside a good couple of hours to take full advantage of the extensive facilities this place offers. Discounts come with your Kiwi Experience ticket, too.
It really is spa-tacular, spa-mazing, whatever word you wish to use. Sauna-f-a-bitch this is a good way to relax!
As the sun sets behind the hill, the darkness reveals one of Tekapo's biggest kept secrets. Glance up and you'll see the remarkable night sky which is one of the hidden gems of New Zealand.
I stood outside in the cold for an hour, but I was warmed by the sights of satellites and shooting stars flying above. Planets are ripe, amongst the glittering sky, and if you know what to look for, many constellations are available for viewing.
And if you don't, there's an app for that, so you're all good.
Failing that, Kiwi Experience has a tour on offer which allows you to view the night sky with the assistance of professionals.
How do the planets eat their dinner? On a satellite dish. And on that note, I'll star(t) my goodbyes.
Tekapo is a beautiful, relaxing spot and the best opportunity to stargaze in the entire Kiwi Experience, so this really is not to be missed.