we started our morning by breaking camp and heading to the lakefront for breakfast. after the previous night's storm, it looked to be a clear and beautiful day. we only had a few hours left on Lake Tekapo and wanted to make the most of it. the first item on our agenda: visit the nearby Church of the Good Shepherd.
the Church of the Good Shepherd sits on the shore of Lake Tekapo, and is one of the most-Pinterest-ed sights of New Zealand. usually it is pictured at night with the milky way glowing in the sky, or during sunset with a field of lupins in the foreground.
we visited during neither of these conditions. but even in the bright sun and surrounded by busloads of tourists, the blue waters of Lake Tekapo backed by mountains and an even bluer sky still made for a beautiful setting. you could argue that this church isn't very grand or fancy, but the multi-colored stone seems like the perfect material for complementing the surrounding nature.
I like to play a game with myself when I'm shooting photos of a popular attraction. I like to see how many shots I can manage without any other tourists in them. maybe this is a little misleading. because this church was actually quite crowded. a German woman and I stood outside for a solid 5 minutes waiting for a busload of people to walk around and out of the way, only to have someone stroll right in front of our lenses the moment the view was clear. we just looked at each other and laughed.
but with some patience and some careful cropping, I managed. it's sad to think some people ride in on a bus, take a lap around the church, and then drive off to Queenstown. Lake T has so much more to offer. and the Church of the Good Shepherd can be quite peaceful if you can slow down and wait for a moment to let the crowds disperse and the buses load back up.
honestly, it doesn't matter how many people were or were not there. I can't imagine a more perfect setting for a church, or a better place to sit and marvel at creation [whether you're religious or not.] Lake Tekapo is probably one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand... maybe the world. it's way the heck out of the way, but absolutely should make it on your NZ itinerary if you ever go.