7 things we are looking forward to doing from Lakestone Lodge after the Covid-19 lock down ends
We are very lucky to live in one of the most spectacular parts of the world and we have quite enjoyed the lock down in many ways, especially getting so much downtime with our family (it would have been great if it had nothing to do with running a business I am sure you can imagine the number of cancellations we received following the lockdown of New Zealand’s borders and we were still in our high season during this time!). During the lockdown, we have been able to explore our neighbourhood by going for walks around the Kettlehole Track behind Lakestone Lodge as well as bike rides on the local part of the Alps 2 Ocean, directly across the road as well as getting some photos of some amazing sunsets and scenery from the front yard, but all that said we can’t wait to get back out and about again amongst this stunning region.
Below is a list of things near here that we can’t wait to do once the lockdown ends:
Walk up to Mt John Observatory at Lake Tekapo (free)
This is one of our favourite ways to spend a day, start with a walk from the Tekapo Springs carpark up to the Mt John Observatory which is approximately 45min-1hr uphill and a good challenge for the legs. There is a nice little café at the top with stunning 360degree views of the Mackenzie Basin. You have 2 options to go down, 1 is like 2 sides of a triangle and takes 1.5hrs going around the edge of Lake Tekapo and the other is shorter, straight back down the same way you came up and is approximately 30-45mins.
Relax in Tekapo Springs Hot Pools followed by some ice skating
What better way to relax after the walk above than in one of many hot pools at Tekapo Springs (see Lakestone Lodge reception about getting discounts at Tekapo Springs). As winter approaches if the walk hasn’t used up all our energy, we can’t wait to take the kids ice skating there at an outdoor rink. Our ultimate day in Tekapo also normally involves some sushi from Kohan Restaurant.
Mountain Bike the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail (free bike use for Lakestone Lodge guests)
Luckily we have been able to do the spectacular section of the trail during the lock down the foreshore of Lake Pukaki with Aoraki Mt Cook as our backdrop, but we are looking to go further afield when the lockdown lifts. Although the weather is getting colder there are still some amazing clear winter days that are great for being outside exploring. Lakestone Lodge has complimentary bike use for all guests with a fleet of new Specialized mountain bikes
Ski the Tasman Glacier (price on application)
This looks like one of the most spectacular things you could possibly do ever!... and I still haven’t done it... Every year it is right up the top of my list of things to do but as summer approaches each year I can’t believe I never managed to do it. 2020 must be the year to ski the ice playground of the Tasman Glacier – the longest glacier in New Zealand (23km long) and the full day adventure starts with a flight to the top of the glacier and your guide takes you through stunning ice formations. You don’t have to be an expert skier as it is reasonably gentle, you only need to be an intermediate skier.
The Lakestone Night Sky Experience ($75pp)
Even though I am the guide, I still get a kick out of seeing what lies right above us at night when the world goes dark. I love showing guests the night sky as most have never seen before. They get to relax in a hammock, lying back rugged up warm in merino blankets, with a mulled wine creating an unforgettable experience. Apart from more stars than most people would normally see in one place there are also shooting ‘stars’, satellites, planets, the Milky Way as well as distant galaxies.
Walk the Hooker Valley Trail (free)
We were hoping when the lockdown was first announced, we would still be able to access all the hiking trails around the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. Understandably it wasn’t long after the announcement that the Department of Conservation closed access to all trails due to control of facilities and national safety and we weren’t allowed to drive somewhere to exercise like we had planned. We just can’t wait to get back up there as it is such an incredible place with stunning views in every direction ending up at a glacial lake with icebergs with Aoraki/Mt Cook towering above. The best part is the Hooker Valley Trail is normally overrun with people being the most popular trail in the National Park and this will be a unique opportunity to enjoy it with less people.
Hang out with friends (free)
Although during this madness we have managed to video call lots of friends and keep in touch it’s not the same as catching up in person and hopefully doing some of the activities above with our good friends is high up on the to-do list!
Mike Bacchus 22 April 2020