With Georgia’s Birthday coming up I wanted to do something special for her. It’s been a massive year with losing her mum, her grandad, getting married and renovating our house. I thought about a weekend away with the pooch, but shes just spent 4 months straight renovating with me, there’s so much more she needs than just me: family, friends, relaxation, a change of scenery and laughter.
I was keeping tabs on a weekend close to her birthday and locked in the location of Tekapo with everyone coming as it’s only a 3-hour drive from Christchurch. I got talking to the team at isolation bay and we teamed up to give her the best birthday surprise I could have imagined – and she had no idea what was happening.
I told Georgia on Saturday afternoon to pack her bags because I’m taking her away for a few nights. All she was concerned about was where Frankie was staying! A couple of colleagues from her work helped me organise an additional day to the public holiday off so we could stay two nights.
After dropping Frankie off at her own accommodation at Eyrewell forest en route to Tekapo we stopped at Lake Tekapo Farm Tours where Nicole, Georgia’s sister met us, followed by my sister Ashlee, her partner Dylan and their son Weston, Georgias friend Brooke, Jax and her daughter Blake and my sister Hayley.
Lake Tekapo Farm Tours
We kicked it off with feeding a few Alpacas and a couple of friendly Merino Sheep, after that we had a tour of the original Mt John woolshed then got in Janes mystery machine and headed in-land to check out the views and history that Balmoral and Mt John stations had to offer. Our guide Jane talked us through the land use throughout the last century and the farms use today. The views along every stop were incredible, my camera couldn’t keep up. The milky blue water which Jane explained was created by rock flour from surrounding glaciers. The glaciers grind rock into a fine dust. This rock dust is floating in the water and causes the turquoise colour you see. I loved stopping at the glacial creek and having a glass of possibly the freshest water. The kids loved this too, Weston and Blake were right in there scooping a few glasses to drink/throw.
The vista that this accommodation offers is like no other, I’ll have to write another post on this alone because I have a lot of photos to share! We were guided there by the lovely Bonnie. As you drive down a shingle farm road toward the isolated bay, you’re greeted by this oversized house that mirrors the surrounds with its giant glass front and wooden exterior. Walking in your breath is taken away by the grand size of the inside and the panoramic views of the lake.
The house was clearly designed to follow the sun, in the morning you enjoy a coffee, soaking up the atmosphere from the front. In the evening you head to the back where you have a BBQ and open up the largest stacking doors you’ve ever seen to create a tunneled view out the front before retiring to the luxury feel in the center of the house where you literally can’t stop looking at the lake and mountains.
The beauty of isolation bay is that it’s designed with families and large groups in mind. Sleeping up to 18 the house is large enough that a large group just seems like a small gathering. It really was the perfect retreat with our family and friends!
Silver River™ Stargazing
This one really blew us away. None of us had been stargazing before so we didn’t know what to expect. Jane, the tour guide from the earlier tour comes backed with years of experience in star gazing, there wasn’t a question she couldn’t answer and they were being fired at her from all angles once we all got behind the telescope.
The views of Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and the moon were really something else! I’ll be doing this again and I really hope with Jane because she was so helpful and enjoyed a good laugh at all the different reactions to what we were seeing. The groups favourite was, of course, the moon because of the detail but my sister Ashlee was VERY impressed by Mars. There was even a shooting star to top the night off.
We had the most amazing time and it wouldn’t have been nearly as good without the company of our friends and family. I recommend you check out the places above because they really are the perfect example of what makes Tekapo so special.