The next stop at Lake Tekapo was a lovely Lodge “The Lodge at Lake Tekapo“, where Stephanie and Alistair greeted us. It was a very cold day, around 10C and raining, the mountains had very little snow.
We learned the difference between a lodge and B&B in New Zealand. A lodge will also serve dinner upon request if you let them know at least one day prior, a B&B only serves breakfast. After a few drinks and meeting the others at the lodge from Denmark and England we asked Stephanie for her recommendation for dinner. She recommended Kohan, a Japanese restaurant on the lake just down the hill.
John and Janice headed down, Bunny and Peter decided to forgo dinner and take a walk by the lake. Dinner was fabulous we had local fresh water alpine salmon sushi, never heard of that before but they grow them in the canals by the lake, it was maybe the best salmon we have ever had. After dinner we returned to the lodge for a good nights sleep.
In the morning we went to the dining area for breakfast. The view from the table was breath taking and the mountains were covered in snow.
Breakfast included fruit, cereal, homemade croissants were the first course followed by omelets of mushrooms, cheese and tomatoes with bacon. A feast for breakfast. We then asked Stephanie to tell her interesting family history, she is a 5th generation New Zealander.
“My great, great, great grandfather came to New Zealand in 1857 from Stirling, Scotland. he brought over his wife and children,
a disembarking at Dunedin (dun is gaelic for south, edin for Edinburg hence the name Dunedin). Peter Robertson’s job was to be shepherd for Lord Cargill in central Otago. Peter and his wife Mary lived in Lawrence, after accessing the interior via Maori canoe over lake Waihola. Mary did not see another white woman for 3 years.In the 1860s gold was discovered in the Lawrence region, a large strike at Gabriel’s Gully. Gabriel read claimed to find the first gold after staying with the Robertson’s and in appreciation of their hospitality gave Mary the first gold which stayed in the family as a wedding ring.Their daughter Janet married the new doctor from Glasgow, Alexander Stewart, he came to administer treatment to the growing population on the goldfields and was especially caring to the Chinese miners. Alexander drowned on horseback en-route to the Chinese settlement.Their son, John Alexander Stewart married the daughter of John Hardy Morrison, manager of the Mosgiel Woolen Mills and Dunedin councillor. His father in law was mayor of Christchurch, Fred Hobbs. John and Henrietta’s daughter was my grandmother, they lived a very privileged life in the suddenly affluent Dunedin. All the gold and wool and later frozen lamb came through the port in Dunedin. The city today is a very quiet town kept alive by the Otago university campus.Alistair’s great grandfather came to Dunedin in 1857, also from Stirling area. James Craig was a farmer in Hampden then alter in Wanganui. He married twice, had a huge family and Alastair’s grandfather won a ballot for a farm with his two brothers in the Parapara region, post Boer War. Alistair’s aunt recently died aged 101, guess Alastair will be around a while….the family farm is now managed, but owned by Alastair and his three brothers.Alistair and i went to school together in 1966 at a private girls prep school. He and his brothers had arrived back in New Zealand from London ( his father had been on a short-term program at a London Medical School). They lived across the road from the school, so were accepted for a 1/2 year. I had the honour of sitting next to him but from the scowl on my face, obviously not happy! We met up again in 2002 working same company. The other coincidence was that my son, Jack’s friend Morgan Oddie’s ancestor, was Alexander Don, the minister in Lawrence at the same time as Alexander Stewart, they were great friends. When we, by accident, ended up visiting Lawrence with Morgan and Jack, we discovered this strange but true story. “New Zealand is a village…”.
Stephanie met Alistair in the wine business in Martinsburg. One day at a business party, they were all talking about where they were form and where they went to school. Stephanie worked in the business area and Alistair was a wine maker. Stephanie said she went to a very small girls school and no one would have heard of it. Out of no where Alastair said he also went there, of course Stephanie said that was impossible till she went home and found a class picture from the school. OMG!! Shocked, she found herself in the picture sitting next to Alistair. She had a lot of fun showing the picture around the company. The reunion has lasted to this day!
This lodge was set up beautifully with a very large lounge for guests and they offered, tea, coffee, wine and soda’s along with many books and movies. Very comfortable place to socialize.
We Thanked our host and hostess and headed to the bottom of the hill to visit:
This is a landmark in all of New Zealand (lead photo) and is used in many of the marketing brochures. It is visited on a daily basis by 6 tour buses per hour of people from around the world.
The local community wanted to build a church that would be a central meeting place for the locals and the visitors that came to the area for camping.The structure was to be built as a simple church overlooking the lake with a main feature of a plate-glass window behind the alter to make the lake and the mountains the focal point of the church. The church was to be dedicated ”firstly to the glory go god and second to the pioneers of the district.” In was in keeping with the Anglican Church, but open to all. In January of 1935 His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester laid the first stone. All the stones were from the lakeside and were picked for shape and color. The church as dedicated in August 1935. The alter in front is one large glass window that overlooks the lake and the mountains. On Christmas and Easter the inside is full with sometimes thousands on the outside for the service.
All in all this may be one of the best B&B’s (Lodge) in New Zealand, so if you plans include Lake Tekapo, and then should, stay here. Must visit on the way to, or from Queensbury.
Stephanie told us, on the way to Queenstown, to be sure and take the road to Mt. Cook, Lake Wanaka and the Crown Range Road.Road. Pictures say it all!