Benmore Lake Lookout Loop.Since the earthquake altered our plans to explore some new territory on the South Island’s east coast, we decided to backtrack and revisit some places we already knew and loved: Glenorchy, Wanaka, and Lake Tekapo. I already covered our second stays in Glenorchy and Wanaka in previous posts, so I’ll pick up with a new site we visited en route from Wanaka to Lake Tekapo: Benmore Lake.Our updated NZ Frenzy guidebook included several new hikes and visits from our 2015 trip, including the Benmore Lake Lookout Loop, an 80-minute, 4.5-kilometer loop around a stunningly blue lake. NZ Frenzy author Scott Cook describes the view from the Benmore Islands Lookout it as such:
Shimmering lake, forested islands, and azure coves all around … and if it happens to be sunny and clear, then yup, that is the pointy crown of Aoraki seen in the far distance over the northern arm of the lake.
He wasn’t exaggerating. It was beautiful, and the perfect way to break up the Wanaka-to-Tekapo drive.We set up camp at the same freedom camping spot from our 2015 trip on the Lake Tekapo shoreline. It was sort of drizzly so we didn’t walk around as much as we did last year (bonus: We saw rainbows). Instead, we enjoyed wine, cheese, and salami before grilling steaks for dinner. I did some homework and we had tea and Tim Tams before going to bed.It rained a lot overnight and, upon trying to drive out of our lakefront freedom camping spot, we got stuck in the mud. After calls to Wilderness, AA (New Zealand’s equivalent to AAA roadside service), and a local mechanic shop called Tekapo Auto Services, a tow truck arrived to pull us out. We felt a little better after the tow truck driver told us we were their fourth call that day.They had to tow us out backwards, with Kail navigating somewhat blindly (no rearview mirrors or rear windows in the campervan) in reverse up a somewhat steep muddy, ramp. We sort of backed into a tree, but fortunately it didn’t cause major damage to the campervan (or injury to Kail — I was standing outside).Once we settled up with Tekapo Auto Services, we hit the road, albeit a bit later than expected, for our final road trip and night in the campervan. Next up: Lyttleton Harbour and Christchurch.See more photos from New Zealand.The Details: Benmore Lake Lookout LoopGPS Coordinates: -44.561293, 170.197356Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/oJsVSjS8QYK2The Details: Lake Tekapo Freedom CampingGPS Coordinates: -43.934361, 170.483744Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/2dzEz