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The Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo

The Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo - New Zealand

The Church of the Good Shepherd sits amongst the natural beauty of Lake Tekapo and the mountains

The Church of the Good Shepherd is located on Lake Tekapo’s shores in the South Island of New Zealand, with views of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook.

The small church was built in 1935 as the only church in the area and still is today. It was built as a place of worship and to commemorate the pioneering early settlers. The workers were told that the alpine zone was to be left undisturbed, including the rocks and matagouri bushes surrounding the site, to preserve the alpine environment.

A huge picture window above the altar shows the beautiful turquoise lake and snowy-topped mountains in the background. The church has seen many weddings and funerals and still has regular Sunday services for locals and visitors.

The Church of the Good Shepherd is one of the most photographed churches in the country and is worth a stop off when driving between Queenstown and Christchurch. The scenery changes with each season.

The Church of the Good Shepherd Information

  • The foundation stone was laid by HRH the Duke of Gloucester, on January 15 1935.
  • The distance from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo is approx 3 hours drive via State Highway 1 and State Highway 79
  • Tekapo to Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain is approx 1 hour away, standing 3,753m (12,313ft)
  • The bronze sheepdog statue close by, commissioned in 1968, is a tribute to the hardworking sheepdogs of the region
  • Each season brings changes to the scenery, notably the winter snow covering, providing you with the perfect photo opportunity
  • The Church of the Good Shepherd is listed as a Category I heritage building
  • Lake Tekapo is located in the Mackenzie region which is named after the infamous Scottish shepherd turned sheep rustler, James Mackenzie, who discovered it in 1855.
  • The Church of the Good Shepherd was designed by Christchurch architect R.S.D. Harman and built in 1935 from local stone
  • The church is currently closed during the day, however, you are free to wander the grounds and admire the stunning backdrop of the lake and Southern Alps

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