Tekapo used to be a quick toilet stop for buses - with a cute little stone church and a gorgeous lake, on the way from Christchurch to Queenstown.
Boy, did that change in 2012 when a 4300 sq km area was declared the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. Cleverly, Tekapo made use of its remoteness by controlling what little light pollution there was in the area and becoming one of the ultimate spots on the globe to experience stars and the night sky.
Night Sky tourism is now a hot ticket and Lake Tekapo holds all the cards, including the world-renowned Mt John Observatory. Over the last decade, the town has grown accordingly.