Burkes Pass, gateway to the Mackenzie region in the centre of the South Island, is reached 15 minutes before arriving at Lake Tekapo (when traveling from Christchurch). Nestled at the foot of the 709 metre (2326 feet) high mountain pass, is a tiny historic village and my day-trip travel companions and I made a short stop here when visiting Tekapo last May.
It was fun to wander around the collection of antiques and memorabilia on display, some of them being for sale.
Also in the village are old buildings that were mostly erected in the 1870s. A 30-60 minute meander along the Heritage Walk will take you to see places like a church, the former hotel, an old school, a musterer’s hut, a saddlery, several cob cottages (built of clay and tussock), and a cemetery. We left this walk for another day in the future, as we were running out of time on this visit.
There are meant to be some lovely picnic spots around the village, so this would probably be a good place to visit during the summertime.
Don't you just love exploring old villages?