Lake Tekapo was the first real town we went to after Mt. Aoraki, and I just want to take a second to recommend the Blue Lake Eatery and Bar. We got a fancy dinner there to celebrate getting engaged up at Sealy Tarns, and they have a platter where they give you a small portion of every meat option on the menu, which is exactly what you want after a big hike.
The lake itself has a few iconic sites, including the Church of the Good Shepherd and a memorial statue to all working dogs that helped early settlers survive in the valley, (and possibly to a dog named Friday that was involved in some serious sheep-napping). These iconic sites are very heavily photographed, and New Zealand has a few more spots that are famous for being photographed a lot. Don’t worry, I got pictures of the most photographed tree in the world, we’ll get to that when we get to Wanaka.
Lake Tekapo also has a weather observation station that you can drive up to with a sweet coffeeshop (but no wifi).