Saturday, December 15, 2012

Lake Tekapo

Shortly after we left Burke's Pass we came across the famous Wild Lupins that dot the roadside from about here all the way through the MacKenzie Country. I can't describe it. It simply looks amazing and the photos just don't do it justice. As soon as we saw our first wild Lupins, we stopped to photograph them in case a). we didn't find another patch that looked as good, and b). bad weather was coming in from the west as you can see in that first image.

Not only was the roadside pretty but the landscape all around us was amazing.

So there was more than just Lupins to keep us occupied.

Other cars just rushed by, totally oblivious to the beauty of the landscape. They either aren't photographers, or are used to sights like these..

Here's the van we are travelling in. That's Emily getting something out, and her bike attached at the back. It was very comfortable travelling!

After I climbed back into the van I looked out the window and saw the other side of the road was interesting too. I simply gave my camera to Emily who was in the drivers seat to take one for me. This is the result.  She's a great photographer!

A short driver further on and we came to Lake Tekapo..  A wonderful sight greeted us.  Blue Sky, fluffy clouds, and lots and lots of Lupins by the lakeside. We were in heaven.

Lake Tekapo is also the home of the Church of the Good Shepherd.  It was the first church built in the MacKenzie Basin, in 1935, and is one of the most photographed churches in New Zealand. It features an altar window that frames stunning views of the lake and mountains.

Unfortunately it was closed while we were there due to some school function in there.  I were most disappointed as I wanted to get some shots from inside the church.

Across the lake to the left was another mountain, paddocks, a forest of pine trees, and willows along the lakeshore. In the corner were more blue Lupins.

But this was what we were here for.  The colours of the flowers, the colour of the lake. The lake really is that turquoise colour. It is one of the most amazing colours I've seen. It is created by 'rock flour'. The glaciers in the headwaters grind the rock into fine dust, and these suspended particles in combination of sunlight create the unique water colour.  On a cloudy day, the colour of the lake is very drab.

Emily and Liz spent some time complaining about the rude tourists who trampled the flowers and didn't care about anyone else but themselves, then discussed the best place for photos amongst the flowers..

Emily wore the right colours to blend into the landscape...

Liz getting up close and personal to the flowers...

I would have loved to walk out to the lake edge and feel the water, but unfortunately the stones were too uneven for my sore ankle, so I had to stay put.

Instead I just took photo after photo of the colours of the flowers. It made it very very difficult choosing which ones to put in this blog. For every one listed here, I have another 20 on my HDD and they are all as good as each other.

I wandered over to the back of the carpark and looked down at the part of the lake where the hydro dam was.  All down the bank were Lupins.

We decided to to head up to St Johns Observatory for the views before the weather packed up as it was slowly rolling in unfortunately...

Lake Tekapo from way up high...

And to the left is Lake Alexandria... Not such a pretty turquoise...

And looking down to the Lake Tekapo township and the Church area where most of these photos were taken...

Lake Tekapo is simply stunning and if you're visiting New Zealand, you should make this one of the places you must visit.  This was my 3rd time there.  Once in my early 20s (30 years ago), then again in early January  this year, and again last week.  Early January there were some Lupins still about but they were past their best.  Early summer (December) is the best time to go if you want to see the Lupins.

No comments: