The day I visited Lake Pukaki, in last May, the weather was not very conducive of photographs, which was a shame because this naturally formed lake is famous for its incredible blue colour and I was unable to see it at its best.
The unearthly blue comes from glacial flour (a fine silt of pulverised rock) that is suspended in the icy cold lake waters and which reflects blue light and gives the lake a luminous appearance.
Lake Pukaki is situated in the Mackenzie Country in the central South Island and I approached it from the south, driving up from Twizel where I had spent the night.
Salmon farming is big business in all this area, and I purchased some fresh king-salmon fillets from a farm near Twizel before beginning my journey. They made an awesome present for my host that evening.
|Driving beside the Southern Alps on my way up from Twizel|
I stopped at the Lake Pukaki Visitor Centre for views of the Lake. On a fine day there apparently are beautiful views to be had of Mt Cook Aorangi away in the distance, but this day the mountain was shrouded in rain clouds.
I could, however, visit the thar statue beside the edge of the Lake. This bronze statue was created by Murray Matuschka in 2014 and commemorates the passing of the Game Animal Council Bill, which allows recreational hunters to have a say in the management of public conservation land. Thar are described as a kind of goat-antelope and were introduced to the area in 1904, but I cannot say I have ever seen one.
|The Thar statue beside Lake Pukaki Visitor Centre|
Upon leaving Lake Pukaki, the road heads for Tekapo village and its lake. The long straight roads were a dream to drive on, being too early for too much traffic, but it was rather strange to be driving toward blue skies and sunshine when all I could see in my rear vision mirror were ominously black rain clouds. Those clouds chased me for a long time, but eventually I drove clear of them and into a beautiful sunny autumn day.
|On the road to Tekapo|
My timetable for the day had not allowed me to detour from the Highway to visit Mt Cook Aorangi itself, which was perhaps for the best considering the weather. Maybe next time …..