Tekapo-Aoraki/Mt Cook

Lake Alexandrina from the unimaginatively named Mt John

Lake Alexandrina from the unimaginatively named Mt John

One of my favourite haunts is the inland area of South Canterbury around the lakes of the Mackenzie Country and Lake Tekapo in particular.  For many years as a child my family stayed in an old house on one of the large sheep farming runs at the head of the lake, Mt Gerald Station.  For me, that meant sleeping in a tent, playing cricket games, swimming in a large cold pool, going rabbiting (my father with the gun, but me and the others equally serious), and endless hours to wander and play and imagine…

Fortunately, Lake Tekapo is just over an hour away from our shack at Totara Valley, and more fortunately, Anne and I have just spent three nights there with some of our favourite people… the weather was perfect, the company sublime, and the scenery there and at Mt Cook/Aoraki absolutely perfect given it was winter!

A few more photographs…

Tekapo at dawn

Tekapo at dawn

friends at the lakeside

friends at the lakeside

sheep dog monument

sheep dog monument

open fire at work

open fire at work

batman - our mate Brian finds a dress-up box

batman – our mate Brian finds a dress-up box

tourists at Lake Pukaki with Aoraki splendid in the background

tourists at Lake Pukaki with Aoraki splendid in the background

Aoraki-Mt Cook

Aoraki-Mt Cook

snow & ice

snow & ice

swingbridge

swing-bridge

hawk in flight

hawk in flight

Mt Sefton

Mt Sefton

Lake Tekapo township

Lake Tekapo township

Onekaka

Onekaka Wharf at dawn

Anne and I love the Onekaka [on-e-ka-ka] wharf (what is left of it) in Golden Bay – we often spend a half-day there reading and enjoying the wonderful landscape where the river estuary is ever-changing in the views.  We found out that the wharf functioned until the mid-1950’s for loading the iron ore that was mined at Onekaka over many years.  It is hard to believe that so many people once lived in this small community.
The image was taken at dawn – we had risen at 5.30am to travel over to the Wanganui inlet and the brilliant morning light encouraged a quick detour to Onekaka.

Gannet at Puponga

Puponga is a delightful estuary very close to Cape Farewell at the top of the South Island in Golden Bay, New Zealand.  While there last week Anne and I witnessed a young seal out fishing, a mother and children kayaking, the children’s surprise when their father waded into the water naked, a net catch of at least 100 herring (for live fish-bait), and a gannet out looking for a feed.  The gannet would plop into the water in search of a fish and then try to take off with wing flaps and feet going at it like the Flintstones picking up speed in their car.  I caught a sequence of shots on camera, two of which are pictured here…

gannet applying air-brakes

one, two, three... we have liftoff