April 23, 2013 … seasonal colours

From rain and ice to red and gold, it was a day of transition.

We left Franz Josef soon after sunrise yesterday when the mountains were still shrouded with mist and rain, and the glacier’s presence was made known only through the chill in the air.

First light at Franz Josef

Somewhere up there, a mighty glacier lurks

These misty conditions persisted throughout the drive from Franz Josef to Haast where we paused for morning coffee and refreshment.

At the confluence of the Haast and Landsborough rivers, I could tell this was not normal with very low water flow. This impression was reinforced at the “Gates of Haast” where on every other occasion, I have seen thundering cataracts of water hiding most of the massive boulders that line the river bed. On this occasion, the rocks themselves were showing off their beauty as the remaining white water stumbled down the steep course.

Abnormally low flow at the Gates of Haast

Despite the comparatively low flow, the river still put on a show

As we emerged into the Otago side of the divide, the weather improved. It was still overcast, but the rain stopped and there were occasional small blue patches.

Memories at Makarora

There are so many abandoned homesteads

At Makarora, I pulled over to capture yet another in the seemingly endless supply of picturesque abandoned houses. We drove beside Lake Wanaka, and over the saddle to Lake Hawea, and as we got closer to Hawea township, I marvelled at the increasing brilliance of the season’s colours. Red maples and golden beeches provided the bulk of the colour.

Luminous leaves at Lake Hawea

That red maple in the middle was just perfect

In Wanaka, there is a grove of trees that I suspect belong to the Acacia family and their colours were indescribably luminous.

Ornamental grove in Wanaka

Magnificent colour

From there we took the back road by Lake Dunstan heading to Cromwell and then through the Kawarau Gorge to Queenstown. At Lowburn, some reflections demanded to be photographed.

Reflecting on Lake Dunstan

Near Lowburn

At Cromwell, the many orchards and vineyards were reaching the climax of their autumn colours, and busloads of tourists were making the most of it. So was I.

Orchard near Cromwell

The fruit has gone, the leaves will follow

This is a glorious season to be here.


About wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures. This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.
This entry was posted in Cromwell, Hawkes Ba, mountains, Reflections, Rivers, Seasons, sunrise. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to April 23, 2013 … seasonal colours

  1. That last image is superb! And I do like abandoned houses/old barns. Such stories attached to them.

  2. Sally Wallis says:

    Thanks again for the wonderful pictures from the South Island. I enjoy just about all the pictures you put up for us to see, but do enjoy your travel ones the most.
    N.Z. is getting the wonderful Fall [Autumn] colours and we are slowly going into Spring. Both are a wonderful time of year.
    Sally Wallis
    Ottawa, Canada. [birthplace Christchurch.]

  3. Rosalie says:

    I hope you have put Katiki point into your schedule

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