February 23, 2015 … the lofty mountain grandeur

That was a stunner of a day.

Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu from Drift Point

The weather was perfect. It was crystal clear to begin with and a few small puffy cumulus clouds formed later in the day. There was almost no wind most of the day. Beginning in Queenstown, we went down towards Invercargill beside beautiful Lake Wakatipu which was at its magnificent best.

Garston

Garston district with Eyre Range beyond

A little past Fairlight, we turned on to the Nevis road and began the long and winding climb across the Southern part of the Remarkable Range. Far below, the quilted farmland was spreading out below the Eyre Range across the lake.  Over the ridge and down to the Nevis Valley  we marveled at the vast grandeur of the landscape.

Nevis

Deep in the Nevis valley, a hut is dwarfed

A hut in the distance helps give a sense of scale to the place.

Ford

Andrew having fun crossing a ford

This is not a road for the average family sedan, it’s definitely for serious four-wheel drive vehicles. Fortunately, Andrew has a large and very capable Toyota which negotiated some of the rutted tracks with ease, and gave Andrew and the children some fun as they splashed though some of the many fords along the way.

Dwelling

Remnants of a miner’s dwelling in the Nevis Valley

We stopped for lunch on a sunny bank beside a pond near some gold tailings and some remains of old stone miners dwellings. The large fireplace at either end of the small room was a testament to the savage cold in this region in winter, as was the total absence of any surviving trees nearby.

Spaniard

“Horrid Spaniard

I walked around the small lake trying to get different angles on the remains of the mining settlement. There is a plant which is regrettably called “Horrid Spaniard” (Acyphylla horrida) and which can reputedly puncture mountain bike tyres. It certainly hurts if you wander into it.

Bannockburn

Lake Dunstan from the ridge above Bannockburn

Eighty kilometres after leaving the lake, we reached the top of the valley above Bannockburn and looked down on the lovely blue of the distant Lake Dunstan.  We enjoyed a very welcome cool drink at a pleasant hostelry called Pisa Moorings on the shores of the lake.

A truly fantastic day.

*

*”How Great Thou Art” by Stuart K Hine

 

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About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
This entry was posted in Cromwell, Lakes, Landscapes, mountains, Queenstown. Bookmark the permalink.

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