Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Tranquil Moana Rua (Lake Pearson)

We woke to our first heavy frost of the winter while staying at Lake Pearson- known in Maori as Moana Rua which loosely translated means 'wide expanse of water, number two'. There are a number of small lakes in the area, I wonder which one was number one.

After turning the throttle up on the diesel heater, I opened the door to check outside. The sun was yet to rise and an icy blast hit me in the face. I could see a thick blanket of mist rolling in to cover the lake. Perfect! I’ve been waiting to take some shots of sunrise and swirling mist.

I quickly threw on ten layers of clothing, fished my gumboots (wellington boots) out of the storage box, found my finger-less gloves and headed to the lake; crunch, crunch; it was icy cold and and crisp underfoot. I felt sorry for the tent dwellers, I hope they have extra warm sleeping bags.

I wasn’t the first to make a morning appearance, a couple from one of the cars is also waiting to see the sun appear above the horizon.

The sun slowly rose casting an eerie glow over the lake, warming rays are blocked by the mist.

Ducks appeared out of the golden gloom, hoping for an early breakfast?

The early-bird couple made an ideal subject as they walk to the point.

And I’m joined on the lake front by three foreign tourists, a camera-phone records the guys doing a haka in front of the rising sun (or should I say trying to do a haka). They chant 'ka mate, ka mate' over and over again- I think it's the only word they know.

Behind me the warm glow of the golden hour turned the autumnal willows an even richer gold.

Few campers are aware of the beautiful and stunning spectacle taking place just outside their vehicles and tents. Only the hardy (or cold), the romantic and those in the know ….

...are watching a magical scene unfold…

As the sun moves higher into the sky, the warmth pushes the mist away. The far side of the lake lies in the shadow of Purple Hill, it’ll be awhile before the mist lifts over there.

We arrive home later in the afternoon and the lake is still a mill pond, I walk to the top to check for grebes. A small farm hut, or perhaps it’s a fishing hut, has the most amazing view down the lake.

The reflections are stunning, there’s not a whisper of a ripple on the water. If it wasn’t for the different shades of blue I could turn Purple Hill upside down…….

and you'd be none the wiser….are those birds flying through?

Just so you don't have to turn your computer screen upside down...
The sun is fast disappearing behind the mountains behind me and I’m losing the lake to shade…

I decide to  give up when the ducks start to follow me along the edge, their ripples disturbing my reflections.

And now I’m at the other end of the day in the golden hour, although this one lasts just a few minutes because even though the daylight will last another hour or so the sun will sink below the ridge behind us.

An hour later the air is still and cold, there’s likely to be another heavy frost in the morning.

I think I’ll stay tucked up in bed for that one, I don’t want to overdose on magic days.


  1. Stunning photos Shellie, your photos are always amazing.

    1. Many thanks Lena, I'm glad you like them. And I see we've been visiting many similar places- Golden Bay, North West Coast etc. I think I'll have to add a tour to the Honeycomb Caves next time we're up there.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Olwen, much appreciated- it was a stunning area.

  3. Was The proposed site of an OMEGA radar using the lake as a reflector. 1970's.
    Great pics of a great place. Thanks.

    1. Fascinating! The things you learn when you're least expecting to. RIP Owen Wilkes, he had an interesting & somewhat tortured life. Thanks for the info, glad you enjoyed the photos.


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