Sunday 14 November 2021

Autumn in the High Country

I've been procrastinating too much & look where that got me. I'm still in autumn! The photos are too lovely to miss so here you go an autumn photo fest. 

Out & About Around Twizel

Ben Ohau Station Stables
Clockwise- The Old Iron Bridge, Twizel Village, Loch Cameron,
 The Lagoon at Lake Ruataniwha, Glen Lyon Road ford, Glen Lyon Rd trees
Lake Ruataniwha & Ben Ohau Range
Ohau C Camp, Lake Benmore

The Lagoon, Ohau C Camp
Ohau C Camp looking very resplendent in autumn colours

Ohau C lagoon on a different day
Reflections- Wairepo Arm, Twizel

Kellands Pond, Twizel 

Hard to believe this was taken in NZ and in the high country

This is a favourite place to stop for a drink or just to relax for a few minutes when I'm photographing around the ponds.

Poplars always make a great show during autumn & are even more impressive when they line the entrance to a farm- SH8, Omarama

On my way to the Otematata Wetlands at Lake Aviemore I stopped at the top of the road overlooking a farm station & Lake Benmore in the distance- as you can see, other than the briar bushes, there's not much autumn colour away from the waterways. That's the A2O Cycle trail in front of me, heading off down the Waitaki Valley to Oamaru.

A farmer's work is never done.

Sailors Cutting harbour on Lake Benmore (this is the southern end of the lake, when I mention Lake Benmore it's usually the north end). Since this photos many of the willows that line the road side (where the boats are) of the harbour have been removed due to age & weakness. 

Otematata Wetlands, Lake Aveimore, Waitaki

With it's network of tracks and ponds, the wetlands are a great place to visit and especially in the autumn. The birdlife is also abundant & I was lucky enough to see a lone Kotuku/White Heron on one of the ponds.

Take a photo of the information board with the map or download the map from my link above because it's easy to get lost as the many tracks crisscross each other. There are several entrances, I went in off Loch Laird Road. One of the tracks ends up (or starts if you are staying there) at Boat harbour camping ground.

Boat Harbour- Otematata
Benmore Dam & the Waitaki River/Lake Aviemore

A quiet side diversion from the main lake & great place for children to play; Loch Laird camp ground.

Another high country station near Otematata.

Glencairn Station, Twizel

Clockwise- Pond reflections, Monster puffball, Beehives,
Chook house, Willow reflections, Wild turkeys
Simons Pass- SH8, Tekapo-Twizel Highway

Freedom Camping at Patterson Ponds which is sadly no longer available (Genesis closed it because of the perceived flooding threat) 

Patterson Ponds & Tekapo River. My beautiful Patterson Ponds are slowly dying, bird & fish life gone. The river course has changed, the inlet into the ponds is high & dry and much of the water has drained out. And is still draining out at the south end of the 8 or so ponds (see bottom left photo). This was once a vibrant and active little ecosystem, an oasis in the middle of a parched & dry landscape and it's so sad to see.

Aurora at Tekapo River- It was a new location for me when an aurora alert went off. It wasn't a strong one but I still managed to pick up a few beams.

Exploring Godley Peaks Road (again) down the western side of Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo
Another favourite; Lake Alexandrina

Lake Alexandrina; top, middle & bottom camps. Including a caretaker having a quiet moment with his pet sheep who follows him around while he checks the pest traps each morning (bottom left photo)

And to finish with, a chance sighting of a rare Black Stilt/Kaki