Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Mount Cook spendour, South Island, New Zealand

DURING our visit to NZ we were based in Auckland, but wanted to make a short trip south to visit Mt Cook for its amazing landscape and the Otago peninsula for beaches and wildlife - we were not disappointed.  We drove from Christchurch on long open roads, with few other cars and stopped off at the tourist honey pot of The Good Sheppard chapel at the head of Lake Tekapo, to enjoy the views and these amazing naturalised lupins...


Rain on the hills

Mount Cook summit itself, on one of its rare appearances

These stunning spiky flowering plants were scattered throughout the grassland

The Tasman glacier and screen coming down from the east side of Mt Cook - a mainly grey day, but still a spectacular view.

Now the weather was not tremendously kind to us - we did get to see the top of the mountain through the clouds and our walk out into the glacial valley was dry...but when we turned round it rained for the journey back.  I ended up with a cold for a few days but it was worth it!

Indigenous and localised the amazing Mount Cook Lilly is  sight for sore eyes.  When I saw the first one I clambered up rocky scree and over boulders to get a picture of which I was justifiably proud.  However when we turned the corner they were everywhere and liberally scattered over the damp hillsides.  The plant is a like a white version of our marsh marigold so is not related to the lillies at all...but then the name lilly is so much nicer.

Rifle bird

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