Day out in the Maniototo

Posted on Saturday 9 June 2007

Today dawned as a crisp blue day. I was tossing up between heading out to Glenorchy where there was possibly some good new snow (most of the recent snow missed the Queenstown area), or heading out to Blue Lake at St Bathans. In the end, St Bathans won out as it was a very still day and I hoped to get lots of good reflections on Blue Lake.

St Bathans is very rustic old gold town. It’s situated beside the beautiful Blue Lake (created by the sluicing and channelling of the gold diggers), the intense blue colour of the lake is caused by the mineral content of the surrounding cliffs.

St Bathans

St Bathans

When I first arrived, I hurried to the shore edge to see what type of reflection images I could get. To my annoyance, there were two very noisy dogs swimming in the lake (it would have been freezing) with their owners throwing in sticks. Needless to say, this didn’t exactly help for a calm, still water to get perfect mirrored reflections on. Undeterred, I headed further down the lake to where it was quieter and calmer. The mud was very sticky and made walking around the track a little tricky. The landscape is quite alien and moon like.

After taking well over one hundred photos around the lake, I headed off to do a loop on the Hawkdun Runs and Home Hills Run roads which take you right into the heart of the Hawkdun Conservation area. I was a little worried about the state of the road given the recent snows, but luckily, there had been enough sun to melt most of the snow on the road, with just a few patches remaining in the shaded areas. It’s an extremely beautiful area in the classic starkness of the Maniototo region.

Hawkdun Ranges

Hawkdun Ranges

On the way back home to Arrowtown, I managed to get a few shots of the beautiful old buildings in Ophir and one of the vineyards in the Gibbston Valley before the sun went behind the mountains.

In total, I took 290 shots on both cameras (Canon G3 and 300D). All in all, a very satisfying day.


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