My road trip a couple of weeks back was to capture some stunning dawn shots of rivers and mountains. This time, following my son’s instructions, I drove right up the Rakaia Valley as far as Glenfalloch Station. I got there well before dawn, walked around a bit until I saw some signs of life and introduced myself to the very friendly landowner. Unfortunately this was the visibility up there that morning, at least for the hour or so that I waited:
I had a good book, and the family dog was very friendly too:
The mist and cloud was heavy around the mountains but as I drove back down towards the east the day improved. So I did some scouting, looking for great views up around Lake Heron and Erewhon, in from Mt Somers. The idea was to return the next morning for a stunning picture. In the meantime I took some snapshots.
My son was right, it certainly is beautiful country around there. Here’s a small lake with an unusual name, “Lake Camp”, right next to a small settlement at Lake Clearwater.
As I drove towards Mt Somers, the lighting was certainly very dramatic:
The views back towards the mountains are spectacular:
The next day: still no dawn sunlight so it was back to the Rakaia for more scouting. This time on the northern side going in past Lake Coleridge towards the Wilberforce River.
It’s interesting to think about what all of this would look like prior to the arrival of humans 1000 or so years ago. Just north of Lake Coleridge lies an area called the ” Korowai/Torlesse Tussocklands Park”. The word “korowai” means “cloak” in Maori and it’s easy to see why it’s such an appropriate name. From a distance these slopes look very much like the surface of a feather cloak:
Unfortunately I didn’t get one shot of this vegetation that was absolutely sharp. It was blowing a gale and I was having trouble keeping the tripod in place, let alone steady. That’s the trouble taking photographs up here when the light levels are low.
So three cloudy dawns in a row meant the trip was not nearly as successful as I had hoped. No stunning images, but I did learn a lot about a part of the country that I had never visited before. Next time!