On our way out of Dunedin on the Magic Bus we stopped at Baldwin Street, the Steepest Street in the World as verified by the Guinness Book of Records. I was a bit of a sceptic as we have some very steep streets back home in Cape Town but after walking up to the top I had to concede it is very steep, at its steepest it has a gradient of 1 in 2.86 or 19°.
Our next stop was Koekohe Beach where you find these unusually large and spherical boulders lying on the beach. Known as the Moeraki Boulders they are quite incredible to see with the larger ones up to two metres in diameter.
After picking up some provisions in the historic wool town of Oamaru we headed inland up towards the mountains and the beautifully blue coloured glacial lakes in the Mackenzie Country. The surreal blue hue of the lakes is the result of glacial dust, rocks that have been ground down beneath the ice floes, suspended in the water. We got our first look at this at Lake Pukaki where you can get fantastic views across to Mt Cook but unfortunately it was overcast when we arrived but this did provide the rather dramatic setting for this photo.
Just around the corner we pulled into Lake Tekapo our overnight stop and before settling into the hostel Gregg took us down to the water’s edge and the Church of the Good Shepherd which is a quaint old building with this amazing view behind its altar.
After checking in to the Lakefront Backpackers Lodge I went straight out to make the most of the rest of the afternoon and hiked up to the top of Mount John to get some unbelievable views of the lake and surrounding Mackenzie Basin.
It was very cold and there was still snow in areas of shadows along the path but the clouds cleared and I was rewarded with some of the most amazing views of my whole trip with great light in the late afternoon sunshine. I’ll let these photos do the talking.
I didn’t want to leave the sunset from the top of Mt John but I had been put in charge of the braai for our group meal so I had to get back down to the hostel. A bit late I had to run back down through the forest.
As I emerged from the forest on the shores of Lake Tekapo in front of our hostel the colour was even better in the evening light so I spent several minutes taking these photos, the hamburgers could wait.
After the light had finally faded I got back to the hostel to find the rest of the bus hard at work in the kitchen preparing what turned out to be a massive feast that we didn’t even finish half of so when we were done we offered it to the other backpackers in the hostel who were happy to get a free meal.