Shielded from the rough coastal climate by the mountains, Lake Tekapo enjoys what I call the loveliest weather in New Zealand. In fact, Lake Tekapo is among the six sunniest places in New Zealand, combine that with the mean annual wind speed of just 7km/h and you get that perfect weather formula.
With every new journey, I understand more and more that, for me, the ultimate prize of any trip is that unique feeling which you experience when you discover something totally unexpected. It can be a stunning view, a moment of a great light, new never tried before activity or just a spectacular place. One of such places, which gave me that great experience, is Lake Manapouri.
Every visitor of the one of the most famous and largest waterfalls of New Zealand can feel its power kilometers away – the deafening noise of the Niagara Falls spreads over many miles and in good weather can be heard on the coast.
New Zealand is rightfully considered as one of the untouched and purest places on Earth, but even there some places are more untouched than the others. One of such regions, Catlins, is a home for a 22 meter high McLean Falls, the most spectacular in the area.
No trip to New Zealand’s South Island is complete without visiting at least one of its’ famous glaciers located on the west coast of the island. Among them is a 13 km long Fox Glacier, named after a former Prime Minister of New Zealand Sir William Fox. Descending from almost 3000m to just 300m above the sea level and ending in a rainforest, this glacier is one of the few of this kind in the world.
Everybody sees things differently, for example, Maori people believe that these boulders are calabashes or kumaras, geologists describe it as “septarian concretions” and trying to convince us that these rocks are cemented sediments, and at the same time, the most creative minds assert that Moeraki Boulders are nothing less than petrified dinosaur or extraterrestrial eggs.
Purakaunui Falls is one of the most photographed falls in New Zealand and it is featured on the postage stamp issued in 1976. In Maori language the word “Purakaunui” means “big heap of firewood” apparently referring to the surrounding forest.
Before going to New Zealand for the first time I had a very hard time trying to squeeze some space from my schedule to shoot sunrise and/or sunset at Lake Pukaki and Tekapo, and at the end, both lakes were pushed down to the bottom of the “must shoot” list by other locations. But things don’t go as planned very often and by now these two lakes are my two the most visited and photographed places in New Zealand, so much for planning, huh?! Read more…