Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Mount Cook – Sunshine or Rain?


We drove from Christchurch to Mount Cook in the pouring rain. This wasn’t just rain, it was biblical. We kept expecting to see Noah and his big boat, but that didn’t happen. We are driving a rented 12 year old convertible car and its roof probably didn’t leak when it was new.

It was a shame, but the cloud was so low, the tops of the mountains were like a child after watching a horror film – hiding under blankets. Eventually the rain cleared, the clouds thinned and Mount Cook could be seen in its 12,316 feet of majestic glory....



Looking north, Mount Cook stand behind Lake Pukaki, with its remarkable turquoise coloured water....



Fed by the waters running off a glacier, the lake contains very finely ground rock particles suspended in the water and it is this that gives the lake its striking colour...



Mount Cook is part of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.



We stayed at the Hermitage Hotel, set amongst the mountains and with magnificent views. That is, when it wasn’t raining....









Some people choose to see the mountains from one of many plane or helicopter flights that operate in the area. I liked the idea of looking down from a bi-plane, but didn’t have the time....



Clyde Power Station...



I group of crosses by the side of the road. One crash was to blame.... very sad....



Of course, I loved this sculpture of a chopper motorcycle and had to turn the car round, drive back and take a picture.....


10 comments:

Trobairitz said...

Gorgeous pictures Gary - such vivid colors.

Roger Fleming said...

Four seasons in one day will describe our country pretty well, hope the weather is not dampening your spirits, but I think there is pretty good weather to come.

bob skoot said...

Gary:

this is spectacular scenery. Mt Cook knew you were coming so he blew the clouds away, just for you.

Looks like you are in the middle of nowhere. I don't notice any other people there

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

Very dramatic photos with the dark sky and the clouds. If it was simply sunny, it may not have looked so nice, at least from my distant perspective.

Arkansas Patti said...

That first picture is awesome. Suitable for framing.
What a beautiful country and that lake color is amazing.
Clever chopper sculpture. That is making good use of bits and pieces.

Rosemary Crawford said...

Gorgeous scenery! Gets us thinking about a taking a trip. New Zealand is definitely on the priority list.

Rex J. Covington said...

Fantastic photos! Thanks for sharing!

Gary France said...

Trobairitz – I am cheating a bit, by experimenting with enhancing the colours. It works nicely though.

Roger – That is a great way of putting it – four seasons in one day! I like it, and can see why you said this. We have had good weather since.

Bob – At Mt Cook, there were not many other people, until a bus would come along and unload fifty or so tourists all at once. It is therefore quiet in many places, and busy in the favourite ones.

Richard, I am using some new software that enhances pictures and it works best when there are clouds, so you are right – plain blue skies do not work as well. Every cloud has.....

Patti – The lake colour is truly amazing. When we first saw it, we just looked with our mouths open.

Rosemary – It is a great place to visit, but you need quite a lot of time to see both islands.

Rex – Thanks!

Chillertek said...

You stayed in the same hotel we stayed at when we visited Mt Cook. Its hard to take a bad photo with all of that magic scenery around. We loved the area so much we didn't want to leave.

We did the chopper ride up to and on the tasman glacier, it was fantastic and a must do thing.

Gary France said...

Chiilertek – Mt Cook certainly is spectacular and you are right about the pictures. Sadly, the cloud was too low when we went to do the chopper ride.