and occasionally rides a bike.
A word of warning. The walk descriptions are not detailed enough to guide you - please take a map. The batteries never run out, and you always have a signal. Oh, And don't take left or right as gospel!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lake Hawea - Gladstone track & short section Breast Hill track

According to my garmin the walk was around 4 miles each way. We set off from Johns Creek and followed the track above the lake shore. Brilliant flowers growing wild - lupins, roses, orange Californian poppies, as well as other less ostentatious flowers. New Zealand flax, pines, silver birch and the odd blue gum, as well as some deep pink mesembryanthemums, clearly flourishing on the rocks in the sun.  The wind was strong today.

Map of the walk in one direction is here.

14 Dec Hawea walk

The wind has whipped white horses all over the lake, and the waves hit the shore with a crashing sound as stones are rolled back and forth. It sounds like the sea.

We're going to take the track to Lake Hawea village. It runs just in from the shore, through pines, and along cliffs. Today we're pushed along by the wind, but the sun shines and there are flowers everywhere - self set feral flowers?

Lupins, predominantly pink and purple, but with large patches of wild yellow ones too. Californian poppies, with their delicately shaped flowers of rich waxy orange. Wild roses, with their small pink flowers and arching branches. Two different types of yellow flowers, both growing as tall spikes. A blue flower, with pink on it - another spike. Even the birds foot trefoil is bigger and lusher than at home. There's a rocky slope where deep pink mesembryanthemum are sunbathing. The kete flax is everywhere, and we have pines and eucalyptus too.
We stop for coffee at the General Store and Café on the corner of Capell Avenue and Parry Crescent.  The way back is against the wind, but still bright and exhilarating.

15 December - short and steep

Uphill a bit . . .

I walk along the Timaru River road, from Johns Creek for about a mile, then for a very short stretch of the Breast Hill Track, part of a long distance walking track.

I meet a man coming down who says it's about an hour to get to the ridge, and very steep zigzags.  It does climb very steeply, and one of my excuses for turning back is that my old trainers are not exactly suitable footwear.

The track leaves the Timaru river road

Looking over Lake Hawea

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lake Alexandrina path

Very short - probably four to five miles in all.
This lake doesn't have the turquoise colour of Tekapo or Pukaki
Growing wild
a path with a view

Harry walked from Lake McGregor to the southern end of Alexandrina.  I walked most of the way then back to pick up the car and collect him from the (unsealed gravel) road from the camping area.
here we had a picnic

We saw Southern crested grebes doing a courtship dance, plus mallards, coot and black swans. Canada geese as well, of course.  These guys are everywhere!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tekapo to Mount John

Our longest walk in N Z so far. About 10 km - up to the hill top Observatory and back the longer gentler way.  We followed instructions from a local leaflet.

The only map we needed on a fine summer day was the one in the picture. The tracks are clear, well signed when they diverge, and easy to walk along. I had the photo on my camera - just in case!

ready for action
not as steep as the Trig Track on Kapiti Island
out of the woods
welcome . . .

Lake Tekapo

Heights above sea level

Lake Tekapo: 710m
Mount John 1043m

So - 333m of ascent - must be around 1000ft.

Deepest point of Lake  120m