It was hard to surpass the adventure of the open door helicopter ride to Fox Glacier. However, we still had a couple of days left to photograph.
We met the morning after the helicopter ride at 4.45 AM. We had a short drive from town to get to the parking lot. We then had a thirty minute hike to get to Lake Matheson through a dark forest ( it was a long time before the sun came up). The lake is famous for its mirror views of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. Apparently, its excellent reflecting properties are due to the dark brown colour of the water. It certainly was worth getting up early for.
A different viewpoint.
On our hike out we could actually see some of the scenery.
In the afternoon, a few of us went for a walk in the town of Fox Glacie. We found a forest trail that we took. We ended up walking in a loupe although the original plan had been to see if we could get closer to the Fox Glacier face. Somewhere we took a wrong turn!
It was fun walking in the rain forest.
We went out for an evening shoot but the weather didn't co-operate so we ended up not getting out of the van.
The next morning, our sunrise shoot was cancelled due to the rain which had started at 2 AM , so we all got to sleep in. I don't think anyone was too unhappy. Around 9.30 AM we left for Greymouth where we would be spending our last two nights. Along the way we stopped to photograph the Hokitika Gorge. The blue-green waters of the Hokitika River were stunning. To the left you can see Nathaniel up on the cliffs photographing. The only issue was all of the biting sandflies in the area
In the evening we drove out to Punakaiki to photograph the last light on the Pancake rocks. Punakaiki is a small community on the west coast of South Island, between Westport and Greymouth. The community lies on the edge of the Paparoa National Park. The Pancake Rocks are a popular tourist destination at Dolomie Point, south of the main village. The rocks are a heavily eroded limestone area where the sea bursts through several vertical blowholes during high tides. Although we waited, we never got to see the large bursts of water. Even if we had stayed a little longer for high tide, I don't think the water was rough enough to see the bursts of water. Still the pancake-layering of the limestone rocks themselves were very interesting. The layering is created by immense pressure on alternating hard and soft layers of marine creatures and plant sediments.
There were some nice colours off in the distance.
This was the shot of the evening. We set up our tripods and waited for the light which co-operated.
On our final full day, we met at 5.15 AM to drive to photograph the rugged coastline north of Greymouth, in Paparoa National Park.
After two weeks of spending time in New Zealand, seeing some terrific scenery, making memorable photographs and meeting a great group of people, it was time to drive back to Christchurch to catch a flight to Melbourne.