30 November 2017

Lake McGregor

Not far from Lake Tekapo is a small lake named 'Lake McGregor'. It's nestled between Lake Tekapo and Lake Alexandrina.

To get there I drove a couple of kilometres out of Lake Tekapo and turned right down Godly Peaks Road. This is the same road that takes you to the turn off to the Mt John Observatory. It also takes you to Lake Alexandrina. 

There was a small area off the road where I pulled over to take some photos overlooking Lake Tekapo.

 Oakly was impressed with the view too.

The road is reasonably narrow and windy, but it's sealed. Both sides of the road were bordered with lupins. Lots and lots of gorgeous, colourful lupins. 

After about 10 kilometres, a left hand turn takes you onto a gravel road, which leads to Lake McGregor. 

We were escorted along by an easy going hare, who decided to bob along the road in front of us - I slowed right down hoping it would run to the side of the road and race up the hill. But nope, It was determined to slowly jog (do hares even jog?) along the road. Not in any hurry.

The lake appeared after about 500 metres and soon after the DOC campsite came into view.

The campsite was mostly filled with small vans most probably camping overnight. There are a block of toilets and parking was on hard, level gravel.

The campsite looks over Lake McGregor, which is bordered with willows and lupins.

Lake McGregor is fed from Lake Alexandrina and then flows into Lake Tekapo.

The road continues on from here to Lake Alexandrina. I'll visit that early tomorrow morning and hopefully there might be a sunrise to capture.

We headed back along the same road that we drove in. 

In the distance I noticed trials of dust and stopped to watch several trekking horses make their way to another paddock to graze amongst the lupins.

I watched them until the sun had almost dipped below the mountains ... it was time to head home.

The paddocks turned a gorgeous golden colour - the perfect end to another fabulous day in the MacKenzie Country.

29 November 2017

Burkes Pass

Burkes pass is the gateway to the McKenzie country. Not far from lake Tekapo (only a 10 minute drive) is a small settlement in Burkes Pass known as 'Three Creeks'. 

It's a tiny, historic township with unique craft stores selling retro collectibles, antiques and craftware, classic vehicle memorabilia, a coffee shop in a retro caravan, outdoor furniture and so much more. It's definitely worth stopping there.

I remember these phones.

St Patrick's church in Burkes Pass was built in 1872 and is the oldest Union Church in Canterbury. It's still available to be hired out for weddings.

Further along the road towards Lake Tekapo is the Burkes Pass cemetery. Many pioneers have been laid to rest there along with Connie Scott, 'The Lupin lady'. 

In the 1950s, Connie Scott from Godley Peaks imported a sack of Russell Lupin seeds from the UK and spread them in the MacKenzie country to beautify the roadside. 

I found Connie's gravestone and placed a bunch of lupins I 'd picked for her. I gave her a silent thank you for creating such a stunning countryside for so many people to enjoy.

Driving back towards Lake Tekapo we spotted another historical site, 'Dog Kennel Corner'. 

The plaque on a small boulder acknowledges this as the area that boundary dogs were tied up in the early station days, before the high country was fenced. The sheep dogs would be tethered and kennelled there to keep sheep escaping from one station to the next.

I'll add a few more lupin photos so you can see the large areas they cover. It's beautiful driving through this area. Connie Scott will always be remembered for making the MacKenzie district so picturesque.

To finish today's tiki-tour we stopped at Lake Tekapo to give the dogs a swim. The water was warm, clear and inviting.

It was only a few minutes walk back to the rig - Bernie drove the ute back while I walked the dogs along the track.