We left Lake Tekapo early morning, and headed to the dump station, which could possibly be known as the most scenic one in N.Z? With no-one around, I took my time, already these dumping chores were not as complicated as I'd once imagined them to be.
Heading west, Lake Pukaki is the next lake, which was only a half hour drive away. I drove up the east side of Lake Pukaki, along Hayman Road and pulled over for a mini-break.
And like Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki is also glacier fed, it too is a milky blue colour, created from glacial flour. Lake Pukaki is the biggest of the three lakes that roughly lie parallel to each other. The braided Tasman River feeds into Lake Pukaki at the northern end, and is sourced from the Hooker and Tasman Glacier, which are situated near Aoraki/Mount Cook.
And just like that, the dogs were off ... I'm guessing maybe 'rabbits' might have been on their minds!
Our next port of call was Lake Wardell, only a further 10 minutes down the road, I wanted to see how big the lake/pond would be in autumn. If you'd like to see what it was like when we visited in early summer, click here.
Bernie and I had called into Lake Wardell when we were living on the road. I remember, before Bernie had stopped the car, Oakly leapt out the window! He'd spotted a rabbit! He jumped, rolled and ran ... fortunately speed isn't one of Oakly's strong points, so the rabbit got away and thankfully we got our dog back.
However, this visit, I was better prepared - with the windows up, I drove in, found a park and then we set off to explore.
Lake Wardell is a popular place to freedom camp, its situated amongst trees beside a sheltered pond and is handy to Twizel (if you need supplies, plus there's a public dump station in Twizel).
I'm not sure why it's called a lake? Some years, over summer, it's been known to completely dry up, but in other seasons, when the lake is full, it's simply gorgeous. On calm days, the reflections are amazing.
We left Lake Wardell and continued on to Loch Cameron. Again I'd visited this stunning little Loch in summer a couple of years ago, it was greener then, and had gorgeous reflections (click here to see those pics), I was interested to see what it would be like in autumn.
If like me, you think you've seen a place at it's best, but it's not in autumn ... I recommend to go back and see it during the golden season. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
When I visited Loch Cameron last, I left the dogs with Bernie as I was unsure whether they'd be allowed there. Back then, there had been two signs on the gate to the Loch, one saying 'dogs restricted' and another sign saying 'control your dogs and pick up after them'. On this visit, I decided to follow the advice of the second sign. I'd control my dogs and (as I always do) I'd pick up after them.
Above the Loch, a sealed road runs alongside the canal. The canal starts from Lake Pukaki and continues on to the Ohau A power station, before flowing into Lake Ruataniwha.
Heading back to the bus, we walked along the western side of the Loch. I remember thinking how well-behaved the dogs had been, they'd stuck to the path and they were still surprisingly clean. The minute I had that thought, they both decided to disappear among some reeds. They soon re-appeared covered in muck! *Sigh*... we had almost made it back to the bus in a clean state! So we stopped - and each dog had an involuntary dip/wash in Loch Cameron. It didn't take long and they were clean-ish.
Why is it, that my dogs don't mind being in wet, muddy stuff? They love rolling in crap and smelling gross...but when I gently and lovingly, encourage them to stand in shallow, water to wash them down, they act as though I'm torturing them? It's got me stumped!?
So back to the bus we went, two clean dogs (slightly peeved with me) and one happy human!