Day 15 Saturday 1 March – Lake Ohau

This morning, we headed north and travelled along the east coast to see the Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach on the Otago Coast. These large spherical stones were formed over 60 million years ago.  We wandered along the beach in the sunshine, taking in this amazing sight.

From there, we continued to the harbour town of Oamaru, to see some of New Zealand’s 19th-century architecture. We had morning tea and then walked through the streets of the old town – we even saw a man riding a penny-farthing bicycle, which was amazing.

We continued on, driving through the Waitaki Valley to the McKenzie Basin, where we saw more cattle than sheep and a computerised irrigator that was 1.8 kilometres long.  We could see the snow that fell yesterday on the Mt St Mary Mountain Range in the distance. We drove beside a ridge of Oamaru Stone, which is apparently cut using a circular saw and has been used in the construction of quite a few of the older buildings.

As we drove past the Lake Waitaki Dam and the Aviemore Dam, Laurie told us some information about the construction process of the eight Power Stations in the area.  We drove into the Benmore Power Station Observation Area and got some great photos of Benmore Lake and Dam. We passed through Twizel, which was the construction town for the Power Stations, Canals and the infrastructure to link them together.

Only 25% of all visitors who visit this area are lucky enough to see Mount Cook – quite often it is shrouded in cloud, mist or fog.  Today, we were the lucky ones!!!  We saw this majestic snow-capped mountain with blue sky and a fine white cloud acting as a halo.  After taking several photos we sat in the café at the Hermitage in the Mount Cook National Park, just taking in this awesome sight!!!  In the museum at the Hermitage, we saw ßthe original plane that was converted to land on snow.  On our way back, we called in at the airfield to collect two of our tour group who had gone on a helicopter flight to the Tasman Glacier and we saw a plane taking off, as well as the helicopter landing.

Our next stop was at Peter’s Lookout for photos of Mount Cook across Lake Pukaki – what a magnificent view!

We backtracked along the same road and just outside Twizel, we saw the computerized Control Centre for the eight Power Stations.  Not far from there we also saw a Salmon Farm, where there were people fishing off the banks to catch the wild salmon that come in to scavenge some of the food from the farm.

We continued our journey beside Lake Ohau, which is a glacial lake in the Mackenzie Basin and is fed by the Hopkins and Dobson Rivers and arrived at our accommodation for the night.  The Lake Ohau Lodge is a wilderness lodge set amongst some trees beside the lake with a great view to the mountain ranges we had just been in. What a perfect spot!

4 Responses to “Day 15 Saturday 1 March – Lake Ohau”

  1. Katharine says:

    we stayed at the Hermitage at Mt Cook!!

  2. Katharine says:

    maybe?? although now that i’ve said that, I might be confused

  3. Gail says:

    The salmon farm that you saw was the one our daughter, Peta, managed up until last December

  4. sandy says:

    Oh, I hadn’t realised that Gail. It sure was an impressive looking operation. They have expanded to the other side of the road now too.

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