Up the west coast and up Mount Cook


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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Lake Pukaki
April 19th 2007
Published: August 6th 2007
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Today was another very jam packed day!

We got up at 5.30am to see if we could spot some Penguins (the best time to see them is dawn and dusk). We went right to the end of Shag point, where 2 couples of penguins have been sited on occasions. We got to the hide and disappointingly nothing was there. As we walked back we took a detour towards the end of a small cliff. Dom (now known as the Penguin Hunter) started manically motioning for Bex to come to him - he'd spotted a yellow eyed Penguin not 5m away on the beach! It was so magical, for 5 minutes we sat and watched this awkward and shy little creature waddle towards the sea, checking over his shoulder every 15 seconds. This little fellow had a bright yellow head that looked like he was wearing makeup. It was so exciting to see this Penguin so close as they are apparently the rarest Penguins in the world!

After the joy of seeing the Penguin, we were not as impressed by the colony of seals 20m down the path, sitting with a group of shags! We got really close, but the
Yellow Eyed Penguin waddlingYellow Eyed Penguin waddlingYellow Eyed Penguin waddling

It's a shame the pictures are so grainy, but it was almost pitch black!
Mum was having none of it - so we backed away!

Next we visited the Moeraki Boulders. These huge spherical stones were formed 65 million years ago by "crystallization of calcium and carbonates around charged particles in muddy undersea sediments gradually formed the boulders in a process taking as long as four million years." - enough said!


From the Moeraki Boulders we drove to the lake district of New Zealand. A 40 min drive from Lake Pukaki was Mount Cook, where we walked to the face of the Tasman glacier. This was pretty impressive as it was like a glacier graveyard. Where the glacier had retreated over the years, was left a heap of rubble and melting icebergs!

After the Tasman glacier, we had a long 3 hour walk to Mount Cook, where we got fairly close to the glacier at the bottom of this stunning mountain (after a bit of 'off the track' rambling)

We should mention how blue the lakes in this region were. The brilliant electric blue is caused by the dust created by the glacier rocks, which rub against one another as the glacier moves. This dust drops to the bottom of the lake and when the sun shines on the water the colour is amazing!

Shattered, we camped on the banks of Lake Pukaki under the huge pine trees.



Additional photos below
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Lake PukakiLake Pukaki
Lake Pukaki

Mount Cook in the background
Tasman Glacier Tasman Glacier
Tasman Glacier

more like a glacier graveyard!
The glacier frontThe glacier front
The glacier front

This is a close as we could get to the glacier front without causing an Avalanche


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