Lake Wanaka & Lake Hawea
Yesterday evening I studied the various maps because I have seen nice looking mountains close to a lake. It appears that I have seen two lakes actually. Lake Wanaka on the west side and Lake Hawea on the east side. At a special spot, ’The Neck’, the two lakes almost touch. This could proof to be a good early morning location. Very difficult to estimate if the side where the sun rises is good or that the opposite side is better. Around ’The Neck’ I have possibilities for both.
I have set the alarm at 06:00, it’s about a half hour drive. I’m awake well in time after a restless night because of the many bangs (of the wood) in the room. Almost the weakest side of me wins and I stay in bed, but I only have to think about the potential of good photographs and soon after I hop out of bed. After packing all my stuff I head out.
It’s still dark outside and quite chilly. In the mountains it’s first only 4 degrees and later 7. Suddenly, a rabbit crosses the road right in front of the car. It’s too late to brake and evasing manouvres are completely impossible here. It’s not a case of doubt, two loud bangs under both wheels on the left. A couple of kilometers further almost the same happens, but here I have just enough time to brake hard. All my stuff flies through the car, but the rabbit is spared. For a couple of hundred meters it keeps running in front of the car. I stop the car, because otherwise this can take a while. The rabbit flees into the grass immediately.
First I go to Lake Wanaka. There it’s still completely dark except for a full moon. White balance on shadow and then a couple of photographs. They are a bit yellowish and then I remember that the white balance should be set on sunny. It’s dark but the light reflecting off the moon comes from the sun. It’s very weak sunlight.
I drive back for about 8 kilometers to Lake Hawea to wait for the sunrise. After a couple of photographs I notice a dust particle on the sensor. After opening the camera I see it with my naked eye. Blowing over the sensor might help. Shit, a bit of spit flies with it and now sticks to my sensor. Stupid, I could have better used a dust blower or static brush. This will take 10 minutes minimum to clean. Luckily there are no spectacular photographs at stake. I shoot a couple of others, but no beautiful colors here.
Back to Lake Wanaka then and have a look overthere. Halfway I see a bright red glow on the mountaintops. There we have it after all. Speeding up as fast as I dare, I finish the last part. The brightness already starts to fade, but during the next half hour I can shoot a couple of nice photographs of the mountains that are being lighted slowly more and more.
After a while, I’m done with. It’s getting really cold now, kind of watery chilly. Time to return to the hotel. In the meantime it’s 08:30. En route I stop shortly for a couple of photographs of Lake Hawea.
The way back is literally scattered with flattened rabbits. Now it’s light I see all the old blood stains on the road. Apparently they are abundant here. Around 09:00 I’m back.
First I shoot a couple of photo’s of the huge licorice candy they have here in New Zealand. Can I finally eat them (-;
Maps, Charts & Downloads
GPS Map with color coded altitude information
Color coded distance/altitude chart
Download the original gpx file gpx file here.