Central South Island

One of the more photogenic parts of a generally incredible scenic country, this post covers a few highlights from the edge of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park in the Southern Alps to the Canterbury Plains outside of Christchurch, which takes about four hours to drive direct.

To start with the staggeringly beautiful (when well lit) Lake Pukaki, close to the more famous Lake Tekapo, and arguably even more beautiful. The colour comes from glacial flour suspended in the water catching the sunlight.

Close to the lake are very commercial but undeniably scenic lavender fields.

Accommodation options in Aoraki Mount Cook Village and Lake Tekapo are limited so I spent the night in Twizel, which was a sleepy gem. South of the town is the picturesque Lake Ruataniwha.

The next morning Lake Pukaki looked quite different with interesting early morning light.

Fairlie Heritage Museum is probably the best museum in the region, home to an impressively large and well designed collection of artefacts, including quite the range of historic tractors!

Geraldine Historical Museum was far smaller but free and worth a quick visit to stretch the legs.

Sadly almost every town in New Zealand has a war memorial. Ashburton’s is one of the larger and more impressive ones.

To end with a range of flowers from the lovely Ashburton Domain, beautiful even on a damp and overcast day, with some of the best roses I’ve seen, and smelt.

Author: jontycrane

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