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Pictures of New Zealand's South Island

Mt Cook, Tekapo, Rakaia
Days 22 and 23

Sunset on the Southern Alps

We'd seen the Southern Alps from the west - in distant views from Okarito and from the terminal points of the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, when breaks in the often present clouds had allowed. Now we were headed north and inland to approach the Alps from the east.

Lake Pukaki and alp view

This is a region of glacier clad peaks and many large lakes, turned milky by suspended glacial dust. The water flowing off the Tasman Glacier was pewter grey. As the water flowed down the canyons, some of the particles settled out, and the color lightened to delicate shades of blue.

Tasman Glacier

Tasman Glacier's terminal lake
.....with floating icebergs

Lake Tekapo
...where the water surface seemed to be raised above the shoreline elevation - an illusion created by the pale milk-blue water stirred up into waves by the wind.

Rakaia Gorge

With only three days available before our homeward ferry booking, we were forced to again head north. After spending the afternoon hunting out the Maori rock drawings in the limestone cliffs near Raincliffs, we made a run for Christchurch. Raging winds made it impossible to fully enjoy the scenic lookout above the Rakaia Gorge, but the Shoe Fence on the road before the gorge offered an amusing entertainment stop.

This new fashion in fencing styles had attracted our attention as we'd driven down out of the mountains, and we'd backed to the road verge to inspect and photograph it. We were shortly joined by three more cars and a tour bus, thus disovering that our latest discovery was actually legendary in the region - the story has it a local farmer found a pair of shoes, possibly dropped from a passing car and hung them on his fence in case the owner returned for them. Some wag thought this amusing and added further old shoes to the fence. Others followed suit and the fence now bows under the weight of hundreds of pairs of old footwear.

The Shoe Fence
the cows shop for hoof-wear
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