On 14 April I took the gondola to the top of Mt. Cavendish outside of Christchurch. From there, I had a commanding view of Christchurch, the south island’s east coast, and one of the several (flooded) calderas of the Akaroa peninsula.
The New Zealand coast from the summit of Mt. Cavendish
Next I drove to the shore of Lake Tekapo. The area is designated a dark sky reserve for its clear atmosphere, which makes it a great place for astronomy. The University of Canterbury operates several telescopes at its observatory at the top of Mt. John next to the lake.
The southern alps of New Zealand
I spent the night of 15 April in Cromwell, at the base of Lake Dunstan. Cromwell is at the nexus of major highways leading to Dunedin, Queenstown, Wanaka, and Tekapo.
On my way to Queenstown, I stopped at the hydroelectric power station where the Roaring Meg stream feeds into the Kawarau River gorge, and took a few pictures.
A scene at Roaring Meg
A little closer to Queenstown, I encountered a landform reminiscent of something from Dr. Seuss. It consists of two small peaks that stick out of the landscape like, well, a pair of nipples. Or maybe pimples. They’re known as the Judge and Jury.
The Judge and Jury peaks
I’m writing this in my motel room in Te Anau, from which I was planning to visit the spectacular Milford Sound in the southern fiords of New Zealand. Unfortunately, I’ve been suffering from a bad cold since I arrived in the country, and it’s been unusually cold with powerful rainstorms, so I decided to forgo Milford Sound and spend 17 April relaxing and creating this post. I have two more weeks of New Zealand to experience, so I’ll post more photos soon.