Many Shades of Grey

There is something humbling about the weather determining your plans. I have decided that I cannot fight it so instead will embrace it.

After a few days with my feet up and my mouth full of cake in Queenstown it was time to get on the move or rather try again to go to Mt Cook National Park. This was my fourth attempt on this trip, the third was the only last week when I was packed and ready to leave Queenstown only to find out the road was closed!

There was torrential rain the afternoon I arrived, but I was undeterred this time I was determined to wait it out. So what’s a girl to do on a rainy afternoon? Check in somewhere nice to stay, wrap up warm and enjoy a good book with a great glass of red by the fire? Yes please!

My cosy night in had me awake and up early the next day, however the clouds weren’t as keen to open their eyes and move along. Took this shot about 9am on the way to Tasman Glacier as they finally started to peel away and of course they came back!

Driving towards Mt Johnson

I spent the morning on the valley floor along some of the tracks near Tasman River. Had some light showers which brought out the rainbows, I was walking backwards at pace trying to capture the whole thing but ran out of room!

Tasman Glacier is New Zealand’s longest at 27km and almost 4km wide. From the viewing point at Tasman Lake, it is only possible to see it’s tongue. It’s official status is retreating, at an average of 180m a year since the 1990’s. However more recently that has accelerated and it’s thought that the glacier could disappear within the next 20 years.

Tasman Lake is new, about 30 years old or more technically is a proglacial lake. In the 70’s there were a number of small melt water ponds which by the 90’s had merged to become Lake Tasman, as a result of the retreating glacier. In 2008 the lake was 7km long and 2km wide. However the 2011 earthquake contributed to / triggered a large icefall from the glacier into the lake. It’s expected that it will ultimately become about 16km long as the glacier continues to retreat.

I also liked these shots of the valley, a nice reminder just how small and young us people are in the scheme of things.


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