Day 24 - Dunedin to Lake Tekapo
16.03.2013 - 16.03.2013 18 °C
Taken down to much photographed Dunedin Railway Station for a two hour ride north on The Seasider Train through spectacular coastal scenery to Palmerston. Rejoined the coach and called into the beach at Moeraki for an early lunch and a look at The Moeraki Boulders. It is quite amazing what you can convince tourists to look at/spend money on! But actually a fascinating geological phenomenon. On to the Historic town of Oamaru. About 36000 popn. Many buildings were built out of white stone quarried in the local area in mid 19 century and remain in pristine condition today. Big wide main street to cater for bullock teams. First frozen meat sent to UK from here and still a big abattoir town.
We then again turned westward to follow the mighty Waitaki River system through farming country. We continued to climb along Lake Waitaki, Lake Aviemore and Lake Benmore where we inspected one of the many hydroelectric generators based on this water system fed by glaciers in the Southern Alps. On through the quaintly named Twizel (built from scratch to house the hydroelectric scheme construction workers) to the edge of Lake Pukaki which is the largest lake in McKenzie country - a massive glacier carved valley of grazing country between the ranges. Discovered by a sheep drover turned rustler James MacKenzie (note the different spelling) who reputedly finished up in Aus. after escaping from gaol.
Boarded an Air Safari turbo-prop for a 50 minute flight up into the Southern Alps. Flew over all the main glacial features: Tasman, Franz Josef, Fox, Godley and Murchison Glaciers; Mt Tasman and Mt Cook/Aoraki.
Back on coach for run into Lake Tekapo and our home for two nights in the impressive Peppers Bluewater Resort.