15. Tekapo Peninsula Walk

I love it when Kevin comes walking with me! Even though he says his knees get hurt if it’s too hilly, he actually walks pretty fast even when we strike the odd hill.
This walk lies in a big triangle on the Tekapo Peninsula, not far out of Tekapo village. The walk starts in a carpark by some pine trees along the Godley Peaks Road but quickly moves into this dry, grassy landscape. We started looking at the views rather than the trail (poles the whole way!), but the rabbit holes everywhere quickly had us focussed back on where we were putting our feet.

It’s not long before you can see the lake and just be able to enjoy that particular shade of azure blue that only these glacial lakes can deliver. (Glacial action once ground the rocks it flowed over into flour, and it’s that flour that is now suspended in the lake water with sunlight refracting through it that causes the amazing colour). That’s Mistake Peak background left – wonder what story that’s got to tell! Of course, the Godley Peaks (currently glaciated though they are retreating) are in the distance at the far end of lake. We can actually see a lot of Mt John, where the observatory lies back near Tekapo village, but it doesn’t show up well in our photos.

Dropping onto a slightly lower terrace took us through a patch of wild roses – pity they weren’t in flower!
Watching those clouds start to thicken up…
These shady trees signified the first turn in our triangle.
Yikes! A rabbit version of ‘Big city, bright lights’! Some of the warrens here were dug out, and formed short trenches in the ground – we figured this might have been caused by rabbit hunters digging the rabbits out to kill. (Rabbits were introduced by European settlers for food and sport in the 1800’s and settled themselves in right away. They are everywhere, and are considered a real pest by both farmers and conservationists).
You can see the island Motuariki in the lake here, if you look carefully. It’s that dome of dark green. We are heading for the second turning point in our triangle.
There are LOTS of photos of Kevin in this blog…
Even though this is an easy track with few ups and downs, this shows us approaching the high point!
A matagouri – native thorn. These plants have thorns that stick out from the branches, with the leaves growing beneath the thorns. This protects the leaves from being eaten – once by moa but in modern times more likely farm stock, rabbits, deer and goats.
The high point! There’s a cairn here, and of course we each added a pebble to the pile, which it looks like many have done before us.
We are heading for the small, dark-looking patch of pine trees up ahead.
A small gully to go through…
The clouds begin to drop rain, big and soft at first, then harder and harder. Of course we had our raincoats on us…it’s just that we left them in the car! Oh well, it’s been weeks or maybe months since we’ve seen rain and we both love it!
Wet in the car, wishing we could send it all to Nelson to put an end to the fires going on there.

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