Saturday, May 13, 2017

Lake Kaniere and Hokitika Blue Gorge

We have a tiny oven in the caravan (never apparently used) and this morning we tried it out by baking a spatchcocked chicken for breakfast. I was surprised to find the chicken sold already flattened at the grocery, perfect because it cooks faster in an oven whose dial turns from 1 to 9 with no temperature indicator. A most delicious aroma filled our little space. Duck-fat fried potatoes and greens rounded out a walkers' first meal of the day.

T'was a sublime day, perfect for a field trip to Lake Kaniere, east of Hokitika.

The lake is glacially formed and surrounded by mostly native forest. At its deepest it's 197 meters (647 feet) deep.

Paradise shelduck, female and male
After a good hike we headed for the Hokitika Blue Gorge, again not far from Hoki in the Southern Alps.

We crossed the Cropp River on the drive through stunning dairy farm country. The West Coast gets more rain than anywhere else in the country, the wettest spot an isolated area just  a few miles from the blue gorge. There, at the Cropp River, about 12 meters (39 feet) of rain is recorded each year. 

The otherworldly color of the gorge comes from a combination of rock flour (ground down schist and greywacke rock), melted mineral-rich glacier ice, and river water. See the swing bridge below?

Walking to the turquoise is a pleasure.

Afterwards, you can sip a flat white at this new pop-up while your eyes return to the colors of the rest of world.
Really nice guys, just up and running in the last few months. "I'm a welder by trade," this man told me, adding that in April 2017 alone an astonishing 16,000 people visited the gorge. The tourism boom is clearly good for business.

No comments:

Post a Comment