We wandered under the stunning ancient Clay Cliffs, near Omarama, in the Upper Waitaki River Basin, North Otago. Fantastic pinnacles and ravines, formed by natural erosion on the active Ostler Fault, laid down millions of years ago as ocean sediment. There is a signposted road on State Highway 8, just north of Omarama, to access the Clay Cliffs. There is an honesty box of $5 per car at the entry gate.
After a heavy-snowfall winter, we arrived in Tahoe in mid March for spring skiing. We based ourselves in South Lake Tahoe and skied mainly at Heavenly Ski Resort but with visits to Sierra, North Star and Kirkwood. There are also other ski fields nearby.
Lake Tahoe, at an altitude of 1897 m (6200 ft), is the largest alpine lake in North America. It straddles the stateline between California and Nevada. (Click any image to enlarge.) Continue reading
A wander around Christchurch Botanic Gardens in early October reveals the blossom, rhododendrons and azaleas falling, but other flowers coming into bloom, and Mrs Duck is proudly displaying her brood.
The Hooker Valley Track is one of New Zealand’s premier walks. It is among our highest mountains and follows the Hooker River to the Hooker Glacier Terminal Lake, a trip of about three hours (return). We walked the track on a calm and sunny day in early September.
Dubbed the ‘Stairway to Heaven”, the more than 2200 steps up the steep pathway to Sealey Tarns are well worth the effort for the views. The three to four hour trek (return) affords panoramic views.
We flew out of Mt Cook airport about 10am on a winter’s day that was fine but threatening to deteriorate with an incoming norwester. Fortunately the expected deterioration did not occur and the weather improved to a sunny and relatively calm day. Having each been fitted out with a harness and avalanche locator beacon for safety requirements, we were looking forward to two ski runs on the Tasman Glacier, being relocated by the plane after the first run. Click on any image to enlarge.