Autumn Colours at Lake Pukaki

Autumn trees on Lake Pukaki with Mt Cook in the background. New Zealand photography by Laurie Winter.

Lake Pukaki is the largest lake in the Mackenzie Region, and is well known for it's deep aquamarine colour and its views to the majestic Aoraki/Mt Cook from numerous vantage points. The colour comes from the silt particles from the Hooker and Tasman glaciers that are ground up and fed down river into the lake. The colour is quite phenomenal and the questions such as "is that colour for real?!" are common. This spot on the lake does not have the same colour, as it's just a little alcove up the eastern shore. The water at this spot is very shallow, and can be all but gone when the lake levels are low. 


I had shot sunrise in Twizel on this particular morning, when I thought of seeking out this spot, that I had seen similar photos of in the past. We drove up the side of Lake Pukaki, and were amazed with the beautiful autumn colours of the larches along the shore. Although the clouds were a little thicker than I would have liked, I was really happy with how this photo came out. Since I took this photo, many of the pine trees in the background have been removed as part of the programme to control the spread of wilding pines in the Mackenzie area. The area does not look so pretty now, and although I support the removal of the pines, I am glad I got this shot before they were taken down. 

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