Chasing the Sun (Part Two) – Sunrises & Sunsets Around Lake Clearwater

“On a Mish” #369 Chasing the Sun (Part Two). Lake Clearwater Village. Hakatere Conservation Area. 19.3.2023. Of many thousands of photos the ones I love the most are either early morning shots or pictures taken at dusk. A mountainous landscape with a backdrop of colour is very pleasant to the eyes and after seeing it in a wild setting you find yourself becoming very fond of it. Well at least that’s how I felt, and after my Grandmother Bev spent her life teaching me to enjoy the spoils that life has on offer I wanted to return the favour. My plan was to take her to an epic spot and let the sunrise do the rest. However as I began my drive towards my planned destination I was faced with more of an adventure than first planned…

After crossing over the Potts River bridge we followed what was an easy track to a point where the Potts River meets the Rangitata Riverbed. My headlights lit up a track which we followed until it abruptly ended. It took me a few seconds but I realised that the river had taken out the earth that was the track and replaced it with rocks and riverbed. I had to backtrack to find another way to my intended spot.

I backed up and saw a faint track leading out to the riverbed. I slowly followed it making sure I didn’t lose it in the sea of pebbles, stones and rocks. Eventually it got close to where I wanted to go and by the look of the terrain ahead, the rocks would be too much of a challenge for the mighty Cr-v.

I turned the car to face east and then we boiled up some water for a drink to have with the show. It was time to begin our day chasing the sun across the sky above Hakatere Conservation Park

A sliver of a moon meant the stars were their brightest and the lack of light pollution made for an excellent sparkly display. Next was my favourite part when the black of endless space is so lightly lit by the approaching sun that the sky to the east turns a lavender / purple for about five minutes before the more traditional colours begin to take over. After the excellent opening act here was a hint of red before a bright golden glow warmed the horizon.

We spent just over an hour hanging out on the riverbed before heading back to Lake Clearwater Village. On the drive back we got a better look of the destruction caused by the Potts River in flood. The river runs beside the Mt Potts Station, and in places the ground where the farm’s fence posts had been dug in had washed away and it was only the wires preventing the post from disappearing into the river. This would be a very dangerous place when the river is raging.

We arrived back at the crib for a debrief and break, it was going to be needed before we went out on our next mish.

The next part of my plan was to show Bev the awesome landscape so we jumped back in the car and drove towards Erewhon Station. The dusty gravel road was surprisingly busy with people heading to Mt Sunday, probably for some Lord of the Rings nostalgia. I wanted to be as far away from the masses as possible and luckily we found a quiet place on the track up to the old Erewhon Park Ski Field.

The added elevation gave us some excellent views and a good spot to enjoy a drink from. After some pictures we once again returned to the crib for a meal and to also prepare ourselves for the next show, Sunset – Part Two. We started the day looking to the east to an excellent display and now it was time to chase the sun until it disappeared behind the mountains to the west

Erewhon at Dusk

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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