New Zealand Part 1: Christchurch and Lake Ohau

In July, I headed off to the South Island of New Zealand for a 2 week trip with Active Adventures. While it wasn’t a photography trip, photography was very high on my list of priorities (along w/ hiking and reading). I only brought one camera/lens (and thankfully my tripod), but am happy to report that was enough to capture the beauty all around me.

I landed in Christchurch on Saturday and had until Monday before I met up with my group. Saturday was great weather, and I enjoyed walking through the park and seeing all of the rugby being played. The next day was pouring in the morning, which caused me to skip my run in lieu of reading comfy in my hotel, but it cleared up in time for a walking tour. Sadly, the walking tour was essentially still an earthquake recovery tour 7 years after a major earthquake devastated the town. One of my favorite parts was down by the river where a sculpture “Stay,” captured the spirit of the town after the recovery. One of the most shocking parts was passing a bookstore that still had the books that were in the store that day lying on the ground untouched 7 years later.

Monday I met up with the group and we did a LONG drive to Lake Ohau, with a stop at Mt. John for a quick “shake the legs out” walk up the mountain. It was a great introduction to the beauty to come and made me happy I had chosen the trip. Lake Ohau is in the middle of Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, with limited light pollution. I have never seen so many stars! As my brother said, “As a resident of Northern Virginia, I know there are only 10 stars in the sky. Why are you sending us a fake picture?”




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