New Zealand Landscape - Matukituki Valley - Wanaka
Explored: Sep 2, 2009 #148
This is another one of my favourite places in the world. The Matukituki Valley, winds its way back from the western bays of Lake Wanaka. Here it follows the braided Matukituki River up the centre of the valley. This leads directly into the heart of Mt Aspiring national park. Tall mountain ranges tower in on all sides, leaving you the insignificant viewer humbled in the centre - I get the impression it would have been a spectacular sight to see the glacier that carved this hillside apart.
There are still a number of glaciers in the area. At the top of the valley you can hang a right, and walk for around two hours in dense bush to the Rob Roy glacier. From a safe vantage point you can watch one of NZs most active glaciers. Literally hanging off the side of the Mount Rob Roy.
Few years back we'd walked the track on a bright springs morning. After finishing lunch (and fending off Kea - the local bird guardians) at the foothills of the glacier, we started wandering back for beers, and steak. Suddenly over my shoulder i heard a peel of thunder. This stopped us dead in our tracks. After listening in awe to another set of 'pings' and groans we bore witness to half the glacier tearing itself apart and cascading down the hillside in a mass avalanche of snow and ice. A few minutes after this soft cloud of ice gently enveloped us as it rolled down the valley, dimming the sunlight.
Thats about as memorable as daying walking gets.
Nikkor 18-70 I D70 I Scattered Sunlight I PP Lightroom.