This view from the southern shore of Lake Pukaki is directly towards the normally-unmistakable peak of Aoraki-Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain standing at 3,724m (12,218ft), some 60km away. Of course, the most spectacular vista is on a clear, windless day when the whole mountain range reflects in the pristine aqua-blue water, but stormy weather around the mountains can produce an equally dramatic sight.
Chasing the light around the Mackenzie Basin during weather like this can be very rewarding. I always hope to see light beams penetrating the low clouds, lighting up the distant foothills, or landing on the water. The lines, ridges and layers of the landscape can often become more pronounced, especially under rain clouds. Here, we had a combination of bright, middle-of-the-day sunlight with wind, rain and snow on the high peaks, juxtapositioned with some cumulus clouds, usually a sign of fair weather! They say that New Zealand can experience four seasons in one day, and this is certainly true of the high country of the Mackenzie Basin.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor