Same, same, but different

Queenstown Lakes and The Wakatipu is famous for it’s concentration of amazing landscapes. For me it’s a blessing to be in a position to explore and discover new corners of the region as much as I do.
Much of life, however, is spent on the mundane activities of day to day existence. Walking the dog, gardening, the weekly shopping excursion – could all be seen as chores that take me away from the beauty and majesty of the environment.

Walking the same path day in and day out or driving the same route to town, could be a drag for some. But here, the mountains, the expanses of water, the rivers and rolling farmlands are a stage, a set, brought alive with light and color as the seasons pass and clouds, mist, rain, snow, sunrises and sunsets play across the landscape.

Two minutes walk from my house, lays the Lake Wakatipu waterfront. Water stretches north from here for forty kilometres. The distant shapes of Coronet Peak and Deer Park Heights are framed in the “V” where the Eyre Mountains and Remarkables ranges run down to the lake. Closer, the long fingers of the Devil’s Staircase reach into the waters.

The features of this scene are so familiar to me, and yet every day vista presents a new face. How many memorable pictures have I taken of this endlessly changing scene – it’s turquoise depths reflecting an expanse of blue on a bright spring day or distant details resolving slowly out of golden fog as morning mist rises on a summer morning and then winter sunsets where Coronet peak glows pink and orange framed by darkening hills.

Then there’s the drama – when winds funnel through the narrows at The Devil’s Stair, breakers crash, whitecaps dot the turquoise water and water witches dance across the horizon. Approaching rain darkens the cleft between the ranges and black clouds flow over the ridge lines, passing west to east.

On cold clear winter nights, the mountains on either side glow majestically, their snowy shoulders reflecting moonlight as the long cloud-like form of the the Milky Way sparkles above.

While the South Island is full of amazing landforms, views and vistas, it’s the weather and the light that are the real stars. You could photograph the same view a hundred times and each would be something unique or you could just be there and enjoy the ever-changing beauty.

Martin Kohn
Martin Kohn