One of the reasons I took my car south was that I was hoping the weather might be suitable for a road trip closer to the winter mountains. I was not to be disappointed on this occasion!
Friday morning I escaped Christchurch city, heading for the inland tourist route south, quickly discovering that the frost was much heavier inland. There were glimpses of the mountains at this stage, but they were largely draped in mist, and I wasn't sure if I was going to be lucky or not. However, somewhere around the region of Mt Hutt, the mist all cleared. I headed southwards with the sight of glorious snow-covered mountains to my right.
At Geraldine I turned inland again in the direction of the Alps. I loved this drive, seeing the white of the mountains ahead of me, and already I was in heaven.
Then heaven got even better. I know I have driven over Burke's Pass before in the summertime, but didn't find it at all remarkable. It lies at about 700m. As I came to the Pass this day, I entered a winter wonderland, where the snow had obviously covered the road a few days before. Snow was still covering the fields right down to the roadside.
It was all so bewitching that I decided I might even drive on as far as Mt Cook, even though that would make a very long driving day. However, somewhere not too far west of Tekapo, I could see cloud draping the bottom of the mountains, and soon I entered thick fog.
After 15 minutes in the fog, I decided that it was time to be sensible and retreat, and I later heard that this fog extended all the way down to Queenstown.
I drove back into the sunshine. Here you can see just a wisp of the fog, a hint of what lay ahead on the route south.
Instead of driving south I enjoyed a relaxed lunch by the lakeside at Tekapo, walking over frozen snow to get to the lake edge.
The views were just magnificent. What bliss!!
And the historic church at Tekapo had quite a backdrop. What a beautiful road trip it was, a truly magical day.