The road to Peel

Sounds like a book or movie right? Well it was pretty exciting and maybe one day it will get into a book…

Saying goodbye to Ohau

View from Ohau Lodge

View from Ohau Lodge

Having spent New Years at Ohau Lodge I had beautiful food and views everyday. It was nice being around people after over a week on my own. Ohau Lodge is the prime location for the Alps to Ocean cycle track, so each day I was surrounded by cyclists at the table. The staff were very friendly and the owner – Louise met with me just before I left which was lovely. They’ve owned the lodge for the last 20 years, but the last 4 have really been the making of it with the track. I’d love to return in the winter to see the snow and maybe one day even do the cycle route.

Louise recommended I stop in at Lake Alexandrina on my way north, which was a brilliant suggestion, but first stop was back at Lake Pukaki for that blue beauty on my way there…

Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki - brilliant blue

Lake Pukaki – brilliant blue

Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

Lake Alexandrina

Lake Alexandrina

Lake Alexandrina

Veering just off the main highway before Lake Tekapo I drove deep into the wop wops until I reached a hidden lake. Lake Alexandrina is worthy of many photographs and would make excellent puzzles I think! I wish I’d known about the walk around the lake, sadly I didn’t so I just took a few photographs and was on my way.

Lake Alexandrina

Lake Alexandrina

Lake Alexandrina

Lake Alexandrina

Lake Alexandrina

Lake Alexandrina

Lake Alexandrina - puzzle worthy right?

Lake Alexandrina – puzzle worthy right?

Lake Tekapo

The township of Lake Tekapo was surprisingly tiny, for such a popular region it really doesn’t hold much to it. Though the lake is pretty stunningly blue. I had to stop for an ice cream and short dip in the waters to cool down before venturing further north.

Interestingly as the clouds came over and the sky changed so it the water – see the difference in the images below?!

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Peel Forest

Just after the quaint town of Geraldine (a must to stop for chutneys and cheese) was the Peel Forest.

It was a bit of a drive and sadly I only had one night booked here so I didn’t get to make the most of it. Though with the weather coming in I probably wouldn’t have been able to do much more anyway.

Big Tree Walk

Big Tree Walk

Big Tree Walk

The big tree walk was a short walk through the forest of giant Kahikatea and Totara trees, some thought to be 1000 years old! I wish I had more time to do more walks, but instead I opted to enjoy the beautiful campsite for a few hours before the sun went down.

Giant trees on the Big Tree walk

Giant trees on the Big Tree walk

Ferns on the Big Tree walk

Ferns on the Big Tree walk

The Peel Forest is a paid DOC campsite, but for a small cost you get a lovely location, with kitchen and bathrooms! Not drop toilets here!

Peel Forest campsite

Peel Forest campsite

I put up my tent, broke open the ginger beer and got out the Geraldine purchases of cheese, crackers and fig chutney.

Camping in the Peel Forest

Camping in the Peel Forest

Soon enough relaxing. As I wrote in my journal I began to really hear the voice of nature again. This is one thing I loved about camping – the birdlife. Listen to the video below to hear for yourself, but make sure your audio is up!

It was times like this that made me think of my childhood, growing up in the countryside of New Zealand. The birds, the cicadas, the free range chickens, the glow worms, fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden, next to no traffic, just the sounds of nature. I was pretty lucky!

The next morning it was time to pack up before the rain set it. It was very misty so I wasn’t sure what the weather was starting to bring as I travelled further north…

Misty morning at the Peel Forest

Misty morning at the Peel Forest

Spider web, Peel forest

Spider web, Peel forest

If you fancy visiting the Peel Forest check out the link https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/canterbury/places/peel-forest-park-scenic-reserve/things-to-do/peel-forest-campground/.

If you’re a keen cyclist and want to check out the Alps to Ocean route I mentioned, here’s the offical website https://www.alps2ocean.com/.

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