Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lakes Manapouri And Te Anau

En route to Te Anau on January 30th, we stopped by Lake Manapouri. In addition to the numerous fiords, Fiordland also contains two giant lakes, and many others, left by passing glaciers. Both Manapouri and Te Anau figure in a massive underground hydroelectric scheme, as we'll see. Anyhow, we stopped at the tourist center at Manapouri to see about replacing a T-shirt Vicki had acquired in 2014 during our Doubtful Sound cruise. We proceeded on then to Te Anau, hunkering down at the Top 10 Holiday Park, to let cyclone Fehi pass Wednesday and Thursday. The heavy rains didn't really start until later Wednesday night, and so, apart from walking the town and shopping, we also took a long walk along the lake at Te Anau, to the control gates (hydroelectric scheme) and back. And then we enjoyed the campground's hot tubs, with a lake view, that evening. And then the remnants of Fehi struck.
A bit of Lake Manapouri and its flanking mountains

The area, showing both fiords and the lakes; and the route of
the Doubtful Sound overnight cruise we did in 2014 (see,

Now on our walk on Lake Te Anau; in the distance, the "marble"
mountain at Manapouri, Mount Titiroa, a bit of a landmark

Mount Titiroa; it's really sand and a white granite

Near the DOC  visitor center on Lake Te Anau; further down
the trail is a major aviary we mostly skipped; next time; in any
case we learned there that the large, beautiful, pigeon-like bird
we encountered on the waterfalls walk was actually...a New
Zealand pigeon

Quentin McKinnon, who, along with partner
Ernest Mitchell, were the first Europeans to
walk on what is now the Milford Track

Looking across the lake to the Control Gates, which control
the flow of water from Lake Te Anau to Lake Manapouri
Thus, closer up; at Manapouri the water is diverted underground
to the power station, and then released into the Tasman Sea

Looking toward the Kepler range, where clouds and rain are
brewing...the Fiordland drought is about to end

At the Control Gates

Ventral view

Atop the Control Gates

Informative signage on the hydroelectric scheme, which
originally was about powering the aluminum plant in not-very-
nearby Bluff, but came to provide power for all Fiordland

Further ditto; click to enlarge

Rarely seen dorsal view of Lake Te Anau Control Gates

Something deeply evil is going on under this thick web

On the return, I identify Mt. Luxmore, in the center there; a week
or two ago we cancelled our Kepler Track reservations: the 2nd
day of the 4-day tramp included two very severe descents from
Mt. Luxmore to the Iris Burn hut, which, we figured, would not
be good for Vicki's knees; having done Luxmore twice already
) I was not disappointed; as it
turned out, we would have been on the Kepler January 31-
February 3rd, in the midst of the cyclone, when the whole route
was almost certainly closed anyway

The Lake Te Anau seaplanes and helicopters have already
departed in advance of the storm; back Saturday, the chalkboard
sign says 

1 comment:

Tawana said...

Cyclone is an interesting term. Glad you weren't out on a trail then.