Thursday, 15 March 2012

Lake Kaniere

Lake Kaniere

We arrived yesterday in Hokitika and our plan for today was to do the Lake Kaniere walkway, 19 km away. The day dawned wet and cloudy, but once it began to brighten up we decided to proceed in hope.  According to the Department of Conservation, the lake is 8 km long, 2 km wide and 195 m deep in places. It is also "one of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand". Unfortunately, when we got there we could not see the other side, let alone the celebrated mountainous backdrop.

The walkway, which is advertised as 4 hours one-way, starts near the lakeside car park and you are quickly in thick bush on a track which meanders, sometimes closer to, sometimes farther from the lakeside. The path is interesting and varied.

Some sections are at the bottom of rocky slopes covered with liverworts and sedges.

After an hour so we paused at the first open area, which we named Flower Creek, in honour of these wild fuchsias.

A bit further on we came to Stony Bay, where you could get down to a stony bay and (probably) have great views of the rest of the lake.

The stones were very photogenic.

The walking seemed to be a bit harder from here on: more little streams, necessitating small descents and ascents, and more tree roots across the path. After two hours walking we came to a second, smaller Stony Bay, with another great view and decided that was probably enough.

Then we retraced our steps. We were at least rewarded with a fine rainbow as we neared the car park.

Conditions: cloudy, wet in parts, mild.

Distance: about 8 miles.

Rating: three stars. No doubt would have been more on a nice day.


Although the walk was a bit bit frustrating, we did see some interesting things. Foremost among them was this blue mushroom, which I couldn't quite succeed in focusing on.

It is the Sky Blue mushroom (reasonably enough), scientific name Entoloma hochstetteri, and is found in New Zealand and India.

Secondly, these beautiful blue berries. I had seen them before, but hadn't been able to get a satisfactory picture. I haven't been able to identify them: searching on Google for plants with blue berries mostly produces information about Blueberries.

And among just one of the innumerable areas of liverwort, there was a waxy white flower, also alas unidentified.

We saw a pair of Fantails doing their fan dance for us, almost like hummingbirds, a couple of Tomtits and some Paradise Shelducks on the lake.

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