This is another big South New Zealand lake separated from the West Coast on the Tasman Sea by the Ben Ohau range of the Sohthern Alps. We left our hotel in Twizel—after a fun night with more than one bottle of Last Shepherd Pinot—at zero-dark-hundred to get to the lake in time for sunrise; even so, we barely made it. But it was worth hustling to the shore. To our left and roughly southwest, the full moon was setting Over our shoulders east and north, the sun was breaking the horizon Lake water lapped back and forth across smooth pebbles, what felt like the loudest sound for miles.
Per the Wiki, Lake Pukaki is the largest of three roughly parallel alpine lakes running north–south along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin on New Zealand's South Island. The others are Lakes Tekapo and Ohau. All three lakes were formed when the terminal moraines of receding glaciers blocked their respective valleys, forming moraine-dammed lakes. The Alps2Ocean mountain bike trail follows the edge of Lake Pukaki for part of its length.
The glacial feed to the lakes gives them a distinctive blue colour, created by glacial flour, the extremely finely ground rock particles from the glaciers. Lake Pukaki covers an area of 178.7 km², and the surface elevation of the lake normally ranges from 518.2 to 532 metres above sea level.
The closest town to Lake Pukaki is Twizel, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) to the south of the lake and Tekapo is 47 km (32 minutes drive) to the northeast. State Highway 8 skirts the southern end of the lake, and State Highway 80 runs north along the length of its western shore, to Mount Cook Village in the Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park. There is good coffee in both Twizel and nearby Cromwell.
Pukaki is not sold in our shop. This art is a large-scale panorama, intended to be displayed in sizes five feet wide and larger; ideally in its native resolution of 10-feet; it is only available by special order: inquire here.