“You'll be rubbing your eyes when you see this amazing glacial lake but there's no filter. It really is this blue.”
Lake Pukaki looks like sapphire and ice got married then melted into a shimmering pool of milk forever. Its milky turquoise colour is mesmerizing and very popular on Instagram, especially as it has Mount Cook/Aoraki looming in the background like a Lord Of The Lake. Actually, speaking of Lords, Peter Jackson did a lot of filming of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in this area, using Lake Pukaki as the location for JK Tolkien’s ‘Lake Town’.
Lake Pukaki is the largest of three alpine lakes fed by glaciers, surrounded by tussocks, and shrouded in an incredible light. The colour of the water comes from glacial flour - extremely fine particles ground down from glacial rocks (not something to make glacial bread out of). When the sun hits the surface of the lake it reflects off the particles giving it its brilliant hue.
You can view the lake on the drive down State Highway 80 to Aoraki/ Mount Cook Village or the road between Twizel and Lake Tekapo Village. Or ditch the car and enjoy the lake on foot or by bike on one of the many tracks around it – including the mighty Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. Or get your photos from the air on a scenic flight.
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