My niece and I had flown to Queenstown to do the Routeburn Track, but it had been closed for a week due to a massive snow dump. But you can’t let that deter you though, so we headed up to the Routeburn Falls Hut just in case. The mountain opened the next day with the help of a 3-minute Doc helicopter ride around the bluff above Lake Harris.

The following morning at Lake Mackenzie, the dawn view from the hut window gave me no reason to get out of my nice warm sleeping bag but the photographer inside me said maybe, just maybe, the weather could break….  No one else, not even my sunrise-loving niece, was interested in a journey outside.

Exploring the edge of the lake you could feel the lake breathing, the mist almost clearing before closing in again. Once the perfect spot found me, I set up the tripod and almost as if it was meant to be the mountain revealed herself.

I remember thinking to myself that morning “As a landscape photographer you really should live down here at least once in your life”. Within 3 months I had moved down from the North Island and had based myself in Queenstown.

In many ways it was that morning, that photo, that brought me here.

Words and image by Glen Howey from the Wakatipu Tramping Club.  Glen is an accomplished photographer, and won the Below Bushline (with human element) category, and overall winner in the Federated Mountain Clubs of NZ photo competition for 2018. You can view more of his work on his website: