Mountain Families: In the Hakatere
What an absolute perfect winter’s day in August, just after a fresh snowfall, spending time exploring the Hakatere Conservation Park.
A photo essay by Meredith Curley.
Beautiful lakes, snow covered mountains, a few cows, lots of sheep, the occasional farmer, and views as far as we could see. The drive is on a gravel road, but 4×4 vehicles are not needed on the Hakatere Heron Road. We explored the shoreline of Lake Heron, threw snowballs at each other, and took A LOT of photos. Our girls, ages 9 and 11 years, loved running up and down the hills by the lake. There is a great little sledding hill right next to the carpark at Lake Heron. It would be a perfect place for a picnic, fishing, kayaking, and walking with easy trails that can take 10 minutes up to 3 hours one way. We spent a couple of hours that afternoon taking in the gorgeous scenery. With it getting late into the afternoon, we opted to go to the local pub in Methven, about 45 minutes from Lake Heron.
I feel it’s one of the most picturesque places we’ve visited so far on the South Island. It’s a hidden gem. We look forward to seeing more of the conservation park, including Mt. Sunday, Lake Clearwater, Lake Camp, and Lake Emma in the summer.
We moved to New Zealand last October from New Hampshire in the United States. Fortunately, our daughters have settled in well and we can share our love of travelling with them. We have been so lucky to find local outdoor websites and scoured social media to find new places to explore on the weekends and during the holidays. New Zealand is a condensed version of natural, untouched, and varied landscapes. We are in love with this gorgeous country and the people we encounter.