Situated in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island lies the nation’s largest alpine freshwater lake. Lake Pukaki came into being as a result of water flowing from the glaciers. It is known for its uniquely stunning turquoise waters which is a result of fine particles ground by the glaciers known as glacial flour. This powder is sedimented in the lake and reflects the sun’s rays at a particular angle. Lake Pukaki draws photographers from all over as along with the gorgeous lake and the area around it, New Zealand’s highest peak, Mount Cook, can be clearly seen looming imposingly in the background.
Lake Pukaki is also notable for being the set of the fictional ‘Lake-Town’ as depicted in Peter Jackson’s epic “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”. The lake and the surrounding regions have also been repeatedly shown as background locations in both the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies. The walking trails around Lake Pukaki are also reputed to be among the best walking trails in the country. The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is one such example.
The Mackenzie region is home to not just Lake Pukaki but also two other glacial alpine lakes in the form of Lake Tekapo and Ohau. The closest town to Lake Pukaki is the township of Twizel, located around 5km away from the lake.
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