It’s Spring! And there’s lupin!

A field of lupin on the banks of the Ahuriri River, and the St. Cuthbert Range in the background

With only a few days off work for the last few weeks, my excursions outside Dunedin have been constrained a bit. Last weekend, I was determined to make the most of a whole day off. After all, it’s Spring…and the lupin is in bloom. I have been obsessed with finding a field full of lupin after drooling over Instagram photos of the fields of lupin surrounding Lake Tepako. So, I headed up into Central Otago and the neighboring Waitaki area in search of lupin.

Leaving the recently snow dusted (from the night before) mountains surrounding Wanaka, I headed through Lindis Pass (sometimes closed in winter due to snow) and then down a dirt road for a picnic lunch along the Ahuriri River.

A Fly-Fisherman’s Dream…the Alhuriri River (which, sadly doesn’t open for fishing until 1 December)

It was amazing to follow the river for kilometers and not see a single soul. I could only imagine the numbers of fish in the river…but they will have to wait a few more weeks until the Season opens. After lunch, I followed the river further North to the town of Omarama (pronounced, ‘O-Mare-A-Ma), where a small dirt road crossed the river and meandered towards a site called ‘The Clay Cliffs’.

The Clay Cliffs, just outside Omarama

This sandstone and clay mountain range is eroding, producing the specular hills seen above. And it was on this drive, following the west banks of the Ahuriri River, that I spotted lupin. Not just one field…but fields FULL of lupin. I practically jumped out of the car and bounded towards the river.

A field of lupin, with the Clay Cliffs in the background

I’m embarrassed to admit how many pictures I took (so I’m not going to tally them)…I’m glad the days of film and photo processing are in the past (I would be broke).

My last photo of lupin (for this post), I promise.

On the way up to Wanaka, the highway follows the Clutha River…a fast moving very big river. The gorse (an invasive plant brought here) is in full yellow bloom, and makes a wonderful contrasting color splash for the turquoise waters of the Clutha.

A bridge not Too Far, on the Clutha River.
You can’t walk very far before you encounter some friendly neighbors.

I made it back to Dunedin at 11pm on Sunday night (after only a small scare where my gas empty light came on about 20km outside of Dunedin…and I got to practice coasting down hills in neutral).

Lindis Pass…and the car that didn’t run out of gas..

What an amazing Sunday! What an amazing country.

Kia Ora,


Published by dave clarke

I am different things to different people. Husband, father, doctor, teacher, friend, or if you're a fish, a fly fisherman. But really, I'm just a guy trying to learn about life, and if I'm lucky, maybe teach a little bit along the way. If I were a golfer (I'm not) I would be on the back nine of my life, or if I were a book, there would be more pages turned than not. Any yet, I'm far from finished creating chapters of my life. The goal of Next Chapters is inspiration, and I'm hopeful the traffic goes in both directions.

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