We just finished our inaugural Canterbury Lakes Discovery Trip. And all I can say is “Wow, it’s been an amazing week!”
There is always a fair bit of nervousness before a Surfari Trip, especially a Surfari to a new destination. Is everything going as planned? Caterer, rental van and trailer, accommodation,…..? Will we be able to meet expectations? What’s the weather going to be like? For our inaugural Canterbury Lakes Discovery Trip, (at least our) expectations did get exceeded. Everything went smoothly, from picking up our guests at Queenstown Airport, to amazing food, and the wind gods were in a playful mood.
Day one of our Surfari greeted us with a stiff Northwesterly. First up we explored Lake Ōhau. The top end of the lake was frightening with wind gusts exceeding 35 knots too glassy calm. Fortunately, down the southern end of the lake the wind was more sorted around 30 knots. Paddy and Heidi had a ball on the windsurfers, while the wing crew – consisting of Fergus, Phil, Rick and Fabio – were scrambling for the small wings and gave it a good shot (see main picture).
After lunch we decided to escape the crazy winds and went off to Lake Pukaki, a hot favourite on our Canterbury Lakes Surfari Trip for the impressive scenery and mountain vistas. The winds eased, Aoraki Mount Cook cleared, and we had a nice evening light wind opportunity with Aoraki Mount Cook standing proudly at the head of the lake!
Day two did bring very similar conditions, with the difference that it looked really good on Lake Ruataniwha. This is a small lake next to Twizel, usually glassy and popular with rowers and water skiers. In our research we didn’t pay it too much attention, as it was always calm. Nice surprise! The wind was a bit gusty but a lot more manageable than Lake Ōhau. The flat water and lovely rigging area were definitely a bonus.
On day three, we find ourselves on our forth lake – Lake Aviemore. Well known for it’s consistent Easterly thermal winds, this lake can be pretty fun in a strong Northwesterly! The conditions were superb, lots of huge smiles and tired faces in the evening. I would love to know how many miles have been sailed all added up!
Day four brings us to our fifth lake – Lake Tekapo. The Northwesterly finally stopped and a light easterly provided the perfect opportunity to have some fun, check out the amazing mountain scenery, explore and have a play on a new lake!
Day five of our Canterbury Lakes Discovery Trip finds us back at Lake Ōhau for lunch before hitting Lake Aviemore for a classic Waitaki Easterly. Fantastic conditions to finish off the now very tired crew! Pete joined us for a quick rip, before heading back for our final meal by the fabulous Mint Folk & Co, Twizel. You can find all pictures of this fantastic trip on Flickr.
Hats off to the enthusiasm of our crew going five full days on five different lakes, Ōhau, Pukaki, Ruataniwha, Tekapo and Aviemore.