Winter sunrise reflection of Mt Taranaki, Pouakai Range, Egmont National Park
The Pouakai Range in North Taranaki rises to a relatively modest 1400 metres above sea level so it does not offer a truly alpine environment compared with the 2518-metre Mt Taranaki immediately to the south. Alpine conditions do occur here, though, such as on the morning that I took this photograph at sunrise in midwinter.
I had arrived at Pouakai Hut in darkness the night before, with dry snow blowing in on a cold southerly wind conditions that werent too promising for sunrise photography the next morning. By the time I left the hut before dawn, however, the wind was dropping and the temperature hovered at a reasonably mild minus two degrees, giving me reason to be optimistic about what I might see from the tarn that was my destination about 15 minutes walk away. As I neared the tarn with sunrise approaching I was relieved to see that the view was clear; it seemed that I was going to get my photo opportunity after all.
Soon after I arrived the wind died out completely, the temperature quickly falling to minus seven degrees cold enough for the tarn to start freezing over in front of my eyes as I took this photograph. In less than half an hour the tarn had completely frozen over, a skin of new ice remaining on the surface for perhaps another hour until the rising sun melted it again.