Saturday, 12 December 2009

Experience Skippers Canyon in Rain

Who wants to have a rainy day while on holidays? I guess the answer is no one. But we can't change the weather and sometimes, rain drops do fall on our heads...

Skippers is quite spectacular, too while it rains. We recently took a small group of 5 passengers into the canyon. It has been raining for about 2 days. We were lucky on this afternoon as we only had a few rain drops at the beginning of the tour. Every time it rains heavily, the Shotover River, which flows through Skippers Canyon and in fact created it long time ago, rises very quickly. During this afternoon tour, the group could observe literally from 1 minute to the other how the Shotover River would rise. It was truly a unique experience.

Just imagine this: normally, the water in Shotover River flows with 12 to 15 cubic meters per seconds. If it carries this less water, the river is stunningly turquoise and looks very nice and smooth and not at all dangerous. At the time we had this afternoon tour, the river flew with about 170 cubic meters per second and it later culminated during the night at approx 200 cubic meters. The Shotover River looked totally muddy and not friendly at all. Due to the masses of water, the river rose very minute. This change was quite obvious and stunned our guests during the entire afternoon.

We usually let our guest walk a bit on this mountain road in Skippers Canyon. This afternoon, they wanted to walk quite a bit and enjoyed the fascinating atomsphere in the canyon. Not only was the change of the Shotover River a unique experience to observe, but the clouds hanging around Mount Aurum and the changes in light enabled our guest to take plenty of photos of this beautiful spot we call home.

Towards the end of the afternoon tour, we even got a little lucky and saw the sun chasing away the clouds to lighten up the area with its shafts of sunlight. This topped everything. He heard comments like "who wants to visit Skippers in sunshine - this is much better" and "the atmosphere with the clouds and the mist creates a light that I have never experienced before. It is just stunning".

After hearing those comments, I remembered my own experience in Milford Sound while it was raining. Then, the Sound - at least for me - nearly comes to life and produces endless waterfalls. Milford Sound is a place which should be visited in rain and so is Skippers Canyon.

On all our tours, we carry some umbrellas with us and just in case it is necessary, we offer our picnic in a sheltered area.

As said before, you can't change the weather but you still can visit Skippers Canyon while it rains.

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