Wow, we had expected to be impressed by the weather and scenery in Central Otago over winter but even those expectations have been blown away. The ever changing weather patterns from completely still fog covered days to brilliant sunshine blue sky days gives the landscape a very different feel from one day to the next. Actually, that's not quite right as when the fog settles in above Cromwell and there is no wind it can last for days!! However, a local did inform me that if I travelled up the Nevis road then I would drive above it. I did, and what a view, that really was breathtaking. Breaking through the cloud into bright sunshine and seeing a sea of cloud in the valley below me is a sight I'm not likely to forget in a hurry. 
The other thing I hadn't appreciated was that day after day of freezing fog and a very gentle breeze leads to the most amazing fluffy hoar frost attaching itself to branches, grass, fences and anything else it can. I was fascinated because it was so delicate just like snow and would fall at the slightest touch so quite how it builds up in to the shapes it does is quite remarkable.
Naturally out in this environment means getting the gloves, wooly hat, winter jackets and decent boots on to rejuvenate the soul. We've had plenty of days just walking along shore lines or up in the hills with the most stunning views.....if I had any cobwebs before I got here then they have certainly gone now :-)
So looking forward to the next couple of months as the friendliness of the area is quite amazing. We may even go wild and do a few touristy things......but not the bungy jump, that's madness!
Hope you enjoy the images, there are quite a few this month sharing some of our travels.

Driving up the Nevis Road got me above the cloud that had engulfed us for days. That is a sight that defies belief

The most delicate hoar frost clings to tussock grass creating its own mini mountain scape

One of those weird days when there was low cloud above us and also fog in the valley below us....that is quite surreal when you are stood on the ground!

While up in the hills I spied the moon setting as we came around this ridge line

That white expanse in the bottom of the image is all fog. Somewhere below there lies Cromwell and Lake Dunstan

Another traveller makes there way back down the road into the freezing fog

First light of the day hits Cromwell and this is our view from our current location. Not a bad view to start the day :-)

A little bit of an artsy shot

The landscape heading out past Alexandra is vast and barren with the ever present blanket of cloud

Sunlight broke through the clouds as we came back through Clyde one afternoon. Stayed for ages just watching the changing light patterns on the hillside in the distance

A very changeable day led to the most amazing cloud formations

What this image doesn't show is Mum dashing to make sure this young lady didn't end up in the water with the ducks ;-)

Another day with mist clinging to the ground creating a beautiful surreal landscape

We had a drive out to Mt Aspiring and spied perfect reflections at Glendhu Bay on the way

Remarkably still water and a very slight winter haze made for a very atmospheric environment. 

I may be wrong but from this spot at Glendhu Bay I think that is Mt Aspiring way in the distance.

Rock in gently rippling water, couldn't resist a long exposure image

The barren landscape around St Bathans is awe inspiring

The amazing mirror lake surface at St Bathans, just love this place

On our way back from St Bathans we spied this old tractor on the side of the road. 2 minutes later and it would have been in shadow as the sun dropped behind the mountains

A foggy day from start to finish in Cromwell. It was bitterly cold but well worth a trip and walk around the old town

One of the buildings in the alley ways around old town during a fog filled evening photo shoot, love this

Hadn't expected to encounter hoar frost on our way to Queenstown so was very happy to come across this atmospheric scene

The lady to my right was being mobbed by the seagulls as she threw food their way

Rather expensive but that  holiday home would be a beautiful place to spend a few days on the edge of Lake Hayes with the most amazing views.

An international standard curling rink in Naseby. These guys were having a great time on a boys weekend, I suspect beer, lots of beer was to follow this bit of exercise!

The amazing hoar frost clings to the trees and fences around Alexandra

Quite what possesses people to pay out $205 to launch themselves off of a bridge 45m above freezing water with just an elastic band to stop your fall is beyond me......but they do, and even at this quiet time of year they were still falling off the ledge at roughly 5 minute intervals. 

These girls had got the best idea, stay by the warmth and watch their partners do the jumping ;-)

Just love the peace of watching the mist gradually lift in Cromwell

There are times when Lake Dunstan is really still and then there are times when it is incredibly still.....this was one of those mornings!

The beautiful Damper Bay, not a bad spot for a picnic :-)

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