Westland put on its best weather for our Labour weekend trip to Okarito, only to revert to rain on the Monday as most of us headed home.

We had a stunningly calm morning for our Okarito lagoon trip. Going early meant there was a great view of the alps and still some mist on the river. As we came back, a kotuku gave those on both sides of the boat a close encounter.

A change of time for the Lake Mapourika cruise meant we got a little sunset colour with the extra time the skipper generously gave us at the end. The 50 shades of green of the forest were wonderfully reflected in the calm water.

Five of us had perfect conditions for the heli flight to the nevé of the Franz Josef glacier. We could just see 3 climbers across the pristine snowfields below the peaks. It was an exquisitely beautiful experience, but all too soon over. Others went to see the kotuku at Waitangiroto …. reportedly there were not many chicks in view.

Three of my group walked a long track to Monroe’s beach and were rewarded with sightings of 7 Fiordland crested penguins coming and going from the surf.

Grateful thanks to Barry Dench for another highly successful club trip.

Carolyn Collins