– Laura MacDonald, Honours student, University of Otago
As a part of my honours project (supervised by Associate Professor Chris Moy, University of Otago) I was lucky enough to join on to the last three days of the Lakes380 trip to Queenstown where we visited and sampled six lakes.
On the first day we drove to the base of Mt Creighton and flew up in a helicopter to Lake Isobel (Image 1).
The view of lake Wakatipu looking down Glenorchy way was amazing. Lake Isobel was where I first got introduced to the process of lake sediment sampling. What I could not believe was the physical work that was involved with collecting the sediment cores! Lake Isobel was the only lake for the day so we got to have a nice relax in the afternoon (after bleaching all the gear of course!).
On day two we got picked up by the helicopter near the start of the Routeburn track and flew up to Lake Harris (Image 2, Image 3).
Lake Harris was a bit trickier to core than Lake Isobel as it was over 65 m deep but we got the cores and moved onto Lake Mackenzie after lunch. Lake Mackenzie was shallower but was tricky to core because the sediment consisted of sticky clays which the core barrel kept getting stuck in.
Day three was my favourite day of the trip. We started off near Kingston and flew up to a group of lakes in the Garvie Mountains. The lakes that we sampled included Lake Gow, Skeleton Lakes and Blue Lake. We even flew over a lake called Lake Laura! The scenery around these lakes was much different to what I was expecting as it was kind of like an alpine wetland (Image 4).
Coring and sampling went really well at these lakes and I got to pull up some cores from Skeleton Lakes which I’ll be using for my honours project (supervised by Associate Professor Chris Moy) to look at past climate and shoreline migrations in the lakes in Garvie Mountains (Image 5).
Overall the trip was an awesome experience and I loved meeting and spending time with Susie, Marcus, Sean and Chris.