St Bathans Blue Lake

St Bathans Blue LakeBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

The Blue Lake of St Bathans doesn’t seem quite as blue as it once was. While it is very blue  indeed, it is possibly slightly less blue than it once was. Maybe it was just the light, however the lake’s distinctive blue colour seems to have significantly faded if you ask me. If anything, it’s more green than anything. Unless of course it just happened to be the day I was there, in which case I’m totally wrong! 

I had arrived in St Bathans by way of State Highway 85. Following the Manuherikia River I passed through the small settlements of Chatto Creek, Omakau and Becks before taking the St Bathans Loop Road, eventually bringing me into the small town where I purchased a drink at the hotel and parked by the lake. Looking around the lake, it’s hard not to be impressed by the man-made water feature. 

Once known as Kildare Hill that stood 120 metres high, gold-sluicing transformed it into a 168  metre deep pit. When it was abandoned and filled with water, remaining minerals in the soil gave the lake a distinctive emerald colour. I explored the lake surroundings and tried to imagine Kildare Hill in its place. It was hard to do. 

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