Travel influencer ‘disappointed’ at ‘reality’ of popular bright turquoise river

A travel photographer has revealed that the famous bright turquoise waters of an Instagram hotspot are not always what they seem on social media.

The beautiful Hokitika Gorge in New Zealand has become a hotspot for influencers and other tourists.

That’s because of its glorious turquoise colour is vivid even in photographs and holidaymakers love to see the interesting natural phenomenon when on the South Island.

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Temperatures vary with highs being from 18.8C to 29.7C all year round, making it a great place to go for a hike and gaze down at the colourful water – which is caused by "glacial milk", a kind of sediment created by glacial erosion mixed with meltwater.

A number of lakes and rivers around the world have a similar bright turquoise colour caused by glacial milk such as Lake Pkaki and Lake Tekapo in New Zealand.

About 40,000 people visit Hokitika Gorge each year to see the stunning phenomenon, but influencer and photographer Abigail Hannah, @abigailhannnah, explained that not everything is as it seems online.

She posted a video of the gorge in its brightest hue when the sun was shining.

It was exactly what most tourists wish for when they head to the naturally blue river.

However, Abigail then showed a clip of the gorge on another day when the water was a muddy brown and the surrounding white rocks looked grey.

The Instagram user claimed it was a classic case of "Instagram versus reality".

She explained that the main difference between the two visits was the weather.

In the caption, Abigail said: "Top tip so you’re not disappointed when you visit Hokitika Gorge.

"Check the weather forecast, because it IS a river and it changes colour depending on the amount of rainfall and the flow."

She added: "Things aren’t always as they seem and sometimes when we see stunning images or videos of outdoor locations online, we forget how many factors things to align for it to look that way.

"Sometimes when we go outdoors, it is too windy, too rainy, too cold, or it is the opposite – too sunny, too muggy, too dusty."

She added: "After experiencing Hokitika Gorge in the rain, I was quite disappointed (especially since our camera got really wet and died!) but it just meant that we got the opportunity to return on another trip.

"Needless to say, I was absolutely blown away when we visited in summer and yes, it REALLY is that blue!"

Thankfully, if you catch the New Zealand river on the perfect day you’ll be blown away by its bright colour.

In the comments, people agreed that the river is stunning when it’s not too rainy or windy.

One woman wrote: "Been there and it was exactly like the first video.

"Lucky to have experienced when it was nice and blue."

"I've been there, it's a great walk but deffo subject to weather,"another said. “It's one of those things where you need to check the weather on the day because NZ weather is more confused than a child in a shopping mall.”

While a third added: "When I went it looked like an Instagram filter was over the whole country."


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