Where and How to Spot Lupins in Southland NEW ZEALAND

For certain places just mere words don’t do justice. True in such sense that “things to do” and “where to eat” become rather insignificant when the beauty of the country is this breath taking. We have been to dozens of unique and gorgeous places but nothing so far has come close to experiencing nature this pristine and pure as it is in New Zealand. Most of the country is untouched by urbanisation and still maintains a modern, yet convenient infrastructure for movement from one place to another with a bonus of jaw dropping landscapes along the way.

We found ourselves there during the shoulder season of December and if not entirely, we somewhat managed to escape the peak season crowd. Given the title of this article, lucky for us Lupins were in full bloom everywhere, carpeting the lakes, mountains and road sides in pinks, purples, purples, whites, reds, yellows and colours I do not even remember. Now, you can only imagine, so wait till you see the pictures below.

These flowers bloom for only around four to five weeks in a year and in those weeks the already stunning scenery becomes even more fulfilling to city dwellers like ourselves. Imagine; see through turquoise lakes and rivers with beds scattered in colourful lupins and spectacular snow capped mountains in the background. I recall having a postcard with a similar picture on it’s front and back then I had no clue about whether this can any be real.

Surprisingly, these innocent looking flowers that add colour to this otherwise neutral country side is considered an invasive species of flora by the Govt. of New Zealand. Threat or not this vibrant weed invasion is without a doubt a sweet treat to the soul.

The story behind the existence of these lupins is, a farmer’s wife decided that the South Island could use some colour. In order to attain that she went around secretly, scattering lupin seeds along  lakes and river beds. Another hearsay version of it is that she did this while riding a white stallion, naked. I have my doubts on the later part of the story, but, however she managed to do it, there is no denying that these flowers definitely add to the beauty of the place.


  1. Best time to see them in full bloom would be in the end of the NOVEMBER up until christmas in DECEMBER
    • LAKE TEKAPO – The most popular place to spot them.
    • AHURIRI RIVER – On either side of the river. It is by the roadside, so park safely first.
    • LAKE WANAKA – Though not too many here but is on a charming little town.
    • CROWN RANGE ROAD – The road between Wanaka and Queenstown.
    • LAKE PUKAKI – Some scattered around, yet beautiful.
  3. Do not tamper with the flowers or try to bring them along. You or some one travelling with you can be allergic and they don’t really smell that great. Just leave them looking pretty where they are and carry memories in the form of pictures with you.
  4. There are many beautiful patches along the roadside. If you are lupin spotting, be safe here and pull over only at designated parking spots, please do not stop on the middle of the road.
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand, Lupines
Shades of Lupines at LAKE TEKAPO
Lake Tekapo, Lupine Season, New Zealand
Much commercialised lupin spotting at LAKE TEKAPO
See through waters of lake tekapo
Did you know, Lupins are considered weeds here in NZ.
DSC_0499 8.44.04 PM (1)
The other side of the LAKE
Lake Tekapo, Lupines, New Zealand
A charming little chapel by the lake.
Arthur's Pass, Lupines, New Zealand
Beautiful Arthur’s Pass
Lupines, New Zealand
Don’t pull over in the middle of the road, enjoy the drive till you find a designated spot.
Lake Tekapo, Lupines, New Zealand
More from the Lake
River Ahuriri, Lupines, New Zealand
River Ahuriri
Lake Tekapo, Lupines, New Zealand
Pops of colour

If the pictures of the stunning Lupines have already got you dreaming of travelling to New Zealand then you have to check out the other articles from our New Zealand Series to know more about the country and help you get planning for your travel to Southland, New Zealand.

For more stories and updates on my Travel Itinerary and exploits follow @BohemianOnTheRun on Instagram.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of any picture or written content in the above article for any purpose is strictly prohibited without express or written consent from this blog’s author and owner; ADITI JANA (c)


37 Comments Add yours

  1. Ester says:

    Beautiful shots!

    1. Aditi J says:

      Thank you, Ester. 🙂

  2. Oh yes, they definitely do the job. The farmer’s wife did well 😉

    1. Aditi J says:

      Haha. And, however she did it 😀

  3. Mel & Suan says:

    Oh now we know what these flowers are! heheh. Learn something new again!

    1. Aditi J says:

      Hahaha. I am glad this somehow answered your questions 😀

  4. gc says:

    Bravo. Dramatic and informative photos. Thank you for sharing. Happy Easter to you.

    1. Aditi J says:

      Thank You for stopping by.
      Happy Easter to you too 🙂

  5. chattykerry says:

    How beautiful! We have a specific type of lupin that grows wild in Texas – the Texas bluebonnet. I also grew them when I lived in Scotland – wonderful plants that light up the garden.

    1. Aditi J says:

      That sounds lovely; bluebonnet.
      And, now I too recall seeing them in Scottish highlands!
      Thanks for stopping by, kerry 😀

      1. chattykerry says:

        You are most welcome – warm wishes from Texas!

  6. Graham says:

    Love that overhead view! Kind of looks like giant pink and purple trees taken from on high! 🙂

    1. Aditi J says:

      Haha! So true, it does.
      That’s my favorite picture, caught at the right time. 😃

  7. Just gorgeous – I have been wanting to see and photograph lupines for a while now. So thank you for letting me experience them through your pics 🙂

    1. Aditi J says:

      Oh, they are even more beautiful in person. ❤
      You are welcome and thank you for stopping by 😊

      1. Yes, I can imagine. I know a beautiful spot that is covered with a carpet of Virginia bluebells each spring – it must be a similar feeling.

      2. Aditi J says:

        That sounds so great; Virginia Bluebells!
        Yes, I am sure it feels just as surreal. 😊

      3. Aditi J says:

        Oh they are so beautiful. 😍
        Love the blue. I have a thing for wild flowers.
        Thank you for sharing your post on them. 😊

      4. One of my favorite things to do – pack a camera and roam around to find wild flowers. We are lucky in our area as we (still) have a large amount of biodiversity and lots of rare plants, even lots of wild native orchids (my favorites).

      5. Aditi J says:

        You sure are lucky. We don’t find such untouched beauty in this desert land, only manicured gardens and landscapes.
        You are doing a great job by sharing such posts for us deprived lot.
        I am loving all of it, the pictures and the details 😍

      6. My pleasure, Aditi – where do you live?

      7. Aditi J says:

        I live in Dubai 🙂

      8. Aditi J says:

        Where are you from?
        If I may ask?

      9. I am originally from Germany but live in the US, Virginia.

      10. Aditi J says:

        Virginia sounds amazing (from your posts)
        Good luck!! 🙂

  8. I am overwhelmed by these beautiful photos. The colours of the lupins are spectacular. I used to live in Newfoundland (Canada) where I loved the lupins (though not as spectacular as these).

    1. Aditi J says:

      I agree, they do create quite the drama.
      Thanks, Caroline. 🙂

  9. Leah says:

    Beautiful pictures! I had no idea there were lupines in NZ! Their colourful blooms add even more beauty to the landscape (who would have thought it possible to improve?).

    1. Aditi J says:

      Hahah! That’s so true, but, the farmers wife made that thought for us and went for it 😬

    2. Aditi J says:

      And, thank you. I am glad you like the pictures 🙂

  10. Vannesa says:

    Great site! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am taking your feeds also.

    1. Aditi J says:

      Thank you so much for the compliments, Vannesa. I am glad you stopped by and hope you keep enjoying the posts! See you around ❤

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