Central South Island

We decided to take advantage of some cheap flights to the South Island and have a wee roadie. Just four days. This is the sort of thing you can see on a short road trip in New Zealand.

Four easy days driving in the Central South Island. Christchurch, over Arthurs Pass to the West Coast. Night near Hokitika. South via Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, night at Fox for the Lake Matheson early morning shot. South to Haast Pass drive through Mackenzie Country for a night at Twizel. Aoraki/Mt Cook national park is only a short drive from Twizel. On to Geraldine for a night then easy drive to Christchurch and home. Basically this is a reasonably low cost long weekend away. Thursday through to Monday. We are very lucky to live here in New Zealand. Lucky As!

Arthurs Straight
Heading for Arthurs Pass
Arthurs Pass
Arthurs Pass


Lake Matheson Mist
Lake Matheson
Lake Matheson Mirror Lake
Probably the best morning conditions ever at Lake Matheson.
Okarito Lagoon
Okarito Lagoon
Lake Moeraki gap
Lake Moeraki
Haast Pass
Haast Pass
Mountains and Ferns
Lake Wanaka
Wanaka Reflection
Lake Wanaka
Lake Hawea
Hawea Reflection
Lake Hawea
Hawea Lakeside
Lake Hawea
Road through Mackenzie
Mackenzie Country
Aoraki/Mt Cook
Road works!
Road trip
Aoraki/Mt Cook
Blue and Gold
Single Lane Bridge
Glacial Valley
No Glacier
Distinct lack of Glacier
Look Back
Glacial Valley
Pukaki Reserve
Pukaki Blues
Lake Pukaki

Seriously, the weather though!

Costs? About $200 for two return flights, Palmerston North to Christchurch. Rental car was about $250, Plus about $125 per night on average, motels and AirBnB. Basically about NZD $1000 plus food and drink, Pretty good I reckon.





Change Of Scenery

I travel around a large chunk of New Zealand a lot, I also regularly visit other parts of New Zealand than my local bit. I’m always on the lookout for something pleasing to Photograph as hopefully these pages will show. I trust you are enjoying the images so far.

However…On my travels, I see other stuff, the other New Zealand. The bits you don’t read about in the guide books, or don’t think of when you typically think of our country, or maybe you do but you take it for granted. I decided to document a bit of it. I set up a new Instagram account called @kiwiay for that purpose. Come and have a look, follow the account. I’ll be, or have been posting this sort of thing.

Rustic garden art or driftwood overload
Derelict dairy factory on the surf highway in Taranaki. In New Zealand we have many derelict buildings as monuments to our inability to pull derelict buildings down. So instead we often paint a cheery or quirky mural on one or more of the walls. This shows that as well as having a lack of efficient and effective reclamation facilities, we are also arty.
Old Holden
It’s road works season in New Zealand. Because it’s the end of the financial year, all the councils are spending the last of their budgets on dubious road maintenance projects to ensure they can maintain their road maintenance funding next year. In NZ we don’t have modern phased mobile traffic lights at our roadworks, we still have the Stop/Go sign being held by a person. This is Paul, a Stop/Go guy
Rail mural
Every old warehouse wall should have black and white murals and a dragons head sticking out of the wall
Surf Inn
We sometimes like to give amusing and trade or location associative names to our drinking establishments. Opunake on the ‘Surf Highway’ in Taranaki is known for its surfing opportunies as is the rest of the Taranaki Coast. This obviously was once simply the Opunake Hotel, but has been revitalised and rebranded the ‘Surf Inn’. I hope they didn’t pay anyone too much money to come up with that catchy title. Which reminds me I must go out to Scott’s Ferry in the Rangitikei again
Top dresser 7
Time to start chucking some fertiliser on the paddocks ay? The good old top dressing Bi-plane putting ‘super’ on the farms of NZ
Kaos pass
Kiwis like going really fast any chance we get. We’re pretty awesome at motor sports of many kinds. This is Power Boat racing on the Manawatu river.
Ormondville Viaduct
Old wooden viaduct above our old farm in Southern Hawkes Bay. Notice all the excellent ‘health and safety’ and harm prevention measures in place. I don’t think this rail line gets used anymore
Letter boxes side view
5a is a bit farther along the track.
Air NZ
An aircraft from our national airline Air New Zealand making its way into one of our provincial airports. flying around New Zealand can be a bit hairy sometimes
Gun Tunnel Grafitti_
It’s nice that young people want to put their own flavour on the relics of the 2nd World War in New Zealand. Like in these old Harbour defence Artillery Emplacement tunnels
Busy Bee Dairy
The great New Zealand dairy. This is a fine example of this iconic establishment.
Eltham Nana Jaques
Thats a nice memorial to Nana Jacques, obviously much loved, I bet she’d be very proud.
Hawkes Bay Wool Shed Shutes
Shutes, for when the shearing is complete
Canterbury Maori Haka
No day is complete in New Zealand without a rousing Maori haka, I think this was just a practice one though, or maybe these Wahine were saying hooray to the South Island.
Cuba Espressoholic
Kiwis drink more coffee than just about anyone. Often served by someone who looks and dresses like a gay lumberjack
Footy is the lifeblood of New Zealand, some good mates enjoying the day.
Marton Racecourse 2
Wonder when the next race meeting is, I believe the last one was in 1980.
Opunake Dairy
Classic dairy, with updated paint job. Tip Top work. I’ve never been in that dairy.
This is the New Zealand pig, the kunekune. This is a happy one because he isn’t being made into bacon.

I’ll keep you posted, as it were.

Back Home

By back home, I mean I traded the Olympus Mirrorless camera back in for a Canon. I missed having what I feel is a proper camera. A big Digital Single Reflex Camera. I like Canons so I bought the Canon 6D MkII. Actually it’s not quite as simple as that. The 6D MkII is the camera almost made for me. It’s more clever as one of Canons best ever camera’s, the 5D mkIII. I’ve also had one of those, a second hand one which I traded in for the Olympus Camera as I thought I would enjoy the drop in camera weight. It wasn’t worth the change sadly, still, you live and learn.

I wanted my own new Canon DSLR camera though and the 6D MkII came along at the perfect time. It’s got great image quality, plenty of pixels, it does a bunch of stuff I don’t care about or understand and it has built in wifi which is awesome in so many ways. It does what it says on the tin and has delivered a number of quite fetching images already. My only issue with it is that the shutter isn’t as quiet as I’d like. I know right? That’s literally the only issue. I love this camera and I’m looking forward to getting to know it better. Herewith some imagery from my 6D MkII. It’s not all about the camera though. For those who are interested, I mostly, currently only, have a Canon 24-105 L series walking round lens on the front of my camera.

Ariana and Millie
People standing in my shot, I may have asked them to.
Shed door
Door, needs work
Shepherds Delight
Shepherds Delight, Himatangi Beach. This is home.
St Andrews Side
St Andrews Church, Turakina.
Turakina Cottage
I like this building.
Wake boarding one handed
KIte surfer, practicing at the new place in Foxton. It’s called ‘Off The Loop’ Cable wake boarding among other awesome adventure activities.
Weds 03-01-18 part 2
Home, of an evening.
Akld Roads
Auckland at night
City Lights, Auckland
It’s still there.
Dry as
Been a bit dry off late.
Portrait of Miss J, Wearing my hat.
Mt Taranaki early am
Mt ‘Naki
Muapoko Street
That’s my street at night. Awesome sunset.

Eclectic mix. See you soon.

Himatangi Beach

This is where we live now. A small beach community in Manawatu, New Zealand. Himi as I call it has a wonderful eclectic variety of proper beach baches and more conventional homes, and the largest sand dune in the Southern Hemisphere apparently.

The phrase, ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ is best applied here. Here is a collage of Himatangi Beach images. I love it here.

Cool ay? See you at Himi.

Temporary Change Of Gear

I decided to go light, I decided I was carrying around too much heavy expensive gear for someone who isn’t a professional Photographer. I wanted to try Digital Mirrorless Technology. I’m currently enjoying the light weight, little bit hipster, retro’ish Olympus OM-D E-M5 MkII which is a hell of a mouthful for a camera name. I only have one multi purpose lens on the front which is an Olympus 14-150mm. I have to admit I’m not totally in love with this camera. I’m not as happy with the image quality as I had hoped I would be and I find it a bit small in my hands. It’s pretty much lacking in every department for what I want to achieve photographically. But it is light. I’ll be going back to a bigger DSLR set up when I can afford it. That said, here is a selection of images I’ve taken in the last couple of months with the little Olympus.

Waikato somewhere, early.
Cup of rosie.
Sunset, Kapiti Coast
On the way to French Pass.
That’s D’Urville Island
Remote woolshed, French Pass Road.
Mt Taranaki
Kiwi Rail
Lake Mangamahoe
Cape Egmont Lighthouse
Tasman Bay, Nelson
Mt Doom?
Tutukaka Coast
Morning at Kaitoke
Sunrise in the Waikato
Mirror mirror
Mouth of Queen Charlotte Sound.
Wellington Harbour

I don’t think it’s just a case of a poor workman blaming his tools, maybe it is though. I still want to go back to a full size DSLR, or mirrorless. This nice little camera is just too little for me.

On The Road

I’m not even going to pad this out with words, well not many words. If you come here a bit you’ll know I spend a lot of time on the road. I’m lucky that I live in New Zealand which is the worlds greatest road trip. People travel from all over the world to see this stuff  and I just have to leave the house. These images are some that I have captured since my previous Dolphins post, which was just over a month ago. As far as a travel experience goes, it’s truly epic out there in New Zealand. I almost couldn’t believe I’d covered this much territory in under a month. I should get out more…

Bush Rays
Near Pipiriki, Whanganui Region.
Fence Light
Raetihi, Central Plateau
Ratana Side
Ratana Church, Raetihi, Central Plateau
Ruapehu Reflection
Waitonga Falls Walkway, Mt Ruapehu, Central Plateau.
Ruapehu Sunrise
Sunrise near Raetihi, Mt Ruapehu, Central Plateau
Green Boat House
Otago Harbour
Eglington Valley-3
Eglignton Valley, Fiordland National Park
Portobello Sunset
Portobello, Otago Peninsula
Lake Benmore Blue
Lake Benmore, Mackenzie Country. Canterbury
Lake Benmore Road trip
Mackenzie Country, Canterbury
Pukaki shore road
Lake Pukaki and the Southern Alps, Mackenzie Country.
Taiaroa Head
Taiaroa Head, Otago.
Te Anau Autumn Dawn
Te Anau, Southland
Nelson Marina-3
Nelson Marina, Nelson.
Pelorus Sound light show
Pelorus Sound from Queen Charlotte Drive, Marlborough Sounds.
Mt Taranaki Print
Mount Taranaki from Lake Mangamahoe, New Plymouth, Taranaki.
Island Bay Brew'd front on
The Pub in my local village. End of the trip. That’s not my car though.

So, where too next?


I was trying to think of a clever title, but I couldn’t come up with one so you get the obvious instead. A handful of photos of Dolphins taken from various spots in and near Wellington Harbour over the past few weeks. I’ll start with them quite far away as I stood on the shore and then we’ll get a bit closer, keep scrolling. Taking a photo of a Dolphin leaping out of the water is really hard. So I’m very pleased with how the airborne Dolphin shots came out. If you like a Dolphin, hopefully you’ll enjoy these images.

Dolphin Watcher
So, they were out by Moa Point, which is where the Airport is when I saw them first.
Dolphins AIr NZ
As I said, near the Airport
Dolphins Lyall Bay at Airport
No, seriously a lot of Dolphins
Dolphin 1
It’s like a Dolphin scrum.
Ferry Dolphin best
Now let’s get a move on. This next lot of photos were taken from the side of the Cook Strait ferry, the Interislander.
Ferry Dolphin double
Then there were two.
Ferry Dolphin dive
You’d do that too if you could, wouldn’t you?
Ferry Dolphin pair
Coming at ya’
Ferry Dolphin scar
Going back in.
Ferry Dolphins leap
You can practically hear it squeaking, whoooooooo Hooooo!!
Ferry Dolphins Four
Surf’s up!

Cool ay? Who doesn’t love Dolphins?

City Surfers

For the sake of clarity, I don’t surf. I don’t even swim in the sea. I know that if I do I’ll be eaten by a Great White Shark immediately upon entering the water. People might say that’s a phobia. I however know I simply have a rational fear of a dangerous predator. That aside, I love the sea and love being near the sea. I also like photographing sports. I’ve decided one of my favourite sports to photograph is surfing. So here are some surfing photos. All of these were taken in Houghton Bay which is just 15 minutes or so from the Wellington CBD on the South Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Hence the title City Surfers. I’m not going to write captions for the photos because that would be superfluous. I hope you enjoy the images. GrimaceMarch Surf 1March Surf 2March Surf 3March Surf 4March Surf fall 2March Surf pair 1March Surf swimmers 1March Surfers 5March Surfers 6March Surfers board 1March Surfers board 2March Surfers coolestMarch Surfers Eyes shutMarch Surfers fall 2March Surfers high and lowMarch Surfers point 1March Surfers rainbowMarch Surfers smileMarch Surfers styleMarch Surfers wipeoutPaddle boarder 1Paddle wakePaddleboard aheadSurfer 1Surfer 2Surfer 4Surfer 6Surfer dudeEpic tube surf

The Lonely Mountain

I was looking at my photography blog and realised I hadn’t put a post up for a while. I was also considering the rubbish weather we have had over the past few weeks. I seem to remember the sun coming out, and staying out all day one Saturday.

For no good reason I decided to create a new post about one of our most iconic mountains. I titled this ‘The Lonely Mountain’ because Mt Taranaki occupies a place all by itself, far from other mountains. There is a Maori legend you might like to look up about how Mt Taranaki got all the way over to where it is, so far from the other large Volcanoes in the North Island. Mt Taranaki is actually a live volcano but it’s last activity was in 1860. It’s a pleasingly symmetrical mountain.

A nice photo of some Geese and Ducks in Lake Mangamahoe, with extra Mountain for effect.
The Te Rewa Rewa Bridge is quite famous for looking like a Whale’s skeleton or something.
On a clear night you can see for miles. About 200 kilometres in this instance as this image of Mt Taranaki was taken from the Central Plateau.
Sheep, relaxing.
Road trip, the road less travelled.
Like the earlier photo of Mt Taranaki really far away, this is farther. About 230 kilometres from Himatangi Beach.
They don’t make that anymore.
Cardiff. True story, not the Welsh Cardiff though.
Cloudy coolness.
That’s also really far away. I just can’t remember where from.
Tree weirdness.
Pastoral, volcanic.
Looks like Kilimanjaro.
I like a nice barn in my photos.
Hey, Hay!
Hydrangeas but not in anyones garden. Opunake side.
Red barns are best.

So there you go. Epic Symmetrical live volcano, all by itself in Taranaki. Mt ‘Naki, as I like to call it, which is probably frowned upon by those who value pronouncing things properly, is mostly covered in cloud, so this lot took a while to accumulate. The mountain actually makes it’s own clouds. You’ll see that happening while you are driving around looking for a good place to take it’s picture.


Before the sun comes up

Once upon a time. I spent a lot of time out and about before and during the sunrise. I should do that more often.

State Highway One in the Rangitikei, from Leedstown Road. Most people don’t know where that is.
Halcombe cows don’t care about the sun coming up.
Shed, early.
Road to nowhere, literally.
June the 6th.
Same place, different day.
I love Kawau Bay.
Once again, Kawau Bay, different day. Place of contrasts and all that
You know the phrase ‘red sky in the morning’? Well this is an epic warning.
The sunrise was so awesome, even the seagull stopped to watch
Low fog, or mist, or whatever. Creeping over a farm fence. Manawatu.

Get up early. Sunrise is often way cooler than sunset.