Kiwi Greenery

A selection of New Zealand awesomeness, in predominantly green hues!

 

Bridal Veil
Bridal Veil Falls, Waikato
Mt Taranaki Print
Mt Taranaki
Bush dunny
Bush Dunny, Pukerua Bay
Mt Naki Rail Bridge
Taranaki Rail Bridge
Rangitikei Evening
Rangitikei
Tui and fern
Tui and Fern
Tui and Flax
Tui and Kowhai
Long Exposure stream
Long Exposure Stream
Bush Rays
Misty Rays
Bush Waterfall rays
Forest waterfall
Fence Light
Raetihi
Ruapehu Fence
Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe
Doubtful Sound Waterfall
Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound Forest
Doubtful Sound
Lake Manapouri Reflections
Lake Manapouri
Rain Forest Waterfall
Doubtful Sound
Estuary Birds
Manawatu River
Plimmerton
Porirua Harbour
Trees and Tararuas
Tararua Ranges
Fence
Fence to the Tararuas
HB Sunset star
Hawkes Bay
Letter boxes
Letter Boxes

Well mostly green.

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.

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

Tourist

I spent a couple of days in Queenstown, for work. Lucky me. Much of the trip was inside but I was able to get out for a wander about. Fortunately you don’t have to walk far in Queenstown and surrounds to see the awesomeness. Herewith, a couple of snaps while I had a moment to take them. This can be a travel blog thing. For people who like to travel and read about travelling. I think it qualifies as a travel blog because I took photos of a tourist destination.

wing
The obligatory wing shot on the way into Queenstown.
remarkables
The mountain range is called ‘The Remarkables’. Can’t imagine why.
remarkable-lenticulars
Same mountains, different day. Those awesome clouds go by the name of ‘Lenticular’.
queenstown-sunset-tuesday
Sunset over Lake Wakatipu. Looking South if you are interested in that sort of thing
lake-whakatipu-1
Same view, slightly different spot, different time of day.
forest-colours
On the hills above Arrowtown. I thought the colours and textures of the trees were cool enough to Photograph. It’s my camera, I get to choose that sort of thing.
falcon-one
That’s a New Zealand Falcon, not the Swamp Harrier. The Falcon is pretty rare and even harder to photograph. This was a good day.
cottage
Because who doesn’t like a photo of an old derelict cottage?
chinese-workers-cottage-2
Chinese Gold Miners huts in Arrowtown. Small.
blossoms
I liked the juxtaposition of Spring blossoms and snowy peaks. Arty and all that.
queenstown-tree
There’s a famous tree in Lake Wanaka which everyone with a camera feels compelled to photograph. This isn’t it. This is a small Willow tree beside Lake Wakatipu which I’ve decided can be ‘That Queenstown Tree’. It looks striking early in the morning with the sun on it. Which is superfluous explanation really.

Queenstown, probably New Zealand’s most famous tourist destination. It’s nice there.

Road Trip

My happy place is in my car, on the road. I love driving around New Zealand as often as possible. If things are a bit dull around the house, I’ll go for a drive. I don’t have to go far to see epic things as luck would have it because I live in New Zealand. Epic is just around the corner. Last week I went for a slightly longer drive. Down to Christchurch, over Arthurs Pass to Franz Josef, down to Lake Matheson, up to Westport and back to Picton via the Buller Gorge and the Marlborough Sounds. This was my delayed Christmas holiday. I took a few photos along the way.

Sinclair Head
Sinclair Heads from Cook Strait. That’s the last bit of the North Island you see as you cross to the South Island.
Seal pups misbehaving
Looks like someone’s in trouble. Seals in Kaikoura.
Arthurs Pass approach
The Road into Arthurs Pass.
Arthurs Pass barren
Arthurs Pass Highway. It’s a bit barren up there. A lot of tourists though. There are only 3 roads that cross the South Island. This is the middle one.
Arthurs clouds best
Awesome clouds above Arthurs Pass
Waimakariri River Arthurs Pass
The amazing Waimakariri River Valley at Arthurs Pass. Mid summer. Bit of rain must be due?
Whataroa River
Glacial Water in the Whataroa River. It’s very cold.
Heron River Bank
That’s where the White Herons nest in New Zealand. Just there. Only that little bit of forest, nowhere else. It’s quite amazing really. When I say that bit of forest. Just that little bit there. That’s all of it, their entire nesting area.
Two Heron babies
Young pair of White Herons.
Lake Matheson purple
Lake Matheson in the pre dawn light. The clouds rolled in and covered up the mountains quite quickly. So you only get a shot in the dark on this particularly day.
Lake Matheson Reflection Island
Lake Matheson with Mt Cook visible in the gap in the clouds. Mt Cook is Aoraki, the cloud piercer. True story, see?
Moutain spotlight cool
Morning dawning near Fox Glacier
Moutain side sheep2
In that gap in the mountains is Fox Glacier. There’s probably less of it than there used to be
Punakaiki One
Punakaiki Rocks. Like stacks of pancakes
Punakaiki Rocks North East2
That’s the ‘West Coast’. Near Punakaiki Rocks. The entire West Coast of New Zealand is the West Coast, but this bit is called the West Coast.
West Coast Look North hill top
Looking north up the West Coast. It’s rugged and remote. I like it here.
Buller Gorge
Buller Gorge. You can probably fish in that.
Buller Gorge sun
The Buller Gorge. Better than the Manawatu Gorge if anyones asking.
Buller River upstream
Buller River.
Te Mahia Bay
This is Te Mahia Bay in the Marlborough Sounds. It’s nice here.
Tory Strait Exit
Crossing through the Tory Channel from Queen Charlotte Sound into Cook Strait.

So that’s just the top half of the South Island. I didn’t take any photos of the Kaikoura Coast on the way down apart from the seals as I have a load from the last time I was there and the sky was pretty gloomy on this trip. Bonus seals though.

Happy travels…Just watch out for tourists paying more attention to the scenery than the road.

A Walk in the ‘Woods’

There were two things that weren’t going to happen today, but both did. I wasn’t going to go for a walk in the rainforest and I wasn’t going to create this blog post. One thing pretty much lead to the other. I’m putting this post up though, because it is kind of amazing and I’m quite pleased with how some very hard photos to take turned out.

First things first. How did I end up in the rainforest? Well it’s not really a rainforest, this is simply a decent sized piece of New Zealand native forest, or ‘bush’ as we call it. The bush is a stand of coastal swamp forest not far from where I live by the sea.

The thing here is that I was simply on my way to the shops, a small supermarket in the next town on a Saturday morning and thought I’d go for short walk beforehand. This is one of the many reasons I love New Zealand. The distance from my house to the shops is just 10 minutes by car. I parked up at the Omarupapako Scenic Reserve which I hadn’t even noticed before despite driving past the signs several times a week.

Then I walked in….It was like walking into Jurassic Park. It’s very hard to take photos of the forest when you are inside it. The darkness means having to have the ISO setting up to as high as 800 at times with a shutter speed as low as 60 and the aperture down at 5.6 or lower. I spent about 2 hours walking through this extraordinary forest. Only a few hundred metres from the sea. I live by the sea remember?

The bird in the photos is a Fantail. A fast moving, small and characterful New Zealand native species which rarely sits still. Almost impossible to photograph in the deep forest on the settings required to cast any light into the camera. So I was thrilled with how these turned out. Enough words.

Path 1
There is a path through, easy to follow
Jurassic path
The way is clear, and easy to follow….
Jurassic path2
Well when I say easy to follow….
Jurassic path3
It’s a bit of a Jurassic path
Light on the floor
Light does get in, sometimes
Fantail light
Very young Fantail, about to fly off
Fantail closer
See, they do occasionally sit still, but not for long, moments only. You can also make out a strand of spider web behind the young Fantail
Baby Fantail song
Fantail, fanned and singing a little Fantail song

If you live in New Zealand, go for a walk in the ‘bush’. If you are going to visit New Zealand, make sure you do. It’s like a spiritual place, a land time forgot, like walking in the footsteps of dinosaurs which is actually what you are doing, without the dinosaurs. Except we had one and it’s still here, living in our remote forests and offshore Islands. The Tuatara, look it up. We actually have the oldest forests in the world. They look like something from Jurassic times, or older

Road trips

One of the best things about New Zealand is how easy it is to hop in a car and go. Driving from A to B in New Zealand is generally a pleasure rather than  a mission as it can be in so many countries overseas. I say generally because while the roads outside Auckland are mostly empty, the roads in Auckland are not. Still, this is about the wide open spaces beside the road in the central bit of the North Island. Time to hit the road….

The Roadhouse, perfect Roadhouse blues setting. Middle of nowhere Manawatu
The Roadhouse, perfect Roadhouse blues setting. Middle of nowhere Manawatu
That's a road, there's a speed limit, see?
That’s a road, there’s a speed limit, see?
A bit of driftwood beside the road at Himatangi, the beach is a road remember?
A bit of driftwood beside the road at Himatangi, the beach is a road remember?
I call this 'Angel'. You'll never guess why
I call this ‘Angel’. You’ll never guess why
Manawatu, from the road, old hay barn. Tararua Ranges. nothing to see here...
Manawatu, from the road, old hay barn. Tararua Ranges. nothing to see here…
From beside the Manwatu River Estuary. It's Whitebaiting season. There's one. A Whitebaiter that is. Don't think it's Beaver.
From beside the Manwatu River Estuary. It’s Whitebaiting season. There’s one. A Whitebaiter that is. Don’t think it’s Beaver.
You know what that is? That's an unremarkable view from the side of the road in New Zealand. I bet nobody has ever taken this photo before
You know what that is? That’s an unremarkable view from the side of the road in New Zealand. I bet nobody has ever taken this photo before.
Old barn, farm paddocks and the Ruahine Ranges. Stark light, morning tea time.
Old barn, farm paddocks and the Ruahine Ranges. Stark light, morning tea time.
The light was rubbish, photographers would say don't take photos in this sort of light. I don't care.
The light was rubbish, photographers would say don’t take photos in this sort of light. I don’t care.
One for the DIY enthusiast, after a heavy rainfall, in the King Country
One for the DIY enthusiast, after a heavy rainfall, in the King Country
Looking south down the Waikato River from the Glen Murray Bridge. I have no idea if that's the name of the bridge, but that's roughly where it is.
Looking south down the Waikato River from the Glen Murray Bridge. I have no idea if that’s the name of the bridge, but that’s roughly where it is.
Road trip south, Eastern side of of Lake Taupo, SH32. 1st sighting of the Volcanoes of the central plateau.
Road trip south, Eastern side of of Lake Taupo, SH32. 1st sighting of the Volcanoes of the central plateau.
Lake Taupo is actually a giant volcanic crater, still, looks peaceful enough today.
Lake Taupo is actually a giant volcanic crater, still, looks peaceful enough today.
Boating on the crater of a super volcano sounds more dangerous than it looks, Southern end of Lake Taupo seen from SH32
Boating on the crater of a super volcano sounds more dangerous than it looks, Southern end of Lake Taupo seen from SH32
Classic Kiwi Road Trip shot, from beside the Te Ponanga Saddle Road. Which is a cool name for the road from Turangi to National Park, SH47.
Classic Kiwi Road Trip shot, from beside the Te Ponanga Saddle Road. Which is a cool name for the road from Turangi to National Park, SH47.
Lake Rotoaira, looks beautiful, it is.
Lake Rotoaira, looks beautiful, it is.
Looking up a Mountain Stream towards Mt Ruapehu. Near National Park
Looking up a Mountain Stream towards Mt Ruapehu. Near National Park
Mt Ngauruhoe is about to disappear under the clouds.
Mt Ngauruhoe is about to disappear under the clouds.
Finally, this is also a photo I'm confident nobody else has ever taken. A paddock and some trees side the road half way between Palmerston North and Himatangi Beach. I think it's the sky that carries it though, to be fair.
Finally, this is also a photo I’m confident nobody else has ever taken. A paddock and some trees beside the road half way between Palmerston North and Himatangi Beach. I think it’s the sky that carries it though, to be fair.

See? That’s just a short there and back trip. Come to New Zealand, go for a drive

Stuff in the middle of nowhere in particular, New Zealand

This is a post showcasing the stuff we have about the place on the way to and from nowhere special. The places we drive past, or near, every day. The scenery that makes up the rest of New Zealand somewhere other than the places you see all the time in tourist brochures. All of the photos here were taken within an hour of my house though. So I didn’t even need to go far to take them.

This is a road to work if you live round here. A commute if you like
This is a road to work if you live round here. A commute if you like
A woolshed, we have lots of them in New Zealand. not so many with graffiti on the side though.
A woolshed, we have lots of them in New Zealand. not so many with graffiti on the side though.
You see this sort of thing on your way to work, not every day, but sometimes. You see the cows every day of course but the amazing rays less often.
You see this sort of thing on your way to work, not every day, but sometimes. You see the cows every day of course but the amazing rays less often.
Looking north, from our front lawn. So not quite an hour from my house.
Looking north in the evening from our front lawn. So not quite an hour from my house.
Steam train passing my house, out there,
Steam train passing my house, out there.
Jerusalem on the Wanganui River Road. Or Whanganui River Road. I believe the h is optional.
Jerusalem on the Wanganui River Road. Or Whanganui River Road. I believe the h is optional.
A waterfall beside the Turakina Valley Road. Where? Yes, exactly, but it's right there, beside the road.
A waterfall beside the Turakina Valley Road. Where? Yes, exactly, but it’s right there, beside the road.
The Rata Church which is beside the Marae, or behind it depending on where you stand.
The Rata Church which is beside the Marae, or behind it depending on where you stand. I like the angel. She looks like a celestial umpire giving someone out.
Mt Ruapehu at 8:30am. I know this gets in tourist brochures but not this shot and it is an hour from my house.
Mt Ruapehu at 8:30am. I know this gets in tourist brochures but not this shot and it is an hour from my house.
A woolshed. I like a woolshed.
A woolshed. I like a woolshed.
I stood inside a cave and looked out.
I stood inside a cave and looked out.
This is inside a glow worm cave most people are unaware of. It's about an hour from my house.
This is inside a glow worm cave most people are unaware of. It’s also about an hour from my house.
Right inside the cave. Apparently the glow worms come out at night, inside the cave. I know right?
Right inside the cave. Apparently the glow worms come out at night, inside the cave. I know right?
Who doesn't like a photo of an old derelict shed in the middle of nowhere?
Who doesn’t like a photo of an old derelict shed in the middle of nowhere?
I’m not normally a fan of people leaving wrecks lying about the place but this scene works for me as a photograph. Like a graveyard in the middle of nowhere for machinery and stuff.
The Makohine Viaduct. For a while it was the tallest viaduct in New Zealand at 73 metres high and 228 metres long. It's no longer the highest viaduct in New Zealand but it is still high.
The Makohine Viaduct. For a while it was the tallest viaduct in New Zealand at 73 metres high and 228 metres long. It’s no longer the highest viaduct in New Zealand but it is still high.

So, I hope you like the photos, this is the Southern Central North Island of New Zealand, randomly photographed here and there.