An assortment of subjects from the intertidal zone at Pearl Beach, NSW.
An assortment of subjects from the intertidal zone at Pearl Beach, NSW.
Aerial and terrestrial images of Cabarita Beach, Norries Head, Hastings Point, and Cudgera Creek – on the Tweed Coast of NSW.
Hastings Point, NSW – where Cudgera Creek enters the sea after it’s sinuous meander.
Rain caresses the skirts of Grose Valley in the Blue Mountains – near Blackheath, NSW, plus a portion of the floral diversity at the beautiful Campbell Rhododendron Gardens in Blackheath, NSW.
Day 9-11. Makarora and Fox Glacier etc, South Island – New Zealand.
More from Otago, plus some from West Coast. As is the case with all holidays, the end comes too soon.
This last post includes images from Blue Pools on the Makarora River, the Whataroa River, Fox Glacier, and Lake Hawea (near The Neck).
Dusk settles over the Southern Alps at Makarora.
The stunning, and frigid, Blue Pools.
Happy hour 🙂
Cold beers and conversation in and alongside the Makarora River.
A Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae), in the honeyeater family, foraging on New Zealand flax (Phormium sp.).
Dawn over the Southern Alps at Fox Glacier – includes Aoraki / Mount Cook.
I hope you enjoyed this and the previous posts of my images from a fantastic holiday in New Zealand.
Ah, to have more time to explore and be awed by Fiordland National Park! And a revisit in late winter/early spring is in order too.
We ventured along the Te Anau – Milford Highway, to hike the Key Summit, a day-hike portion of the Routeburn Track, beginning at The Divide. Spectacular!
Here is a portion of the view from the end of Key Summit.
Hiking (“tramping” in NZ) up to Key Summit.
A loo with a view – sort of.
Driving into Fiordland National Park in the morning we noticed a field of lupins and thought that it would be worth a look on the way out that evening. What a beautiful scene it turned out to be!
This is Cascade Creek, along the Te Anau-Milford Hwy.
I hope you like lupins 😉
Thanks for viewing my images.
Day 7 – The spectacular Catlins area, South Island – New Zealand.
Spectacular, diverse, ever-changing – we drove through beautiful rural scenes, along a rugged coast, saw a few more yellow-eyed penguins, sea lions, a couple of lighthouses, and low tide allowed us to walk among a 180 million year old petrified Jurassic forest – one of only three such accessible fossil forests in the world! All this and so much more we couldn’t fit in 😦
Nugget Point Lighthouse, built in 1869-70. A place of spectacular views, many rocky islets (The Nuggets), and much wildlife.
To be able to view, and even walk among a petrified forest in the intertidal zone at low tide was remarkable. There are both stumps and fallen trees, petrified, with some growth rings plainly visible. This is but a sampling of the numerous specimens at Curio Bay.
Curio Bay is of international significance for its fossilised forest dating back to the Jurassic period. The tree fossils you see here are 160 million years old and the forest was alive when New Zealand was part of Gondwanaland. (source: The Catlins New Zealand website).
Four images of the Waipapa Point Lighthouse. This is the site of New Zealand’s worst civilian shipwreck. In 1881 the SS Tararua ran aground on Waipapa Reef and 131 of 151 passengers and crew died. The lighthouse, built after the disaster, stands as a poignant reminder. (source: Southern Scenic Route website).
I hope you enjoyed these images from a fascinating region of New Zealand.
Days 5 and 6 – Moeraki and Dunedin.
Just outside the coastal town of Moeraki there are numerous large concretions, exposed and highly visible, lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach. I thoroughly recommend reading more about them (here is a Wikipedia link).
Here are a series of images captured during our brief visit.
After a thoroughly enjoyable dinner washed down with a local amber ale at the Moeraki Tavern, I took these shots of the nearby harbour. We had hoped to also eat at the famed Fleurs Place restaurant another night but, alas, it was closed for a while over the Christmas break.
A little further south is the city of Dunedin, where I have family heritage. We had a joyous visit with a cousin and her family, and she accompanied us on a lovely hike to see the Organ Pipes. “The Otago peninsula was formed entirely by volcanic activity and the tall polygonal columns featured on this walk are remnants of this past. As molten lava cooled slowly beneath the hardened crust, it contracted and formed geometrical cracks which propagated downwards as the mass cooled.” (source: NZ Tramper website).
After the organ pipes we wanted to visit the world’s only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross so we ventured out to Taiaroa Head on the Otago Peninsula. Unfortunately we did not see any albatross, but there was a rather active colony of gulls. Whilst wandering along an observation path, we heard, then saw, quite an aerial commotion… upon further observation we saw a Black-backed Gull being harassed by several smaller gulls – the larger gull had apparently “kidnapped” a chick and was heading off with it. For those who may be a bit squeamish about natural history, the following two images may concern you.
Looking down the steep cliffs of Taiaroa Head I was entranced by bull kelp (Durvillaea species) as it seemingly twirled and shimmied in a whimsical tango with the ocean.
Overlooking the spit within Otago Harbour – our lunch spot on our way back to Moeraki.
Back to Mouraki, we were thrilled and fortunate to observe, up close, a few Yellow-eyed Penguins (Megadyptes antipodes)! These New Zealand endemics (native) are purported to be among the worlds rarest penguin species.
Thanks for visiting – I hope you enjoyed these images.
This post covers three days (day 2, 3, and 4) of our holiday in New Zealand. It involved driving from Rotorua (see previous post here) to Wellington then departing on the ferry at 2:30 am to Picton, arriving around dawn, then driving to Kaikoura.
Day 2-4 – Heading to the South Island.
Unfortunately, as with all holidays, there is not enough time to see everything. There is a lot to see on the North Island but even though we had a loose schedule, there were some hard times/dates we needed to be at certain places – one such deadline was a ferry connection to take us to the South Island.
Leaving Rotorua we headed to Wellington via Lake Taupo and a few other smallish diversions. Whilst in the Rotorua area we visited Hamurana Springs for a peaceful and scenic break and saw this Waka (Māori watercraft).
Because I like birds…
A Paradise Shelduck on the shore of Lake Taupo.
South of the beautiful Lake Taupo area are some volcanic features many of you may recognise from the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The “Desert Road” through Rangipo Desert is a spectacular drive, and we paused for lunch with this view of Mount Ruapehu (left) and Mount Ngauruhoe (right) – the fictional Mount Doom. iPhone 5C panorama.
Further south, a fence that caught my eye. iPhone 5C photo.
Onto the South Island.
Kaikoura and surrounds – abundant marine mammals, beautiful scenes.
I reckon these folks have a fantastic campsite!
The seemingly ubiquitous New Zealand fur seal, basking, resting, and nursing the young at Ohau Point, Half Moon Bay (just north of Kaikoura).
Kaikoura awaking with the dawn.
Dusk settles over the Kaikoura Peninsula.
Assorted images from the wondrous Kaikoura Peninsula:
In case any so-called birders or twitchers are wondering, this isn’t a new plumage for this species. Rather, it is pollen from the prolific pollen-producing plant, the New Zealand flax (Phormium).
Rhyolitic flows (I think so, at least) at Kaikoura.
To wrap up this post, here are some more images of New Zealand fur seals 🙂
This time from the Kaikoura Peninsula.
I hope you enjoyed these.
Oh, New Zealand – what a wonder you are! I was fortunate to take a family holiday over Christmas in New Zealand, and am very keen to return, next time for a designated photography trip.
This is the first posting of what will ultimately be a series of approximately ten posts, roughly one for each day of our holiday.
Day 1 – Rotorua area (North Island).
We visited the stunning and amazing Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Waters) Thermal Area, and can wholeheartedly recommend including this on your itinerary. I have included images from the three primary attractions: the Geothermal Area, Lady Knox Geyser, and the Mud Pool.
I strongly encourage you to visit the Geothermal Area as soon as the doors to the Thermal Wonderland open in the morning because the temperature differential really allows for viewing more steam/venting. After you have enjoyed the wonder of the place, perhaps go explore elsewhere for a few hours, but ensure you return late afternoon – specifically to view the stunning colours of The Champagne Pool which show themselves as the sun gets lower in the west. I have included some afternoon images showing these almost unbelievable colours, which are a result of the mineral composition of the spring water, some of which are: gold, silver, mercury, sulphur, arsenic, thallium, silica, and antimony.
Before we get to the images of Wai-O-Tapu, here is a scene that captured my attention on our drive along the Thermal Explorer Highway…
Into Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland we go…
On to my favourite feature – The Champagne Pool. I was fascinated and enthralled by it 🙂
Next to The Champagne Pool is an area/feature named The Primrose Terrace, including warning signage.
A boardwalk crosses the draining end of The Champagne Pool, and the evaporating water is rich in silica, depositing as silicious sinter – creating The Primrose Terrace feature.
A popular feature/attraction is Lady Knox Geyser, but I must admit I was somewhat underwhelmed, primarily because anthropogenic inputs are added to ensure the 10:15 am daily event. Nevertheless, worth a look.
On now to the Mud Pool. This is a small section of the feature shown here.
Sometimes you see an “explosion”
At other times a slow building of pressure…
Which begets the following “burp”
so many shapes…
I hope you enjoyed, and are intrigued by the scenes in this posting.