Day 8 – Fiordland and Cascade Creek, New Zealand – December 2015

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.

Routeburn Track 2AM 0796-0800 pano

Routeburn Track 2AM 0796-0800 panorama. ©Andrew McInnes


Hiking (“tramping” in NZ) up to Key Summit.

Routeburn Track 2AM-000788

Routeburn Track 2AM-000788. ©Andrew McInnes


A loo with a view – sort of.

Routeburn Track 2AM-000814

Routeburn Track 2AM-000814. ©Andrew McInnes


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.

Cascade Creek 2AM 0827-0832 Pano

Cascade Creek 2AM 0827-0832 Panorama. ©Andrew McInnes

Cascade Creek 2AM 0842-0843 pano

Cascade Creek 2AM 0842-0843 panorama. ©Andrew McInnes

Cascade Creek 2AM-000819

Cascade Creek 2AM-000819. ©Andrew McInnes

Cascade Creek 2AM-000844

Cascade Creek 2AM-000844. ©Andrew McInnes

Cascade Creek 2AM-000863

Cascade Creek 2AM-000863. ©Andrew McInnes

Cascade Creek 2AM-000865

Cascade Creek 2AM-000865. ©Andrew McInnes

Cascade Creek 2AM-000889

Cascade Creek 2AM-000889. ©Andrew McInnes

Cascade Creek 2AM-000835

Cascade Creek 2AM-000835. ©Andrew McInnes

Cascade Creek 2AM-000818

Cascade Creek 2AM-000818. ©Andrew McInnes

I hope you like lupins 😉
Thanks for viewing my images.

Cheers 🙂

Day 1: Rotorua, New Zealand – December 2015.

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…

Fence and grassy hill 2AM-000332

Fence and Hill 2AM-000332. ©Andrew McInnes


Into Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland we go…

Waiotapu - Rotorua 2AM-000102

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Area 2AM-000102. ©Andrew McInnes

Devils Bath - Waiotapu 2AM-000107

Devil’s Bath 2AM-000107. ©Andrew McInnes

Devils Bath - Waiotapu 2AM-000325

Devil’s Bath 2AM-000325. ©Andrew McInnes

Devils Bath - Waiotapu 2AM-000106

Devil’s Bath 2AM-000106. ©Andrew McInnes

Waiotapu - Rotorua 2AM-000196

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Area 2AM-000196. ©Andrew McInnes

Waiotapu - Rotorua 2AM-000117

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Area 2AM-000117. ©Andrew McInnes

Waiotapu - Rotorua 2AM-000175

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Area 2AM-000175. ©Andrew McInnes

Waiotapu - Rotorua 2AM-000194

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Area 2AM-000194. ©Andrew McInnes


On to my favourite feature – The Champagne Pool. I was fascinated and enthralled by it 🙂

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM 0301-0307 Panorama

The Champagne Pool 2AM 0301-0307 panorama. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000124

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000124. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000131

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000131. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000185

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000185. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000281

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000281. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004249

The Champagne Pool 2AM-004249. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000122

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000122. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000164

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000164. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000123

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000123. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000141

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000141. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000138

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000138. ©Andrew McInnes


Next to The Champagne Pool is an area/feature named The Primrose Terrace, including warning signage.

The Primrose Terrace - Waiotapu 2AM-000297

The Primrose terrace 2AM-000297. ©Andrew McInnes

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.

The Primrose Terrace - Waiotapu 2AM-000166

The Primrose Terrace 2AM-000166. ©Andrew McInnes

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.

Lady Knox Geyser - Waiotapu 2AM-000221

Lady Knox Geyser 2AM-000221. ©Andrew McInnes

Lady Knox Geyser - Waiotapu 2AM-000226

Lady Knox Geyser 2AM-000226. ©Andrew McInnes


On now to the Mud Pool. This is a small section of the feature shown here.

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004227

Mud Pool 2AM-004227. ©Andrew McInnes

Sometimes you see an “explosion”

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004120

Mud Pool 2AM-004120. ©Andrew McInnes

At other times a slow building of pressure…

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004163

Mud Pool 2AM-004163. ©Andrew McInnes

Which begets the following “burp”

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004164

Mud Pool 2AM-004164. ©Andrew McInnes

so many shapes…

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004184

Mud Pool 2AM-004184. ©Andrew McInnes

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004190

Mud Pool 2AM-004190. ©Andrew McInnes

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004211

Mud Pool 2AM-004211. ©Andrew McInnes


I hope you enjoyed, and are intrigued by the scenes in this posting.

Cheers 🙂

Posting #10 of my road trip from Fremantle to Kununurra, Western Australia.

A collection of images from Lake Kununurra, Lily Creek Lagoon, Ivanhoe Crossing, and the iconic Cockburn Ranges – all proximal to Kununurra, Western Australia.

A delightful boat ride up Lake Kununurra – the dog enjoyed the trip, especially the breeze in its face.

Lake Kununurra 2AM-003377. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Lake Kununurra 2AM-003403. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Lake Kununurra 2AM-003421. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Lake Kununurra 2AM-003422. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

A couple of the numerous and delightful inlets along the way.

Lake Kununurra 2AM-003425. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Lake Kununurra 2AM-003435. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

The exposed geology is fascinating and stunning.

Lake Kununurra 2AM-003437. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

The Kimberley region has numerous sites with indigenous rock art; this particular location is very near to Kununurra.

Aboriginal Rock Art 2AM-003475. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Aboriginal Rock Art 2AM-003480. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Aboriginal Rock Art 2AM-003483. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Aboriginal Rock Art 2AM-003485. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Aboriginal Rock Art 2AM-003487. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

The view from the boat ramp on Lily Creek where we began and concluded this trip up Lake Kununurra.

Lily Creek Lagoon 2AM-003504. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Lily Creek Lagoon with ‘Sleeping Buddha’ in the background.

Lily Creek Lagoon 2AM-003502. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Off on a road trip now, just outside of Kununurra…

Highway Outcrop 2AM-003088. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Highway Outcrop 2AM-003079-003082 panorama © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

A couple of images of vehicles crossing a small creek on El Questro where we stopped off for a refreshing dip (swim).

El Questro 2AM-003308. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

El Questro 2AM-003319. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Not far past El Questro, on the famed Gibb River Road, is the Cockburn Range which is adjacent to the iconic Pentecost River but the river was flowing too much for us to make a crossing. There was an unfortunate couple stranded during their attempt at crossing – their front axle fell into a deeply eroded hole resulting in a cracked oil-pan or something similar, necessitating a tow out of these croc-infested waters.

Cockburn Ranges 2AM-003366-003368 panorama. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Having captured this late-afternoon image of a man fishing for barramundi with a live bait on a hand line at the fast-flowing Ivanhoe Crossing, Kununurra, I moved on to shoot other nearby compositions. This area is accessible for the numerous salties of the Ord River and is also thick with barramundi. Soon after I moved I saw this fisherman in a mighty tug-of-war battle that, with the aid of the deep and rapidly flowing water, soon had him precariously close to taking an involuntary bath! Ultimately he was saved the ignominy as his large gauge hook was straightened, thus losing whatever was on the end of the line!
The Ivanhoe Crossing is no longer open to vehicles.

Ivanhoe Crossing 2AM-003178. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


The next blog posting will contain images from Marlgu Billabong and Wyndham.
Until then, cheers.



Posting #7 of my road trip from Fremantle to Kununurra, Western Australia.

Ah, I arrived at my destination – Kununurra – after 9 days of driving and bush camping. Here are some images around the greater Kununurra area from the first day or so.

Not far short of Kununurra, and the scenery, topography, and geology changes (after leaving Halls Creek).


Great Northern Highway 2AM-003678. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Assorted roadside grasses…


Grass 2AM-002958. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Grass 2AM-002960. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Grass 2AM-003141. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

The fishing is fantastic in the Kimberley; this is a 1.14 meter Barramundi (released immediately after photo) caught on the lower Ord River.


Fisherman and Barramundi 2AM-3066. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

The ubiquitous estaurine crocodiles (“Saltwater Crocodile”) necessitate care around the water.


Saltwater Crocodile 2AM-004748. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Saltwater Crocodile 2AM-004757. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Saltwater Crocodile 2AM-004771. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Iconic Kimberley vistas…
If you have watched the movie “Australia” then you may recognise this geologic feature, known as ‘House Roof Hill’ – it is the backdrop to the fictional “Faraway Downs” homestead.
This image was captured very early on another glorious Kimberley morning.


House Roof Hill 2AM-003047. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

The next image is “False House Roof Hill” – neighboring bluffs along the Ord River.


False House Roof Hill 2AM-003013. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

The April 2014 Lunar Eclipse occurred whilst I was in this area. The following image captures part of this eclipse over a Kimberley range.


Lunar Eclipse 2AM-004793. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Lake Argyle is Australia’s largest artificial lake (by volume). It is part of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme and is a sight to behold. Unfortunately these “roadside” images are all I managed to capture of this vast and beautiful feature – I must return and spend time above and on the lake!


Lake Argyle 2AM_3131-3134 panoramic. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

An alternate view of the Ord River Dam – construction was completed in 1971.


Lake Argyle 2AM-003126. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

Grass in seed along the dam wall – beautiful April conditions.


Lake Argyle 2AM-003137. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



Posting #2 of my road trip from Fremantle to Kununurra, Western Australia.

I hope you enjoy these images of a portion of my recent travel up the Western Australia coast.



Winnowing among the sand dunes. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



Stark and simple – dunes and a stunningly blue autumn sky engulf me (and a coastal tree). © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



Footprints among the sand. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



Sand dune aglow. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



Wildlife tracks in the sand. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



Plain Tiger butterfly. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



Rusty bollard and a boat. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.

More images to follow in upcoming photo-blogs.




Posting #1 of my road trip from Fremantle to Kununurra, Western Australia.

I recently embarked on what turned out to be a quite a drive with the purpose of visiting an old mate from my teenage years whom I have not seen for more than 20 years! My old vehicle (1984 Toyota Hilux diesel) logged 9,193 km (5,712 miles) doing my return trip from Fremantle – Kununurra – Fremantle, Western Australia.

With an esky full of water and assorted sandwich-construction material, plus spare diesel, oil, etc., I essentially drove until it was time to find a bush-camp for the night. I’d awake early and continue northward, repeating as required until I arrived at Kununurra.

Subsequent blog postings will present more images from the trip to the north of this bloody big state.
Theses images document my travels up and back – I hope you will find them appealing.


It isn’t long until these emblematic signs present themselves, with varying fauna presented.


Iconic Aussie Wildlife (sans koala which is not native to WA) – Indian Ocean Road. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Having previously visited and photographed The Pinnacles (click here to view these) at Nambung National Park, near Cervantes, I chose to revisit and shoot more images from this amazing ‘moonscape’ before moving on and finding a place to camp for the night.


Early evening light bathes a portion of the calcium carbonate structures at The Pinnacles Desert. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



This image contains part of the Milky Way, plus the Southern Cross, a meteor, and Magellanic Clouds which are irregular dwarf galaxies visible from the southern hemisphere. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



© 2014 Andrew McInnes.



A long exposure for pin-wheel stars. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


This leaning tree is but one of many around the Greenough area. These River Gum/eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) have horizontal trunks due to exposure to strong and near-continuous southerly winds.


Leaning Tree of Greenough. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Should you find yourself anywhere near Geraldton or Walkaway, I thoroughly recommend a visit to Ellendale Pool, be it for a day trip or a place to camp – as I did for an evening.


This is a light-painting during the blue-hour of dusk.  © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



Another light-painting, this time a little later in the evening. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



Ahhh, a rope swing – top setting for it! © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



Morning’s reflection. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Lovely spot to set up a caravan!


A “room with a view”. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


The ubiquitous and raucous Little Corella


Little Corellas in flight. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



Little Corella. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.



Little Corella. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Hope you enjoyed the early portion of my trip, if vicariously 🙂

More images from the trip to follow soon.







A few hours in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee.

On the first day that the National Parks were reopened to the citizens who own them, I drove to the Smoky Mountains to have a few hours in Cades Cove – a truly remarkable location, and a visit I highly recommend.

All images are Copyright © Andrew McInnes/2AM Photography. All rights reserved.
If you wish to purchase prints please visit my website or send an Email to me.


I feel so very fortunate to see a family of American Black Bears up close and personal – sort of.

Peek-a-boo 🙂

American Black Bear_2AM-000210

American Black Bear_2AM-000210
Canon 7D with Canon 100-400MM f/4.5-5.6L lens. f5.6 for 1/400 second at ISO 800 (handheld).
© Andrew McInnes/2AM Photography. All Rights Reserved.


Mama bear ascends. Such amazing claws/claw strength!

American Black Bear_2AM-000214

American Black Bear_2AM-000214
Canon 7D with Canon 100-400MM f/4.5-5.6L lens. f5.6 for 1/400 second at ISO 800 (handheld).
© Andrew McInnes/2AM Photography. All Rights Reserved.


Unlike the assorted yahoo’s who observed the scene with me, I did not approach and stand under the tree!

American Black Bear_2AM-000371

American Black Bear_2AM-000371
Canon 7D with Canon 100-400MM f/4.5-5.6L lens. f5.6 for 1/125 second at ISO 1000 (handheld).
© Andrew McInnes/2AM Photography. All Rights Reserved.


The fog was very thick when I first arrived. This scene/habitat is very similar to that where I observed the bears.

Cades Cove_2AM-000546

Cades Cove_2AM-000546
Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 24-105MM f/4L lens. f22 for 1/5 second at ISO 200.
© Andrew McInnes/2AM Photography. All Rights Reserved.


Morning light flashes the prairie through the fog.

Cades Cove_2AM-000553

Cades Cove_2AM-000553
Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 24-105MM f/4L lens. f22 for 1/8 second at ISO 200.
© Andrew McInnes/2AM Photography. All Rights Reserved.


This is not a monochrome/black-and-white treatment. Rather, the fog and rain and mist altered the light to what you see here.

Great Smoky Mountains_2AM-000528

Great Smoky Mountains_2AM-000528
Canon 7D with Canon 100-400MM f/4.5-5.6L lens. f22 for 1/13 second at ISO 500.
© Andrew McInnes/2AM Photography. All Rights Reserved.


The lovely winding road that leads to Cades Cove follows a stream for a good portion, and this lone tunnel is always intriguing to me. I stopped to take this image on my way out – the fall leaves are beginning to turn on  a show right now!

Great Smoky Mountains_2AM-000079

Great Smoky Mountains_2AM-000079
Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 24-105MM f/4L lens. f22 for 6 seconds at ISO 800.
© Andrew McInnes/2AM Photography. All Rights Reserved.



These images are a mere sampling of the wondrous place that is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For more of my images of the park, swing over to some of my earlier/archived posts: