The Remarkables

The Remarkables – Buy 

I was staying the night in Frankton near Queenstown in South Islands Lakes District. In the last few years the development and growth in Frankton has been quite amazing. So, I found myself staying there the night before an early morning flight from Queenstown Airport the next morning. Late in the afternoon I went for a walk on a section of the Twins River Trail which is part of the Queenstown Great Ride’ network that follows the iconic Kawarau and Shotover Rivers and provides wonderful views of The Remarkables.

The Blue Lake of St Bathans

The Blue Lake of St Bathans – Buy 

When Gold was discovered in Otago by Australian Gabirel Reid, in 1861,  it started what was to become known as the Great Otago Rush. The rush brought miners from all over the world to the Otago region who steadily made their way inland as the hunt for gold, fame and fortune took them all over the barren hills of the Central Otago landscape. 

By around 1863, the search for gold had brought miners to an area known as Dunstan Creek, a place now called St Bathans, and a town quickly grew. The famous Vulcan Hotel was built in the area in 1882 and by 1887, the place had developed into a bustling town of over 2000 people. 
In the area, one of the main ways to search for gold was by sluicing, where powerful jets of water are blasted at banks that wash gravel into sluice boxes. The boxes then trap the gold at the bottom of the box. In St Bathans, this method was so popular that the nearby Kildare Hill was transformed into a 168 metre deep pit. It was only when the pit started getting too close to the town that mining was halted in 1934. Once mining was stopped, the huge hole was filled with water which created the beautiful blue lake that we see today.

George Duppa Of Oriental Bay

Oriental Bay – Buy 

George Duppa first arrived in Port Nicholson on the ship The Oriental in early 1840. Born near Maidstone, Kent, England in 1819, George was the youngest son of Baldwin and Mary Duppa. Upon arrival in Aotearoa he spent time clearing land on the west bank of the Hutt River until he eventually moved to the area now known as Oriental Bay. Once in the bay, he erected a prefabricated house that he had shipped out from England.

At the time, the area was called Duppa because of its one and only resident. In fact, the bay was so remote that it was also used for quarantine purposes. It only became known as Oriental bay after George Duppa named the area after the ship he originally arrived on.

Tripod on Courtney Place

Tripod on Courtney Place – Buy 

If you wander around Wellington for long enough you’ll come across some of the sculptures that are placed around the city. One of these is a giant 6½-metre-high tripod sculpture that was created by Weta Workshop. The bronze sculpture is made from recycled mechanical parts including old camera reels, Nintendo controllers, Gameboys, a toasted sandwich maker, among other objects. Unveiled in 2005 at the end of Courtney Place, it was commissioned by the Wellington City Council to celebrate the film industry.


Makarora – Buy 

Earlier this year I spent a few days in Makarora. While I was there, I planned on going to visit the famous Blue Pools. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the car park I found a large sign saying the two swing bridges that lead to the Blue Pools were closed due to the bridges having reached the end of their life. It also went on to advise that while the track was open, access to the Blue Pools wasn’t possible. Not wanting to waste a good bush walk, the best I could figure was that a walk through the forest would still be nice and rivers are always pleasant to watch, so I happily set off following the track into the bush.

The Dingle Burn

The Dingle Burn – Buy 

This isn’t quite the Dingle Burn, but it’s pretty close to it. Access to this whole area starts at the Dingle Burn Peninsula Track and leads to the Turihuka Conservation Area, the Hāwea Conservation Park and the Hunter River Tracks. The whole area is very magnificent and has tracks that can take anything from several hours to several days to walk and enjoy.

The Red Glenorchy Shed

Store Shed At Day BreakThe Red Glenorchy Shed – Buy 

Like most towns in Otago and the Lake’s District, Glenorchy was born out of the gold rush that occurred in the 1860’s. Once Glenorchy was settled and populated by prospectors, the only real access to it was via steamers that carried people and cargo up and down the lake from Queenstown. At Glenorchy, the goods and cargo going to and from steamers on the lake was stored and sorted in a goods shed that also operated as the local station. 

As the steamers were owned by NZ Railways, Glenorchy was officially a railway station and the rails that ran from the end of the wharf to the shed were technically railway. Thus, at the time, the track that ran from the shed to the end of the wharf was the shortest piece of railway in the country.

Harrolds Bay From Acker’s Cottage

Harrolds Bay from Acker’s cottage – Buy 

This is the view from Lewis Acker’s stone cottage on Stewart Island looking out to Harrolds Bay. Acker lived quite an amazing life which started in New England, America, around 1815. He then went to sea which brought him to the shores of Aotearoa as a 16 year old. He returned several years later as part of the sealing and whaling industry before purchasing 600 acres of land on Stewart Island from local Maori. It was here in a small bay on Stewart Island that Acker built a remarkable stone, one room, two windowed house where he lived with his wife Mary Pi and eight children until they moved back to the mainland in 1856. 

It seems that Acker was a particularly skilled person as not only did he spend time working in the sealing and whaling industry, but he built boats, ran a sawmill, was a river boat pilot and spent time running a farm. At the time of his death in 1885, aged around 70 he had been married twice and was father to 14 children, having outlived six of them.

The Hakataramea

Dawn in Hakataramea Valley Buy 

First light on the Kirkliston Range in the Hakataramea Valley on Homestead Road. Tucked away in the Waimate District, the Hakataramea Valley sits at the foot Kirkliston range in the South Island of New Zealand.  This image  brought to mind a poetic line when I was working on it. But then again, photography links very closely with poetry.

Queenstown Towards Coronet Peak

Queenstown towards Coronet Peak – Buy 

I spent some time wandering the various streets that make up the town’s centre, I walked along the lakefront and took in the splendid scenery that surrounds the town. When I was younger, I remember Queenstown being a place with spectacular scenery, full of wonder and excitement. As you approached there was always an air of eagerness in the backseat of the vehicle my Dad was driving. Firstly you’d drive through Frankton, then the housing developments would become less frequent and almost non-existent until we passed the bottle house which was a marvel in itself. The famed Bottle House was always a clear sign that the magical place of Queenstown wasn’t too far away, until we rounded a bend and caught sight of the gondolas making their way up through the trees to the Skyline Restaurant. This was always the cue to look in amazement out the car window at the most mysterious of towns. Although it always did seem to be packed with people, rather expensive (so my parents told me) and full of construction everywhere we went. 

Days Bay and Eastbourne

Pier at Days Bay – Buy

I ate a delightful lunch at a charming place called Chocolate Dayz Cafe before I headed off on foot along the Pencarrow Coast. Having no plan apart from walking as far as I could. I spent the afternoon strolling along the coastal streets through Eastbourne and along the beaches stopping to look at nothing in particular before heading back for my ferry. 

Being a few minutes early I ventured across to an ice cream parlour to buy a drink where a young man was in the process of failing to balance two scoops of ice cream on a cone. This task he failed at twice more before the customer equally failed at using his debit card to pay for the items. All of this was completed moments before I could insist on making and paying for the bloody things myself to avoid dying of old age. 

A short time later, clutching my well deserved drink and seated on the ferry the vessel set off once more across the harbour.

Otago Harbour

Otago Harbour with textures – Buy 

Back in the summer months, I spent a day exploring near the area of Portobello on the Otago Peninsula. I timed my day with low tide, meaning I had loads of fun scrambling over the shoreline rocks near the aquarium, walking along tracks that went around the hillside and taking lots of photos from unique angles. I also spent some time sitting in the long grass enjoying the view looking back down Otago Harbour.

Evening Over The Pacific Ocean

Evening on the East Coast – Buy 

What a difference a day makes, just 24 little hours as the song goes. Yesterday, in Dunedin there were snow flurries all day. It rained, it hailed and the wind was blowing a gale. A real winter’s day with the temperature not more than 5 degrees. Today however, the snow, hail and wind was gone, patches of rain passed through the city and the temperature almost reached double figures. By early evening it was almost pleasant along the Coastline, relatively speaking. 

Snow Flurries In Dunedin

Snow flurries on the Northern Motorway  – Buy 

Late yesterday afternoon I was in the Pine Hill area of Dunedin as the snow, wind, hail and rain was passing through the city. I ventured up to one of the bridges that crosses over the Northern Motorway with the simple idea of getting a wintery traffic image. Unfortunately, my timing was a little off as I must have stood on that bridge for nearly half an hour waiting for the next snow flurries to pass through. 

Sunrise Over Dunedin’s Steamer Basin

Sunrise over Dunedin’s Steamer Basin – Buy 

In the morning, my initial plan was to get a photo of the moon as it hung in the sky over the Dunedin suburb of St Clair. It was casting a lovely soft glow over the ocean, creating quite a surreal scene. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the right location and angle to get the shot I wanted. So, instead I headed towards the city when at the last minute I noticed the sunrise was creating all sorts of lovely colours over Dunedin’s streamer basin. Of course, by the time I reached the harbour I was starting to run short of time, meaning I only had time to rattle off a few shots before I had to head off again.

Dusk In Dunedin

Dusk in Dunedin from the Otago Peninsula – Buy 

It almost seems impossible to believe the run of fine weather recently in Dunedin. There was a blip last Wednesday or Thursday when strong wind and heavy rain closed in around the city, however, since then it has pretty much been bright sunshine. The weekend from Friday onwards was warm and balmy and that stretched into yesterday. The conditions on Sunday were lovely for strolling to and from Dunedin Stadium to see the New Zealand Football Ferns and on Monday evening I went on a short tiki-tour along Otago Peninsula to see the sunset from the often photographed Otago Peninsula cabbage tree.

Dunedin At Dawn II

Dunedin at dawn II– Buy 

This is another Dunedin at dawn photo I took while searching the city streets in the early hours. This is a particularly busy corner as morning traffic travels down the hill from Roslyn and the other surrounding suburbs into the centre of the city. It’s a great place to take photos as it’s got a lovely old educational college on the corner along with a long, sweeping bend that captures the light trails made by the morning traffic going up and down the hill. 

Dunedin At Dawn

Dawn over Dunedin city – Buy 

The sunrises had been pretty decent in the preceding days. So, with that in mind and feeling the need to spend some time wandering the city streets in the early morning hours, I went in search of interesting views. My plan was simple: find locations that featured the city and the colourful early morning sky.