Autumnal Wallpaper

Autumnal Wallpaper Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

The early morning light was just starting to hit the tree tops. It was a cold, chilly morning with frost covering everything at ground level. Pools of water looked like glass, leaves frozen in place where they had fallen the day before. My breath appeared infront of me in great clouds of mist as I watched the light creep across the hillside, revealing the autumn colours that had be hidden by night.

One of the attractions of Arrowtown during autumn is the wonderful colour that comes out throughout the town. However, the Wilding Pines that surround the hills have created a dilemma. Either lose a large section of the autumnal background or face an ecological disaster.

Ōtākou Marae

Ōtākou MaraeBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

Leaving Ralph Hotere’s former studio and hoping that one day I’ll return to find it more than just an empty building slowly eroding away, I decided to do something completely illogical. On a whim, I decided to visit the Ōtākou Marae on the Otago Peninsula. My thinking was simply based on the reasoning that if I went to Port Chamlers because that’s where the settlers landed, then I should go to Ōtākou because the Marae and Pā sites have been in existence a lot longer. I must admit, this did feel somewhat like a token gesture, but I reasoned that it was better than complete ignorance and so off I set to a location some 30km away. 

Sometime later, parking the car by the bay at Ōtākou, it was a short walk to where the marae is located. I then spent the next wee while taking in all the different views that looked out on the water. The harbour was still and it seemed an ideal place to waste away the hours and reflect on the fact that long before any European came to these shores, local Māori had named every mountain, hill, lake, river, stream and other smaller natural features. Names, often given as a reminder of people or events connected with them. 

For instance, Dunedin’s highest peak was known as Kapukataumahaka and there are two stories which explain its features. The first is about three young women who were travelling home to Ōtākou when they had to spend the night sleeping on the mountain.  However, while they were sleeping they were turned into the 3 main peaks we can now see.

The second is about an old wise man who climbed the hill and lay down to rest and became transformed into the peaks that can be seen today. According to the legend, it is believed that he is lying on his back, his head to the west with the summit being his stomach. We however, know it as Mount Cargill, named after the co-founder of the Otago settlement which landed on the 23rd March 1848. I think I prefer Kapukataumahaka.

Tomahawk Lagoon Reflection

Lagoon ReflectionBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

Eventually I arrived at Tomahawk Lagoon where a number of families were happily enjoying their day. They were playing fun games like, try and stop the kids from getting in the pond and let the McDonalds wrappers blow everywhere and hope someone else picks them up. I left the lagoon and headed for the suburban streets. It wasn’t long before my attention was drawn to an old community hall. I walked through the carpark and discovered out the back an area of serene tranquility. The day had cleared to be warm, sunny and still. Here I found myself, not more than 1500m from home, facing a lagoon with mirror-like reflections, my only company being some swans and a few ducks. The place seemed altogether very untroubled, and that made me smile.

Kapiti Sunset

There Are Reasons You Should Stay.Kapiti SunsetBuy

The whole reason for the crop on this image of Kapiti Island is to get that wee patch of orange/red cloud and it’s reflection in. Initially I cropped it with a 12:5 ratio (or close to it) but the more I looked at it, the more I realised that I really liked what that wee patch of cloud added to the final image.


#morning_light #beachlife

Surfing Walk at Blackhead

Surfing Walk at Blackhead Buy

One of the fantastic aspects of summer in New Zealand is that no matter where you are, you are never to far away from a lake or the beach. Summer means all the surfers can leave the hoodies, boots and gloves at home and enjoy some warmer conditions. The average sea temperature for December and January in Dunedin is around 16degC however Niwa are predicting a marine heatwave for the coming months with sea temperatures possibly reaching into the 20’s degC.


#peak_directions #beachlife

Dunedin’s Smails Beach

Dunedin’s Smails BeachBuy

Taking photos in the water is really fun but really challenging at the same time. I have so much respect for those photographers who capture the amazing surfing shots you see on social media. Not only do they have great camera knowledge but they are also fit enough to last for hours in the water. Add to that they need to be able to read the surf conditions and it becomes even more difficult.


#blue #beachlife

Paraparaumu Beach on the Kapiti Coast

Paraparaumu Beach on the Kapiti CoastBuy

Paraparaumu Beach on the Kapiti Coast is an awesome place to get some wicked sunsets. The fact that Kapiti Island is directly off shore means that there is a different element to play with in the composition if nothing is very interesting on the beach. However, don’t you love these tyre tracks!

If photography isn’t your thing, it’s also a great walking beach and goes on for miles meaning you can have an evening stroll while watching the sunset and the sand between your toes.


#peak_directions #surfing

Osteria Epoca In Brisbane

Osteria Epoca In BrisbaneBuy

Osteria Epoca can be found on Orontes Road, Yeronga in Brisbane. They are an amazing Cafe, Bar & Restaurant that does serious good Italian food. When I was there they let me set my camera up to take a few shots, the one I like best is this one of the front window. It’s definitely worth visit if your in Brisbane or the area . Oh, and the Porchetta, Crab linguni or Gamberi come highly recommended.



Skyline Bungy In Queenstown

Skyline Bungy In QueenstownBuy

Bungy jumping is so much fun, I’ve done it twice. Once in Skippers Canyon and once off the Kawarau Bridge. When I jumped off the Kawarau bridge I went backwards which involved leaning back and being suspended there until they they let you go. It was actually rather comfortable until they said “bye” and let me go.  I knew it was coming yet it was still a surprise! This photo was taken from the Skyline Bungy or Ledge Bungy located in Queenstown at the top of the Gondola at Bob’s Peak. Queenstown, the perfect place to fling yourself off perfectly good platforms. It sounds slightly crazy, but then AJ Hackett does crazy very well.



Hut On Tobins Track

Hut On Tobins TrackBuy

The walk up (and up and up) Tobins Track in Arrowtown is an extremely worthwhile walk that rewards you with outstanding views of the Wakatipu Basin.  I did it with friends one hot, January evening in summer but half way up we got a little side tracked with a path leading to the crumbling remains of this hidden hut deep in the bush.





It seems typically kiwi that a fence with bra’s on it can become iconic. This fence, which is found in Cardona near Wanaka was actually renamed ‘Bradrona’ some years ago and is now a spot where people can make donations towards the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. The original story goes that It began around 1999, when four bras mysteriously appeared overnight on a fence along the Cardrona Valley Road.



Shag Point Sunrise

Shag Point SunriseBuy

This a one of many wonderful East Otago sunrises I’ve caught over the years however I don’t always get to this location in the morning. It’s called Shag Point and it’s home to a large Fur Seal colony and also penguins if you’re lucky enough to spot them. Once you finish at Shag Point you can then call into the Moeraki Boulders which is just up the road.



Morning On Lake Wakatipu

Morning on Lake WakatipuBuy

It really is a stunning part of the world around Lake Wakatipu and if you can survive the early morning sting of an alarm clock then you’ll be treated to some spectacular sights at sunrise. I took this from the Glenorchy Pier looking back towards Queenstown. Don’t you just love that light!



Wanaka Colours & Silhouettes

Wanaka Colours & SilhouettesBuy

There are so many places, spots and locations to visit to enjoy the landscapes around Wanaka. Of course there are the usual spots of Roys Peak and ‘That Wanaka Tree’ however there are so many other spots and scenes around the area it’s sometimes hard to know where to start when choosing a location to shoot from. The thing I like about this photo is that there was a good twelve to fifteen people around me and every single person was focused on photographing ‘That Wanaka Tree’ while no-one noticed how wonderful the lake or the surrounding hills had been light in colours and silhouettes.



Sugerloaf Stream In Mount Aspiring National Park.

Sugerloaf StreamBuy

This is the Sugerloaf Stream that flows through the Routeburn Track in Mount Aspiring National Park. The park was established in 1964 and covers 3,562 square kilometres. Not only is the Routeburn Track part of the National Park but there’s also tramping and hiking options that include the Rees-Dart circuit, Gillespie Pass circuit and The Mātukituki Valley.