You would never know that the Bridge of Remembrance was once damaged in an earthquake. Located over the Avon River in Christchurch, it stands as a memorial to both World War I & II, along with the conflicts in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, and Vietnam. Structurally damaged in the February earthquake of 2011, when it was repaired, an 8 tonne beam was used to reinforce the arch and 27 metre piles were built so in any future earthquakes it rocks rather than twists.
While I was in the seaside village of Moeraki I called past Fleur’s Place, a rustic style restaurant that specialises in fresh seafood. Unfortunately, it closed during the Covid 19 pandemic when the whole hospitality industry struggled to stay open. In fact, I don’t know if it ever reopened?
Fleur’s Place gained a great reputation for fantastic sea food and regularly received rave reviews by visitors from all over the world, including Britain’s own popular TV chef Rick Stein. In fact, when British newspaper the Daily Mail offered to fly him anywhere in the world to eat, he chose Fleur’s Place! That’s impressive.
After passing through Outram Glen, the town of Outram and ambling across the Taieri Plains, the Taieri River arrives at Henley. At Henley, the river merges with the Waipori River which then flows to Taieri Mouth. In the early days of Otago, as settlers were pushing inland searching for gold, there used to be a river barge at Henley. It took travellers and their belongings across the river as they headed into the gold fields of the Tuapeka and the Dunstan.
Speaking of the Taieri River, as far as rivers go, only three in Aotearoa are longer! It starts from seemingly nowhere in the Lammerlaw Range and flows north, then east, then south-east on its 288 kilometre journey to the sea at Taieri Mouth. It passes through at least six towns, two gorges, it links with two lakes, the fish are plentiful, there are some lovely picnic spots along its banks and it is part of the fabric of the farming community. So, with all that in mind, I thought I’d follow it through various photos I’ve taken with different cameras.
About 28 kilometres west of central Dunedin on the edge of the Taieri Plains is the town of Outram and the popular swimming spot of Outram Glen. It sits close to the foot of Maungatua Hill Range and the banks of the Taieri River.
166 Portobello Road, aka The White House, aka The Waverly House, aka The Dandie Dinmont was constructed in 1880 for businessman and politician William Larnach. Designed by Dunedin architectural firm Mason and Wales, the building was intended to be a hotel with transport across the harbour being by way of a harbour steamer. However, due to an economic depression and the failure of the steamer service, along with the building failing to get a liquor licence it was instead used as a stopover for guests travelling to Larnach’s Castle further down the Peninsula. William Larnach eventually lost interest in the venture and after the death of his first wife, he started to focus his attention on other projects.
One of the places I visited recently was Taieri Mouth, a small fishing village at the mouth of the Taieri River. There are a number of walking tracks there, one of which is the Taieri River track. The track passes through forest that arrives at the John Bull Gully picnic area. From there, if you’re feeling energetic you can continue further to Taieri Ferry Road, near Henley.
While I was at the Dunedin Gasworks Museum the forge was working which was surprisingly interesting. I really didn’t think much of it when I was told it was operating at reception, however it was fascinating to see. After several minutes I decided that it isn’t often you see something made from a lot of heat and physical labour these days. Also, on a side note the gasworks are the oldest in the country being the first in New Zealand and also the last to cease production operating from 1863 – 1987.
Next stop on the tour of Dunedin, seen through early colour film is Tunnel Beach. The hidden beach is an amazingly popular spot for tourists. For this photo I used a preset based on the process called Autochrome. The early colour photography process of Autochrome was introduced by the Lumière brothers Auguste and Louis of France in 1907. In this process a colour image is created by combining microscopic layers of dyed potato starch grains on a glass plate.
If there’s one text you should read at Christmas time it’s the letter eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote to the editor of New York’s Sun newspaper in September, 1897. The response by Francis Church has since become one of the most reprinted newspaper editorials in history. Here it is in full: “Yes, Virgina, there is a Santa Claus”
Have a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
I wanted to have a little bit of fun editing this image. It’s taken from the top of a very steep lookout in the Lindis Pass. While finishing the image, I began to wonder what it would look like without the road passing through it. So, I took it out!! Doesn’t it look like another world? I imagine this is what the surface of Mars might look like.
This is the view from the stage at Dunedin’s Regent Theatre. It must be a surreal feeling to walk out on stage when the place is full with its 1600 seat capacity. In fact, the theatre’s stage was the largest in New Zealand until the Aotea Centre in Auckland opened in 1990.
Dating back to 1928, The Regent Theatre was registered as a Category 1 historic building in 1987 meaning it is a national place of outstanding historical and cultural significance and value. It’s also reported to be haunted with ghost stories including tales of “the lady in the dressing rooms.”
The corner of Cannongate and Serpentine Avenue– Buy
When I had last walked around this area of Dunedin it was the middle of winter and the area had a bit of a drab feel to it. Now that the trees (and bush) are full of summer colour and life it looks completely different. Actually, this image is more of a test run to see how the composition sits. I like the curved shapes, it’s something a bit different. I think I’ll revisit it at some point as I have a few other ideas I want to try out.
Lies of life step forth, Like lost faces in the night. Forgotten memories with musketeers, In the dawn I would rewrite. Silent voices echo, Void in space and time. Absent beliefs of innocence, Hidden and doubtful, sometimes.
Light in darkened shadows, Guard the empty road ahead. Before the places nothing moved, In the moment that I fed. Thoughts bring forth confusion, Voices echo within a technicolor dream, And I must seek for mine, Hidden and doubtful, It would seem.
Kings Emporium and Vintage Clothing is located on Otepopo Street in Herbert. That’s about 22 kilometres or 17 minutes (depending on your driving speed) from Oamaru. According to the shop’s Facebook page, the Emporium is currently closed while some house renovations happen. I can’t say I’ve ever been into the store, however I’ve always thought it would make interesting subject matter for a photo.
At one point in history, The Dunstan Hotel, or ‘The Dunstan’ as it was known locally was the most popular spot in Otago and possibly the entire country. At the height of the Otago Rush, miners from all over New Zealand and the world were flocking to the Otago region, as news of the ‘The Rush’ spread. The gold rush caused many small towns to grow rapidly, one of which was Cylde, known at the time as Dunstan. The Dunstan Hotel was originally built in 1863 and not only featured accommodation but dining, drawing and smoking rooms, as well as a theatre for Saturday night entertainment. It was also the stopping point for the famed Cobb & Co’s coaches that ran from Dunedin to ‘The Dunstan’ and journeyed further on to Arrowtown and Queenstown.
It feels a long time since I spent time going walkabout in the bush. I’m not sure why that is. Having no real photographic home, or location to stick to, I think at some point I simply arrived in town and started wandering the city streets from place to place and never stopped. So, the other day, feeling the need for a change in surroundings I headed into the bush.
Well, it’s fair to say that on this occasion I hadn’t really been staying in one spot for very long until the sun dropped below the horizon. Not being able to settle in one spot, the scene of a low skyline with the silhouette of the hills in the distance formed in front of me. It was then that I found a place to stop for a moment.
With a bit of time to spare and not having to be in any specific place for the time being, I went wandering. If you haven’t spent time idly wandering and aimlessly strolling through a city, then I strongly suggest you do. There’s nothing like letting your soul be carefree for a while and your thoughts drift where they may.
I was going for an aimless stroll, drifting from place to place in central Dunedin with no real purpose when I came across the Carnegie Centre on Moray Place. Noticing a door was open, I wandered inside for a look before spotting an arrow on the floor pointing down the stairs that seemed to be made of masking tape. Taking it as a beacon of light that needed to be followed, I headed down the stairs before finding my way into a sunlit courtyard. Not knowing if I was now officially trespassing or not, I decided it was probably best that I retraced my steps and beg forgiveness if questioned.
I thought I’d quickly detour back to Martinbourgh to follow up on a post I did the other day about the Martinborough Hotel. Well, literally just across the road on the corner of Kitchener Street and Memorial Square is the former Post Office and Store. To this day it remains another fine example of the building and architecture from the pre-1900 era.
The streets of Martinbourgh “Wanting to pay tribute to the city of London, all the streets leading out from the main square were planned and built in the form of a Union Flag.“
Eventually I made my way to a nearby car parking building. Which, I must admit, are really interesting places if you’re looking for some creative inspiration or mental stimulation. They provide all sorts of views across the tops of buildings, from all kinds of angles. You can also find some fun textures and lines if that’s what you’re looking for.
I went wandering through centre Dunedin not looking for anything in particular. While I was in the process of looking for some mental stimulation I came across an escalator close to the central Library. I spent the next few minutes riding it in both directions trying to decide where to go next when the escalator itself became of interest.
I called in to St Paul’s Cathedral in central Dunedin for a bit of a look around and a little creative inspiration. It so happened that the next day they were holding a concert in the Cathedral and while I was there they were holding an open practice. One lady who was playing the piano was very good while the man that followed her seemed to need a little more practice. Having said that, if you consider the fact that I can’t play the piano at all, they were both actually very delightful to listen to.
Yesterday I spent just on 7 hours at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. I was covering the WXV 1 matches that were being played in Dunedin this weekend as part of the women’s international rugby calendar. On Friday night, England beat Canada 45 to 12 while on Saturday afternoon New Zealand scored a 70 to 7 win over Wales before the weekend finished with Australia winning 29 – 20 over France. On Saturday, they had all sorts of entertainment playing both before, during and after the matches including this DJ who played an extended set before each match. It was kinda cool as it was something different from the usual Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond or Welcome To The Jungle by Guns and Roses which tend to get over played a bit.
Late last month before autumn officially ended and winter began, I went on one last search for some autumn colour. There’s still some last pockets around the city however in general the trees are pretty well bare now. Fortunately around Queens Garden in Dunedin I found a few trees the still maintained a hint of the autumn colour palette. #lovindunners#majesticdunedin#johncaswellnz
Into The Shimmering Light Wandering finding curious and creative views as of Ōtepoti I amble down each charter’d street.
This is one of my favourite beach/surfing photos. I haven’t spent much time down at the beach recently, I really should change that. With this image I was fortunate with the timing. The National Surfing Champs were due to start that morning and I was following the light and making my way across the rocks at St Clair. As I did so one of the major female contenders for the Open Section just happened to launch herself into the surf at the same time. I kinda like the end result. #lovindunners#majesticdunedin#johncaswellnz
… from a Small City. My daily musings from Ōtepoti to get you inspired. Read the blog, view the photos, embrace the creativity.
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