Dawn at Dunedin’s Salt Water Pool

Daily Photo – Dawn at Dunedin’s Salt Water Pool

Dunedin’s Salt Water Pool Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

This photo is a revisit back to the last day of summer, it seems a while ago now. Here in New Zealand and in particular the South Island, the Autumn temperatures are certainly taking hold. While the days have been fine, overnight temperatures are dropping to single figures with Dunedin Airport reaching -0.9° a few nights ago. Better make the most of the fine days while they last.

Wingatui Railway Station

Daily Photo – Wingatui Junction

Wingatui Railway StationBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I spent a good portion of the day exploring walking tracks near the Taieri plains and on the way back I called in at Wingatui Railway Station or Wingatui Junction as it is otherwise known. These days it is pretty much unused as most railway stations are in New Zealand, however, it’s not hard to see how it would have been a busy place in its day. The original station was opened in Wingatui on 1 September 1875 with the present building constructed in 1914 and while it is still standing, the station closed on 13 August 1983. 

Wingatui was once an important part of the Otago rail network as it was the starting point for the Otago Central Railway and for many years it was the station that provided service for nearby Wingatui racecourse.

Water of Leith

Water of LeithBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

It had been ages since I had been to a fair and while they often come to town on long weekends, I always seem to miss them. I remember them as places of fun and surprise, where you didn’t expect much beyond wasting a few dollars on games where you win cheap prizes, eat food that isn’t good for you while enjoying the surprise of finding something that you never knew existed, yet having seen it, couldn’t live without. 

So, when I saw the Dunedin Gypsy Fair advertised for the long Easter weekend, I found myself strangely curious to see what it was like and driving there, even a tad excited. I had even ensured I had cash to spend, a real novelty for me. I think what I was really looking forward to was wasting my money on a game that is impossible to win. After all, there’s nothing like a good swindle to remind you of the value of money! 

The Dunedin Gypsy Fair was to run over three days over Easter and it seemed sensible to me to attend on the first day. So, at around midday, in glorious sunshine and without a breath of wind, I parked my car and happily strolled off towards the group of mobile homes that were parked in a circular formation in the distance. 

Well, I was there for all of five minutes, three of which I wished I wasn’t and one looking for an exit. Within 1 minute my expectations had been dashed. I was too old for the bouncy castle, I wasn’t interested in a temporary tattoo or having my face painted and I could tell right away that  I could live without everything on offer in the surrounding stalls. Alas, I resigned myself to the fact that I simply am not the target market for fairs anymore. So, I departed by way of manoeuvring between two campers and headed for a pile of leaves somewhere, or maybe even a stream with a nice little waterfall. 

Seasons – Autumn

Autumn in Dunedin

Queens Garden in AutumnBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

Thus it was that I found myself on a Saturday morning, on an exceptionally warm and still day walking through the city. I sat on the concrete steps of the Cenotapth, and in wonderful autumn sunshine watched as cars moved past the office blocks, museums, art galleries and other various buildings that lined The Exchange and Queens Garden.

The Surfing Edition

The 2022 Emersons South Island Surfing Championships – Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

No matter how often I see surfing, it still baffles me. It’s one of those sport that seems to get harder the more I watch it and just when I think I understand it, something happens that proves I haven’t got the faintest idea what’s going on. I had been watching some heats from the New Zealand’s South Island Surfing Championships, there was a reasonable crowd gathered along the Esplanade, most of whom where either eating ice creams or happy chatting in the afternoon sun. I tried for some time to think of a description of the waves that were breaking in front of me, but I really didn’t have a clue beyond wet and possibly cold!

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Ōtākou Marae Carving

Ōtākou Marae CarvingBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I’ve recently been curating a few collections which has taken me across images from multiple years of work. Some of the images have recently been published, others have not. As I came across images I’d forgotten about, I decided they deserved a repost and some extra air time.

Here’s a photo I took a few weeks ago while I was out and about on Otago Peninsula. One of the many carved posts that sit at the entrance to Ōtākou Marae.

#lovindunners #fromasmallcity

Otago Peninsula Roads

Peninsula RoadBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I’ve recently been curating a few collections which has taken me across images from multiple years of work. Some of the images have recently been published, others have not. As I came across images I’d forgotten about, I decided they deserved a repost and some extra air time. 

What sums up driving in New Zealand more than the good old yellow and black winding road sign. It’s such the kiwi way, to link one narrow and winding road to another narrow and winding road with a steep, narrow and winding road.

#lovindunners #fromasmallcity

Mount Cargill

Mount CargillBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I’ve recently been curating a few collections which has taken me across images from multiple years of work. Some of the images have recently been published, others have not. As I came across images I’d forgotten about, I decided they deserved a repost and some extra air time. 

The wonderful view from Mount Cargill across to the Otago Peninsula.

#lovindunners#fromasmallcity

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Walking the Karetai Track

Southern CoastlineBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

Here’s a photo I took while walking the Karetai track on the Otago Peninsula. The clouds had just started rolling up the coast covering Blackhead and St Clair. Within an hour, half the city was below low cloud. It’s one of the joys of living on the coast, you get to see the changes in weather patterns.

Also, yesterday you might have noticed some changes happening with the layout here at … from a Small City, that’s because I was making preparations for a few changes in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

#lovindunners#fromasmallcity

Summer In Dunedin

Summer In Dunedin Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I’ve recently been curating a few collections which has taken me across images from multiple years of work. Some of the images have recently been published, others have not. As I came across images I’d forgotten about, I decided they deserved a repost and some extra air time. 

The Dunedin summer isn’t a fictitious phenomenon and here’s the evidence to prove it. Although like Hobbits, it can be fairly elusive.

Dunedin’s St Kilda Beach

Dunedin’s St Kilda Beach Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I’ve recently been curating a few collections which has taken me across images from multiple years of work. Some of the images have recently been published, others have not. As I came across images I’d forgotten about, I decided they deserved a repost and some extra air time. 

Here’s a photo from St Kilda beach that I really love. It’s got all the colours of a traditional summer palette. There’s blues and greens that are close to nature and contrasted with soft pinks and yellows. It’s cool and elegant in an understated way. So much much to love.

St Kilda Beach Sunset

St Kilda BeachBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I’ve recently been curating a few collections which has taken me across images from multiple years of work. Some of the images have recently been published, others have not. As I came across images I’d forgotten about, I decided they deserved a repost and some extra air time. 

Earlier in the week I mentioned colour palettes and how the traditional summer colours are cool. In summer, orange is a very hot, warm colour and it can also be very striking and distinctive. Here, the evening sky lights up bright orange as dusk approaches in dunners.

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Dunedin Harbour

Summer BoatBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I’ve recently been curating a few collections which has taken me across images from multiple years of work. Some of the images have recently been published, others have not. As I came across images I’d forgotten about, I decided they deserved a repost and some extra air time. 

Here are those cool summer colours once again. I went exploring around the Otago Peninsula for signs of summer. The one theme I kept comin back to was boats. What says summer more than fine weather, the beach and a boat.

#lovindunners#fromasmallcity

Dunedin City Street Lights

Corner of Cumberland and Jetty StreetBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I’ve recently been curating a few collections which has taken me across images from multiple years of work. Some of the images have recently been published, others have not. As I came across images I’d forgotten about, I decided they deserved a repost and some extra air time. 

This was a quick city study one winter’s night here in Dunedin focusing on capturing the street lights and car lights on a chilly evening.

#lovindunners#fromasmallcity

The Esplanade at St Clair

St Clair LightBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I’ve recently been curating a few collections which has taken me across images from multiple years of work. Some of the images have recently been published, others have not. As I came across images I’d forgotten about, I decided they deserved a repost and some extra air time. 

On a still, clear evening with lights from the bars and restaurants taking over and a touch of colour in the sky, it’s hard not to like The Esplanade.

Larnach’s Castle, New Zealand’s Only Castle.

Larnach’s CastleBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I’ve recently been curating a few collections which has taken me across images from multiple years of work. Some of the images have recently been published, others have not. As I came across images I’d forgotten about, I decided they deserved a repost and some extra air time. 

Larnach’s Castle

New Zealand’s only castle continues to remain one of Dunedin’s highest ranked tourist attractions. The extensive and expansive property holds a commanding position on the peninsula and as impressive as it is during the day, it is equally as spooky at night. Here are some facts to get you thinking:

Land was purchased in 1870 and construction started in 1871. 

Originally the Castle was completed in 1874 with additions continuing until 1887.

It took more than 200 workmen over three years to build the outer shell of Larnach’s Castle.

It took master craftsmen from Europe 12 years to complete the interior of the castle.

Building materials for the Castle were shipped to Broad Bay and then transported up to the Castle. The Castle became known as ‘The Camp’ and the track heading up the hill from Broad Bay was known as ‘The Camp Track.’

Materials used to build the castle include marble from Italy, slate from Wales, glass from Venice and native wood from around New Zealand including kauri, rimu and honeysuckle. 

When finished the Castle had 43 rooms and required a staff of 46 servants.

The Ballroom built in 1885 is 3,000 square foot.

It was used as a hospital for mental patients (an overflow of patients from Seacliff Lunatic Asylum) and shell-shocked soldiers when purchased in 1906.

The Baker family (current owners) have owned the Castle since 1962.  

There have been numerous reports of ghosts over the years including an incident that took place in 1994 when Castle of Lies, a play on the Larnach family, premiered in the grand ballroom.

The original cost of construction was estimated as being between £100,000 – £150,000 which converted into today’s money is somewhere between $600 -$900 million.
#lovindunners#fromasmallcity

Dunedin Street Art

Tuatara Street ArtBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I’ve recently been curating a few collections which has taken me across images from multiple years of work. Some of the images have recently been published, others have not. As I came across images I’d forgotten about, I decided they deserved a repost and some extra air time. 

Nothing is more comfortable than sleeping in your own bed. After being away for a few nights, I awoke feeling refreshed. I’d survived my Walk In The Snow, my Walk In The Badlands and A Walk In The Bush. Now, I had the day free to myself. With no plans and not having to be relatively useful to anyone, I decided a walk in town would be just the ticket. Besides, there was a Colin McCahon Exhibition showing at the Art Gallery which I very much wanted to see. With the day still young, I headed for Dunedin’s Lower Stuart Street.

I was lucky to get there at all! At the very moment I was going to execute a textbook left turn into a street car park, some moron driving a Kia Sportage decided that this nanosecond would be a good time to have a brain explosion and forget how to drive! I showed my admiration at his lack of driving skills with a loud blast of the horn. This, he clearly appreciated as he cheerfully thanked me with a wave of one finger. Abandoning my car, I quickly tracked down the nearest coffee establishment.

I had heard the Cafe Morning Magpie had ridiculously good coffee and that they were a must for those that love a good cup of joe. This was clearly going to be the place I needed to start my day. 

I instantly adored the place. It’s hard to not love a cafe that has upside down lampshades and ladders hanging from the ceiling, a deer’s head on the wall and kitchen staff that happily sing Daft Punk. I finished my coffee while taking in the art work of Josh Tyler Stent and Josh Kennedy on the walls before continuing up Lower Stuart Street.  

With 20 minutes to kill before the Art Gallery opened, I decided to wander past the Street Art of Bath Street and Moray Place before taking in Historic First Church. I’ve visited Dunedin’s First Church many times. I think it’s the links to Dunedin’s founding Scottish settlers I enjoy the most. I explored and admired the Gothic architecture, the stained glass windows and the tapestry for a while. It was then that I discovered that the Heritage Centre was closed. Slightly disappointed, I wandered around the grounds,  suddenly noticing that the Art Gallery would be open. 

Taking one last look from the corner of the grounds,  it’s hard to believe that the hill was lowered by nearly 12 metres with a pick and shovel to create a raised platform with cliff faces on three sides for the church to sit on. Whoever convinced the newly settled citizens of Dùn Èideann (Dunedin) that such manual labour was a necessity must have been a hell of a motivator.  With that thought, I left as it was  time for Colin McCahon.
#lovindunners#fromasmallcity

Sandfly Bay

Wild DunedinBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I can’t really explain why I went to Sandfly Bay, I think mainly because I hadn’t been there in a while and I felt like looking at Sea Lions. The thing is, we Dunedinites really don’t know how lucky we are with our wildlife. Seeing Seals and Sea Lions on Dunedin beaches is becoming as common as a political party leadership change, only with less surprise.

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Cenotaph In Autumn

Cenotaph In AutumnBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I spent a few more hours exploring the city looking for autumn colour. I walked through alleyways and side streets, looking for places I hadn’t visited recently. Every so often I would come across unexpected shadows created by light from strange angles. I then found myself overlooking what used to be part of Bell Hill before it was excavated with picks and shovels, sometime around the 1860’s. It was here that I found an autumn view of the Cenotaph in Queens Garden. The surrounding trees were a mixture of yellow and green in front of a blue sky. Another autumn surprise from a small city.

Pockets of Colour

Corner of Duke and George StreetBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

Wandering through a city in autumn is like constantly putting your hand into a lucky dip box. There are all sorts of surprises that pop up as the autumn leaves change. I wandered along George Street in the afternoon as the clouds changed overhead. Every so often I came across evidence of a recent student party or preparations for a new gathering about to begin. It was then that I came across pockets of colour that I couldn’t help but enjoy. 

Chingford Park

Chingford ParkBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

After leaving Baldwin Street and a family recreating their own Jaffa Race, I headed to a place called Chingford Park. I was a tad wary of this due to the strange encounter I had last time I was there. A man had been walking his dog when he informed me (in a voice that was sharpish and bossy) that the plastic frisbees used for the frisbee golf course are destroying the trees . Also, the city council has secret hidden cameras all over the place! 

This was the first time I had returned to the park since that enlightening encounter and fortunately all was quiet. I then proceed to spend my time wandering amongst the trees, enjoying the shifts of light in between the shadows with a nearby stream adding musical backdrop. 

Upon leaving I thought to myself, ‘I wonder how long it would take to cut down a tree with a plastic frisbee?’ I then gave a friendly wave to no one and nothing in particular. After all, you never know who’s watching!

Baldwin Street

Baldwin Street Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

How proud is Dunedin of Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world. Ffordd Pen Llech in Harlech, Wales took the title for about ten months in 2020/2021 until sanity prevailed and the title was given back to Dunedin. I’m not altogether sure why I went to Baldwin Street. I think it was mostly to get a photo to add to my collection like the one posted today. To be honest, I wasn’t too adventurous with my photos as I captured the traditional slanted letter box and cabbage tree image that seems to feature heavily on social media. I did however grab a few other angles and shots that I would tuck away for a rainy day. Also, in case I ever met anyone from Ffordd Pen Llech I wanted to be able to say ‘told ya so!’

Purakanui

Purakanui Honesty BoxBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

Having collected a range of photos from the Mapoutaphi Pa, Canoe and Purakanui beaches that I would work on over the next few months, I left the Bay behind to start my trip back to town.  As I was leaving I happened upon a sight that warmed my heart. An honesty box.

Back when everyone was a lot more trusting of each other and carried cash, the honesty box was a staple of New Zealand life. You saw them everywhere and you could buy all sorts of things from them. All you needed was a little cash and a sense of right and wrong.

When I was young we used to stop at them and buy fresh fruit like apples, cherries and peaches. Closer to town you could buy vegetables and fresh farm eggs and the challenge was always to get everything home safely without it being broken, eaten or squashed. 

So leaving Purakanui my heart leapt when I saw one. I hadn’t seen one in years and I was almost overcome with excitement. There were fresh eggs, carrots, onions, cabbages, cauliflower and courgettes, all home grown of course. Newly dug heritage spuds, beetroot, an assortment of books and freshly baked bread that made my stomach rumble. I considered all the options in front of me and was seriously tempted with the smell of the bread. My thoughts drifted off to a steak sandwich with mustard mayonnaise and spicy tomato relish which would accompany the bread wonderfully. The only drawback was that unfortunately I have long since joined the band of people who no longer carry cash and I didn’t all together trust myself that I would remember to pay later. 

I decided it was best to leave the goodies for others and headed back to my car, happy in the knowledge that some traditions are still alive. 

Aramoana to Purakaunui

Canoe BeachBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I left the charm of Aramoana and headed back to Port Chambers before heading over the hill to a bay called Purakanui. A distance of only 28 kilometres, but it’s a splendid drive that gives you remarkable views of the whole northern coast of Dunedin. Before leaving Aramoana, for a moment I had considered walking up to Hayward Point, which is a cliff top walking track through farmland and regenerated forest. There are two starting points for the track to Heyward Point. One is at the end of Heyward Point Road and the other is from Aramoana. I had been at the Aramoana starting point but the uphill climb was one I couldn’t face, so I ended up deciding that it would be better suited for a day when I was a little more enthusiastic about hills! Besides, today was more of a car travelling day and I had promised myself I would play Bob Dylan’s 1976 Desire album at some point during the day and that seemed much more appealing.I also wanted to reach Canoe Beach and the Mapoutaphi Pa Site at Goat Island at Purakanui and I was already pushed for time. 

Hootananny, Hornswoggle & Tittynope

Aramoana BeachBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I can’t remember ever seeing anyone upset while riding a horse. Whenever I see people riding horses they seem to be having the time of their life, unless you count jockeys who have just fallen off and they look in agonising pain. Which, to be fair, they probably are! 

Since we are on the subject of horses, did you know that the Police Offences Act of 1928 made it an offence to allow a mare to be mated within sight of a public road, church, railway station or wharf? This was the same act that meant you weren’t able to beat a carpet or fly a kite if it annoyed others. It was also illegal to wear felt or slippers as a disguise at night.

However, the best part of the 1928 Police Offences Act is that they use the terms rogues, vagabonds and incorrigible. All words we should bring back into our daily vocabulary. Other words I would also add to this list include hootananny, hornswoggle cockalorum and tittynope.

Thank Goodness Aramoana Was Saved.

Keyhole Rock at Aramoana Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I returned to my car and then headed for the small village of Aramoana. Here’s a fact for you, 80 species of moths have been recorded on the Aramoana Saltmarsh and further to that, the tidal flats at Aramoana are the most important habitat for wading birds in Otago. While we are on the subject of birds, when Hoiho penguins (like the ones that live in the dunes at Aramoana near Keyhole rock) go out to sea to feed, they travel up to 15 kilometres from the shore and down to depths of 100 metres. Yet, we wouldn’t have all that if they had built an aluminium smelter there in the mid 1970’s. Thank goodness Aramoana was saved.

Ravensbourne Stores LTD

Ravensbourne Stores LTDBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

It wasn’t long after leaving Black Jack’s Point and the stone sculptures that I once again left the path, this time for the main road. I wanted to see the repainting of some old signage that had been done on the side of a building some years ago. I had, of course, driven past this spot many times however it’s hard to fully  take things in when you’re driving. Since I was on foot, it seemed an ideal opportunity. 

The building used to be an old corner store which featured an outside wall covered in advertising brands whose who were once popular all over Otago. Brands like Tiger Tea, Lane’s Bottled Sunshine and Ward’s Ice Cream. The repainting had been completed by Dunedin artist Ricky Drew in 2017 so it had only taken me five years to stop and properly appreciate it, but at last I could say I had. My mind satisfied. 

Those Brick Sculptures

Brick Sculptures Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

Leaving the group of twenty-somethings to their mating ritual, I passed a place called Black Jack’s Point and continued on in glorious sunshine until a brick structure caught my eye. With my curious nature taking hold, I left the path to investigate. 

A short distance away, on the shore amongst the stones, rocks and replantings, standing taller than my six foot frame were some very carefully made brick sculptures. They remind me of the kind of artwork that could be found in an open air gallery or something. Suddenly a train rattled past on the tracks that were not too far away. Letting my imagine go, I then wondered whether they had been made a homeless hobo who had a name like Diamond Joe James, T-Bone Jack, or Railway Butch who had spent his life riding the train boxcars up and down the line from Dunedin City to Port Chalmbers. The kind of person that folk singers like Woody Guthrie or Ramblin Jack Elliott would sing about in the 1950’s. Just then, I was shaken from my daydream when I tripped over a branch that had been hiding in plain sight, I stumbled forward a few metres, before regaining my balance with the aid of the bank. 

Ensuring I had all my belongings and that my feet weren’t wet, I decided to leave these sculptures for others to enjoy and returned to the path.

West Harbour Recreation Trail

West Harbour Recreation TrailBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

I left the peninsula and made my way back across to the western side of the Harbour. There was still a considerable amount of the day left, the sun was shining and I felt I hadn’t yet done enough steps in the day to earn my 4pm (ish) beer. 

On the western side of the Otago Harbour a considerable amount of money was spent beautifying the area, turning it into a recreation trail complete with picnic areas, fitness equipment and paths for walking, running and cycling. The trail currently extends some four kilometres to a point called St Leonards, however eventually it’ll continue all the way to Port Chalmers (a total distance of around ten kilometres). Upon arrival at the trail, it wasn’t hard to see why it is so popular. On a still, calm day like it was, a nice peaceful walk along a path that casually wound its way along the waterfront with the peninsula as a backdrop seemed quite delightful. Setting off in good spirits, it wasn’t long before I discovered that I wasn’t the only one who had decided to enjoy the sunshine. I hadn’t gone more than twenty steps from my car when I came across a group of shirtless young men who seemed to be imitating the Persian Ibex that live in the European mountains and claim mating rights by slamming their heads together. This display by the young men was for the benefit of the equally skimpily dressed group of young ladies who were not too far away. When the area of the West Harbour Recreation Trail was opened by then Mayor Dave Cull, I wonder if he knew he was opening the West Harbour Pleasure Garden and Pick-Up Joint! Dunedin already had one ‘pleasure garden’ and that disastrously closed one hundred and fifty one years ago!

… 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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