Sunflower and a bee.
Of all the summer flowering annuals Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are known as the “Giants”. They can grow up to 35 cm wide on a tall branching plant that can reach up to 1.5 metres high!
They can symbolise focus, healing and warmth. And in China symbolism extends beyond longevity to vitality, good fortune, happiness and intelligence.
Waterfall and Beech Forest on the Rob Roy Glacier Walk New Zealand. B&W
The walk starts at the Raspberry Creek car park, 54 km west of Wanaka. After about 15 minutes it enters Mount Aspiring National Park. It is an easy 3-4 hours.
Gemstone Beach Southland New Zealand.
Gemstone Beach is part of Te Waewae Bay, and near Tuatapere and Orepuki
Semi-precious stones such as garnet, jasper, quartz and nephrite can often be found on the beach. Subject to change of the surface. Sand to stones and back again occurs with the storms and tides of this very wild coast line. The very best of the Southern Coastline!
Wind swept trees on farmland, near Tuatapere, Southland, New Zealand
Tuatapere is on the edge of Fiordland National Park’s wilderness. There is spectacular unspoilt scenery merging with lush rolling farmland. It is an ideal base for many wilderness activities such as tramping, fishing, whitebaiting, hunting and jet boating.
The Waiau River flows through the town before reaching Te Waewae Bay, where Hector’s dolphins and whales are often seen. There is a rich sawmilling history and the area is home to a logging museum, along with many other quaint reminders of the town’s pioneering history.
Cosy Nook Beach Southland New Zealand.
Cosy Nook is on the coastal road between Invercargill and Tuatapere, close to Colac Bay, Gemstone Beach and Monkey Island. And part of part of Te Waewae Bay
It is a picturesque rocky cove sheltering several fishing boats and holiday cribs and baches. It is an important cultural and historical Maori settlement site.
Pahi, as it was originally named after Ngai Tahu Chief Pahi, boasted one of the oldest and largest Maori villages in coastal Murihiku in the 1820s. Captain George Thomson, Harbourmaster of Bluff, named his property Cozy Neuk, after his homeland Scottish village. He was the first European settler.
The Dunedin Railway Station is the grandest ‘Gingerbread House’ you’ll ever see.
Going back to 1906, this magnificent Flemish Renaissance-style edifice increasingly entraps the public. White Oamaru limestone facings on black basalt rock, creates a timeless and dramatic air.
The grandiose style and rich embellishments earned architect George Troup the nickname of Gingerbread George.
Takahē or notornis – a bird of the rail family, indigenous to New Zealand.
Thought to be extinct, due to hunting by Māori. It was not named or described by Europeans until 1847, and then only from fossil bones.
It was then rediscovered by Dr G. Orbell in 1948. In the Murchison Mountains, Fiordland National Park. Subsequently a lake there was named after him – see a large image at my Picƒair shop >>
Managed since then the only remaining population in the world has grown. There have been ups and downs. Currently the population by the lake number more than 200. Translocation has also been happening to other safe areas in New Zealand. It is still at risk, but on a steady path to larger numbers.
Cabbage trees/tī kōuka and Harakeke/flax
New Zealand landscape. They will often reach a height of 12-20 metres. Very popular in Britain, Europe, and the U.S. In the former they’re known as Torquay palm.
The flowers are very scented in early summer, and turn into bluish-white berries that birds love to eat. It is very fire-resistant. Māori used cabbage trees as a food, fibre and medicine. The leaves were woven into baskets, sandals, rope, rain capes and other items and were also made into tea to cure diarrhoea and dysentery. Lastly they were also planted to mark trails, boundaries, urupā (cemeteries) and births, since they are generally long-lived.
There are two identified species of flax in New Zealand – common flax (harakeke) and mountain flax (wharariki). (Harakeke is really a lily).They are unique to New Zealand and is one of our most ancient plant species. It grows up to 3 metres and its flower stalks can reach up to 4 metres. Tui, bellbirds/ korimako, saddlebacks/tīeke, short tailed bats/pekapeka, geckos and several types of insects enjoy nectar from the flax flower.
Flax was a valuable resource to Europeans during the 19th century because of its strength. It was New Zealand’s biggest export by far until wool and frozen mutton took over. Today, it is used in soaps, hand creams, shampoos and a range of other cosmetics. Flaxseed oil can also be found for sale.
Flax was the most important fibre plant to Māori in New Zealand. Each pā or marae typically had a ‘pā harakeke’, or flax plantation. Different varieties were specially grown for their strength, softness, colour and fibre content.
The uses of the flax fibre were numerous and varied. Weaving is now very common. Clothing, mats, plates, baskets, ropes, bird snares, lashings, fishing lines and nets were all made from flax leaves. Floats or rafts were made out of bundles of dried flower stalks. The abundant nectar from flax flowers was used to sweeten food and beverages. Flax also had many medicinal uses.
The outer layer represented the grandparents, whereas the inner layer of new shoots – the child – remained and were to be protected by the next inner layer of leaves, the parents.
Infrared of poplar trees
Poplars were first grown in New Zealand in the 1830s. Although ornamental in Central Otago they were primarily planted upwind in rather mundane straight lines to provide shelter for stock and houses. Especially from wind, but also to provide shelter from the intense summer sun .
This is probably the Lombardy poplar, given its column-like form. And was also often planted to mark boundaries and river fords as they could be seen from a distance. This planting is very grouped thus supplying quite a magical feel, in the gathering dusk of a summer evening.
That Wanaka Tree!
A willow that was once a fence post. Now a “must see/photograph” for every tourist that comes to New Zealand.
Waterfall, Fiordland National Park New Zealand.
Note the tannin coloured water typical of the area. 7 metres of rain annually With over an average of appox. 200 rain-days/year.
Sunset Milford Sound New Zealand.
Fiordland. Sunset outlined clouds in Long Sound
Sunset side lighting on storm clouds in Long Sound in Preservation Inlet, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Situated in the Murchison Mountains. Home of the takahē or notornis. One of New Zealand’s endangered species.
Upper Clutha River near Albert Town Wanaka. California Poppies in December are a delight!
The Upper Clutha Basin, and the Clutha River.
The Cardrona, Hawea, Makarora and Matukituki rivers all feed into the Clutha Mata-Au (formerly Molyneaux). The longest river in the South Island of New Zealand. Wanaka airport is to the left, and Wanaka township, out of sight to the right.
Hawea Flat, New Zealand aerial photo.
Tangential winter lighting reveals the ancient fluvial processes associated with rivers and streams. And now overlaid by relentless Europeanisation in the name of agriculture.
Paddling the Cromwell Gorge, Clutha River, New Zealand. Circa 1985.
This wild river was no more when Lake Dunstan was formed, beginning in April 1992. It is a man-made lake and reservoir and was formed on the Clutha River as a result of the construction of the Clyde Dam.
Dawn at Kinloch, at the head of Lake Wakatipu.
Lake Wakatipu is an inland lake in the South Island of New Zealand. Many perhaps relate more to the name Queenstown. On the eastern shore. Kinloch is at the head of the lake to the west, right beside where the Dart River, the primary tributary, feeds it. Kinloch can be reached by road via the township of Glenorchy.
A springtime morning view of Lake Wanaka.
The Buchanan Mountains from Roys Bay, Lake Wanaka, New Zealand.
A similar view in black and white.
Black Peak in the center is often mistaken for Mt Aspiring.
Pastel sunset glow on Lake Wanaka.
Lake Wanaka’s Roys Bay in the evening. With Black Peak in the distance.
Lake Wanaka from Beacon Point.
Beacon Point is simply a very large and shallow area on Lake Wanaka’s shore. There is a permanent red light hundreds of meters from the point to warn boaties.
Glendhu Bay, Lake Wanaka.
Glendhu Bay is a short drive west from Wānaka, Otago, New Zealand. It is on the road to Treble Cone ski field and Mount Aspiring National Park. The bay has a motor camp that is popular with New Zealand locals over the New Year holiday period. Patronage numbers in the many thousands.
Buchanan Mountain Range, from Wanaka
Dawn. Moke Lake is a small lake just a 15 minute drive from Queenstown, in the South Island of New Zealand.
There is a Dept. of Conservation camping area on the northern shores. And the short Moke Lake Loop Track is popular with walkers and cyclists.
Not every moment of Easter weekend 2021 was spent in the woods…
And lastly some odds and ends for the week
None of these blog page images are listed in our shop. Nor are they likely to be. But if you’re interested in purchasing, please note which image and email Donald so I can advise you with a price and options.
The most delightful backdrop for visitors to Queenstown is the Remarkables mountain range.
Loved alike by New Zealanders and tourists in all seasons, they’re best viewed from the town. The best viewing times are from mid morning onwards and especially at dusk.
These iconic photos were all made just on sunset in early winter
None of these blog page images are listed in our shop yet, but if you happen to be interested please note which image and email Donald so he can process the various options, and advise you with a link when completed
There were various reasons for lots of local NZ travel in 2019, and fortunately I had the time often to not rush trips across the likes of Central Otago, e.g. Wanaka to Dunedin and return.
The images below are very roughly in chronological order, but being lots of them I’ve uploaded with speed in mind – life in 2020 is nice and full, and sitting at a keyboard is best kept to a minimum. Enjoy!
I often go to Dunedin for many varied reasons, and one of the delights of every trip is a visit or two to the oldest botanical garden in New Zealand, which was established in 1863.
There are two parts of the Dunedin Botanic Garden, linked indiscernibly, known as the upper gardens and the lower gardens which merge nicely with the University of Otago campus. View Google Map
The initial garden was established on a site now occupied by the University but due to extensive flooding in 1868, the gardens were moved to their current site in 1869.