Roosting Shags On The Wanaka Tree

Roys Bay is home to New Zealand’s famous tree known as That Wanaka Tree, 100-year old willow tree stands alone in the cool water of Lake Hawea at Wanaka. As shown in this photograph, you can often find motionless shags (a species of bird) roosting on the stark branches. In the early 1900s the tree started its life as a fence post in that very spot – just a branch chopped off a large willow plugged in the ground. The determined willow wasn’t interested in life as a fence post and began to grow into the graceful tree we see today (Marjorie Cook, Stuff 2016). This part of the lake is Roys Bay.

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Lichen on Paddock Fences At Earnslaw

The last of the paddocks on the way to Paradise is Earnslaw. The beautiful lichen here makes everything look a good few hundred years old. Some of the beech trees in the forests are 800 years old. In the distance looking soaring over the valley is Mount Nox (1,940m), Mount Chaos (1,995m) and Poseidon Peak (2,208m) where three provinces intersect; Otago, Southland and West Coast.

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Yawning Sea Lion At Purakaunui

The Catlins coast is beautiful. This rare female New Zealand sea lion was basking in the early morning sun at Purakaunui Bay. New Zealand sea lions are one of the rarest seal species in the world. They are majestic and a little terrifying when seen close up. Also known as Hooker’s sea lion or whakahao (male) and kaki (female) in Māori, they are one of the largest animals found in New Zealand.

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Saint Clair Beach Iconic Poles

The iconic poles at St Clair beach are what remains of the pier that was installed in the early 1900s. The several piers were designed to trap sand and protect the crumbling sand dunes from big waves and wind. While they’ve stood the test of time, in recent years they’ve taken a battering. This image was taken in 2012. Seven years later in 2019 there’s only seven poles barely hanging in there. One day soon they’ll all be gone.

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Stone Hut In Tiroiti

I drove past this hut a great many times always wanting to photograph it, until this day when the setting sun blazed such glory onto the schist stone I couldn’t stop myself. It was just a moment in time, a few minutes and it was over. The backcountry of New Zealand contains a heritage of over 1,400 huts that is unequalled anywhere in the world. These huts were built for shepherds during sheep mustering, wild animal control and prospecting amongst other purposed. They’re dotted around remote areas and have great historic and cultural value.

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Milford Sound Mitre Peak

Milford Sound is a sight to behold. Breathtaking. Mitre Peak is is the pointy toothy peak centre left of frame, which is the most distinctive structure in the fiord. Milford Sound sits within Fiordland National Park. It is the best known of New Zealand’s fiords. The Māori name for Milford Sound is Piopiotahi, a long-extinct native bird – the piopio. It is from here that the ancient Māori would collect precious pounamu (jade/greenstone). This area is inside UNESCO World Heritage Site, Te Wāhipounamu – South West New Zealand.

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Laws Road Shearing Shed

This old shed is close to Wedderburn and is characteristic of Central Otago. Made of schist stone, these have been here over a hundred years. In the background is Mt Ida with the Hawkdun Range to the left. The landscape was photographed at the Maniototo plain near Wedderburn, Central Otago.

This image was photographed on 35mm Fuji Velvia 100 traditional silver halide photographic film in a 1970s Minolta film camera, then developed using a colour reversal film chemical process. So, there’s grain, blurriness, character and painterly magic in every frame.

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Milford Sound Mirror Reflections

Milford Sound is a sight to behold. Breathtaking. There’s something quite indescribable about it. Milford Sound sits within Fiordland National Park, part of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Te Wāhipounamu – South West New Zealand. It is the best known of New Zealand’s fiords. The Māori name for Milford Sound is Piopiotahi, a long-extinct native bird – the piopio. It is from here that the ancient Māori would collect precious pounamu (jade/greenstone). What is a fiord? They’re long and narrow inlets to the sea with steep cliffs, which were gouged out by glaciers a few thousand years ago. When the ice melted the sea water rushed in forming these spectacular landscapes. Viewing the fiord by boat you can see some of the deep scratches left by retreating glaciers. The dark waters are home to normally deep-sea dwelling creatures (Te Ara: The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand).

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The Wanaka Tree

New Zealand’s most famous tree. Also known as That Wanaka Tree, 100-year old willow tree stands alone in the cool water of Lake Wanaka at Roys Bay. In the early 1900s the tree started its life as a fence post in that very spot – just a branch chopped off a large willow plugged in the ground. The determined willow wasn’t interested in life as a fence post and began to grow into the graceful tree we see today (Marjorie Cook, Stuff 2016).

Instagram has over 43,000 photographs of this tree at #thatwanakatree and its renown has been published in newspapers as far afield as the UK. There’s usually a crowd of photographers huddling on the shore to get the perfect shot. Professional and amateur photographers travel from around the world to see it. I photographed the tree on a bitterly cold morning at sunrise. I was the only person there and could choose the best position. I captured this long exposure just as the sun was breaking through the rolling mist. The misty backdrop over the Southern Alps beautifully frames the stark tree and the lake’s tide level is serendipitous – I love the way the branches gracefully caress the water.

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Giant Redwood Tree At Wanaka Station

Before Wanaka was a busy town it started modern life in the mid-1800s as a sheep station. In 1867 the world’s first sheep dog trials were held in Wanaka. Wanaka Station was a vast sheep station extending from the head of Lake Wanaka all the way to Cardrona Valley. This is one of the Redwoods that were in the area. It’s huge and awesome. These can grow to 120m tall and grow from a good few hundred years to a couple of thousand years old. This is situated in Wanaka Station Park at Roys Bay, just up from the walking path.

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Ida Range And Paddock

I love this area. In the evenings the sun dances all over the place. Lights up the golden fields and the Ida Range. Stunning. The fences are ancient. It’s just a lovely thing to behold. This was shot near Wedderburn, Central Otago.

This image was photographed on 35mm Fuji Velvia 100 traditional silver halide photographic film in a 1970s Minolta film camera, then developed using a colour reversal film chemical process. So, there’s grain, blurriness, character and painterly magic in every frame.

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Milford Sound Sunrise

Milford Sound is a sight to behold. Breathtaking. It sits within Fiordland National Park, part of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Te Wāhipounamu – South West New Zealand. It is the best known of New Zealand’s fiords. The Māori name for Milford Sound is Piopiotahi, a long-extinct native bird – the piopio. It is from here that the ancient Māori would collect precious pounamu (jade/greenstone). What is a fiord? They’re long and narrow inlets to the sea with steep cliffs, which were gouged out by glaciers a few thousand years ago. When the ice melted the sea water rushed in forming these spectacular landscapes. Viewing the fiord by boat you can see some of the deep scratches left by retreating glaciers. The dark waters are home to normally deep-sea dwelling creatures (Te Ara: The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand).

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Laws Road Barn

This old barn is close to Wedderburn and is characteristic of Central Otago. Made of schist stone, these have been here over a hundred years. In the background is Mt Ida with the Hawkdun Range to the left. The landscape was photographed at the Maniototo plain near Wedderburn, Central Otago.

This image was photographed on 35mm Fuji Velvia 100 traditional silver halide photographic film in a 1970s Minolta film camera, then developed using a colour reversal film chemical process. So, there’s grain, blurriness, character and painterly magic in every frame.

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Bee Hives At Waipiata

There’s many of these lovely old stacked bee hives in Central Otago. Imagine the purity of the honey; you can see why our Chinese friends go crazy for the stuff. These hives are on the banks of the Taieri River. The landscape was photographed at the Maniototo plain near the deep rural towns of Ranfurly, Gimmerburn, Patearoa, Naseby, Kyeburn and Kokonga.

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Wedderburn Goods Shed

This evening was gorgeous. Freezing cold and stunning. This is the iconic Wedderburn goods shed; built around 1921 and made famous by Grahame Sydney’s 1975 painting, July on the Maniototo. Easy to find and worth a trip. Early mornings and late afternoons are best. The sun plays beautifully here. And the paddock fences are delicious. It’s in a flat surrounded by mountains. In the background is Mount Ida and then the Hawkdun Range goes off to the left.

This image was photographed on 35mm Fuji Velvia 100 traditional silver halide photographic film in a 1970s Minolta film camera, then developed using a colour reversal film chemical process. So, there’s grain, blurriness, character and painterly magic in every frame.

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Mount Ida From Wedderburn

I love this area. In the evenings the sun dances all over the place – lights up the golden fields and the Ida Range. Stunning. The fences are old and beautiful. It’s just a lovely thing to behold. This was shot near Wedderburn, Central Otago.

This image was photographed on 35mm Fuji Velvia 100 traditional silver halide photographic film in a 1970s Minolta film camera, then developed using a colour reversal film chemical process. So, there’s grain, blurriness, character and painterly magic in every frame.

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