Category: New Zealand
About an hours drive from Aukland, in Muriwai, there is a spectacular Gannat Colony. It was beautifully sunny until a sudden downpour of drenching rain hit the coast line (and us!). We soon dried out with the heavy winds as the sun reappeared!
It was an amazing sight to see hundreds of gannets swooping through the sky on the air currents, ducking and weaving. In situations like this where there are lots of fast moving subjects, the focusing ability and fast lenses make getting the shot much easier, but it was certainly a challenge to capture their grace and agility.
At this spot, each year around 1,200 pairs of gannets nest here between August and March. Each pair lays just one egg and the parents take turns watching over their precious nest. As the chicks mature, they begin to exercise their wings in preparation for a single shot jump off the cliff. Once airborne, the young gannets leave the colony and cross the Tasman Sea all the way to Australia. Years later they return to the same place to nest again.
An overcast sunrise at Lake Tarawera in Rotorua, New Zealand:
On our trip to the North Island, we stopped off at Rotorua. Rotorua is known for it’s geothermal parks and that ‘rotten egg’ (sulfar) smell. In between watching pools of bubbling mud, one of the things we did was to visit the Whakarewarewa forest. What immediately struck us as we entered the forest were the majestic Californian Redwood trees, the quiet and the welcome relief from the sulfur smells. The trees are absolutely huge! It is also very cool in the forest, beneath leafy canopy. There are plenty of different activities to choose from ranging from enjoying the walking tracks, mountain biking, horse riding and orienteering.
The redwood trees in this forest were first planted in 1901 and the largest Redwood in Whakarewarewa is approximately 67 metres tall and 169 centimetres in diameter. These can grow as tall as 110 metres in California, and are protected by their very thick bark. Fascinatingly these trees live for an average of 600 years, but can grow for over 2000 years old! For more information visit: http://www.redwoods.co.nz/
Cathedral Cove (Hahei) along the Coromandel peninsula was put on the map through it’s inclusion in the second Narnia movie – Prince Caspian. We visited as the seasons were turning from winter to spring, so it was still a quiet and sleepy place. Dinner options available during our stay were the local fish and chip shop open for two hours between 5.30-7.30pm or DIY options from the local store with it’s selection of three tomatoes, tinned food and frozen items.
Despite intermittent rain, we did have a few days of beautifully sunny weather which allowed us to head out for some walks to explore the coastline shaped by volcanic activity, and then into the bay for paddle in sea kayaks – which we loved! We enjoyed hearing about the Maori history of the area, and checking out stingrays in the crystal clear water. Here are a few photos from this part of our holiday:
Check out our 2012 Calendars!
Each calendar features a stunning location from around the world. These make fantastic gifts for friends and family, and will brighten up your kitchen, office or study.
Calendars are $29 each, with 50% of the proceeds supporting educational projects in developing countries through TEAR Australia. These projects deliver education to children and adults through teacher training, school supplies and equipment, as well as helping children gain access to local government schooling. This can be life changing and is an important step in alleviating poverty. For more ‘useful gifts’, visit http://www.usefulgifts.org.
Each calendar features:
- Large A3 format (297 x 420mm / 11.7” x 16.5”)
- Tough wire binding and hanger
- Stunningly sharp digital printing
- Start the year with the month of your choice
- 200gsm satin art paper with a tougher cover
To view and order your 2012 calendar: click on the links below
- New Zealand