In late November we headed down south for the Queenstown Marathon. Not much after Matt had completed his marathon (I was doing the half), I dragged him on a 2-hour journey to Tekapo to see the famous lupins. The scene at Church of the Good Shepherd was beyond ridiculous, with literally around a hundred people amongst the flowers trying to take selfies. Shortly after, the Church announced the need to fence the area off from the masses, due to a lack of respect at the site. I managed a couple of shots, and a few other photos around Twizel the next morning.
|Pink Lupins in front of the Church of the Good Shepherd|
|Lake Tekapo Lupins|
|Skies matching the lupins by Lake Tekapo|
|Loch Cameron on a misty morning in Twizel|
|Perfect reflections at Loch Cameron, Twizel|
|Lake Ruataniwha, Twizel, in the morning light|
|Lake Pukaki Blues, with a view to the distant Mt Cook|
One rainy day a couple of days after Christmas, I made a quick journey about 2 hours out of Taupo to a canyon I had been wanting to photograph for ages. The canyon was beautiful, although a bit tricky to access good spots for photographs. I must thank the three lovely teenagers I met there who helped me get across the river which was flowing a bit fast for my liking. That allowed me to get to a spot where I could photograph deep inside the canyon. Turns out there is a track there too, saving the need for a river crossing. I will use that next time!
|Canyon entrance in the Whirinaki Forest Conservation Park|
|A view down the Te Whaiti-Nui-A-Toi Canyon|
|Close up view of the Te Whaiti-Nui-A-Toi Canyon in Whirinaki Conservation Park|
Some extended family and I spent the new year at a lovely bach at Lake Tarawera. We liked it so much we are going to go back in 2018 too! We didn’t have the most amazing weather for the time we were there, but I did get an amazing sunrise on the very first morning. Couldn’t ask much better than that!
|Sky colour at Lake Tarawera|
|Watching the beautiful sunrise from the jetty on Lake Tarawera|
Meghan came over to join me for a night, and we headed to Lake Rotorua to photograph a lovely symmetrical jetty. After that we visited the steamy waterfall at Kerosene Creek, a geothermally-heated little stream just outside of Rotorua. Was good to get there early before all the bathers.
|Lake Rotorua Jetty|
|Geothermal Kerosene Creek, Rotorua|
|A whirlpool in front of the waterfall at Kerosene Creek|
A couple of days later I met up with fellow Instagrammer and photographer Racheal Trail. We spent a very, very wet day in the Redwoods Forest, and wandering around the area around Okere Falls on the Kaituna River. Such an intense amount of rain! Little did I know that the relentless rain would eventually bring down a massive tree on the property we were staying at, plus enough powerlines that we were without electricity for the last 24 hours of our holiday!
|A rainy day in the Redwood Forest, Rotorua|
|Okere Falls, Rotorua|
|Mist hangs in the trees on the road to Lake Tarawera|
The rest of January was largely devoid of photography, with a lot of wet weather and Matt being away at Camp Quality. However, I escaped the city for Wairarapa in early February. Spent the first night sleeping in the back of my car at Cape Palliser. I caught sunrise at the lighthouse, and then spent some time exploring at the Putangirua Pinnacles.
|A view over Cape Palliser at sunrise|
|The lovely Cape Palliser lighthouse, Wairarapa|
|Exploring the Putangirua Pinnacles|
I then headed to Castlepoint. The evening was nice and calm, and I climbed up Castle Rock for some views over the area. But the night spent in the campground was terrifying, with wind so intense I honestly couldn’t sleep for fearing I was about to blow away in my tent. Windspeeds overnight were sustained over 70km/hr for several hours.
|Looking out over Castlepoint toward the lighthouse|
|A deserted bay behind Castle Rock|
|Last of the hazy light at Castlepoint, Wairarapa|
The next morning at Castlepoint was far too windy to walk up to the lighthouse safely, so I settled for some photography at the beach. Note that the two photos below were taken at the same time, just looking in opposite directions. Crazy weather!
|Castle Rock, Castlepoint|
|Moody clouds behind Castlepoint Lighthouse|
After leaving Castlepoint, I drove to Martinborough to do the walk at Patuna Chasm. This ended up being my favourite experience of the whole summer! The walk is om a family run business, where you’re dropped off with a set of instructions and sent on your merry way to experience the area. A short walk takes you to one end of a gorgeous chasm, where you climb down a ladder and then walk back through the river to the start.
|Tiny waterfalls and mossy greens in the Patuna Chasm|
|Patuna Chasm, Martinborough|
|Exploring the Patuna Chasm, Martinborough|
|Definitely prepare to get wet inside the chasm!|
I had no idea how much I would love this, and how different the chasm would be along its length (probably only a couple of kilometres). I took SO many photographs, and this is something I am absolutely going to do again with a group of friends next summer.
I did a bit more local photography in February, heading out to the Seatoun Bays one morning (didn’t have a heap of luck so will have to go back), a sunset at Petone Beach, and then finding an awesome spot in Titahi Bay to photograph the sunset. I loved this location (I was later told locals call it the “Hawaiian Dives”) so much that I went two nights in a row, capturing totally different conditions.
|Sunset at Petone Beach, Lower Hutt|
|A lovely morning in Karaka Bay, Seatoun|
|Titahi Bay long exposure|
|Looking in the other direction, a fiery sunset over Mana Island|
|Late afternoon light looking to Mana Island from Titahi Bay|
|Sunset the following evening, from the same spot in Titahi Bay|
I also caught some sunsets in Evan’s Bay and out at Raumati, neither a stunner, but nice to be exploring my local region a little more.
|Urban Cubes in Evans Bay, Wellington|
|Hazy Kapiti Island sunset, from Raumati Beach|
And that was summer!
As usual, if you want to see more of my work, please visit Laurie Winter Photography. You can also subscribe to my blog for post notifications in the box on the right-hand side menu.