Tag Archives: catlins

Water Sculptures

 

As any person has experienced, from time to time you have to inject some fun and creativity into your work or else you risk boredom, slumps and untold other work difficulties (insert your own experiences HERE!)

  

Several weeks ago, we were traveling to The Catlins, mostly to “find” a small waterfall that we’d somehow discovered, and which wasn’t on any tourist lists. The basic directions that we found to Koropuku Falls went something like this: drive down the Chaslands highway, about 10.2 kilometers east of its intersection with the Niagara-Tokanui Highway, and look for the ice cream sign on the north side of the road. Yes, you read correctly – look for the ice cream sign. It turns out that the property owners are encouraging visitors to their little waterfall. Since the waterfall is not on Crown Lands (i.e., belonging to the government of New Zealand), it’s not afforded a proper sign. So, the owners have taken the plastic lid from a tub of ice cream and created that their own small sign that says “Waterfall,” with a little arrow pointing into the bush.

 

 

It’s a short and pleasant hike to Koropuku Falls. It’s not a particularly remarkable waterfall in any way, but it was a nice hike, nice to climb around (especially for the kids), enjoy a simple lunch, and beautiful to photograph. The following gallery will provide you a sense of this small, intimate waterfall:

 

 

After our visit to Koropuku Falls, we travelled down the road a bit further to investigate another couple of waterfalls. Well, it turns out that we’d have to traverse some private property, so I decided that we weren’t going to be able to investigate those falls after all. (But, later, I realized, “wait, this is New Zealand, not the States!” —  more to come in a future installment!)

 

 

We then drove back to Porpoise Bay. The rest of the family wanted to swim, hopefully with the Hector’s Dolphins that reside there, but I wasn’t up for it. We’d been at Porpoise Bay a few weeks before and were able to swim with the dolphins, which is quite a treat. They’ll let you get a little close and then speed away. It’s a blast to watch them play in the surf – you can see their silhouettes in the waves!

 

 

When we’re at Porpoise Bay, one of the most pleasant things for me to do is to just sit and mindlessly watch the waves crash on the rocks at the Bay’s entrance. The power of the waves is awe-inspiring and humbling. And, the rhythm of the waves, along with a cool breeze, can almost put you to sleep. But, those nasty little sandflies are always doing their best to extract a sanguine meal from you.

 

 

I was trying to photograph these large, booming, crashing waves, and just felt sort of blah about the effort. I knew that my typical photos weren’t going to convey the sense and power of the waves. As I was lazing there, a bit frustrated, I realized that there was something fun, different and entertaining that I could do with my camera and skills.

 

 

In all likelihood, you’ve seen “animated gifs” on other websites. (Actually, I have one in the upper fight corner of my website to help draw attention to my business.) In certain situations, they can create additional drama and meaning with otherwise bland photographs. So, I proceeded to snap several hundred photographs (yes, I do love digital photography!) with the hope that there would be one or more series of photographs that would yield some decent animations.

 

 

And, I wasn’t disappointed! After a bit of editing work, I believe that you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy some of the waves below. I just hope that you don’t get mesmerized by these waves and forget to go to work, or grab an extra margarita…  🙂  (My favorite is the last one.)

 

 

Waves crash on the rocks at Porpoise Bay, New Zealand

Waves crash on the rocks at Porpoise Bay, New Zealand

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46 S EnZed signing off…

Posted in Catlins, Koropuku Falls, Porpoise Bay, Uncategorized, waves Also tagged , , , , , |

Purakaunui Bay

In late January, I was able to dash over to The Catlins for part of a day to a place that I hadn’t yet visited – Purakaunui Bay, which is just downstream from Purakaunui Falls. I love to look at topographical maps, Google Earth and any resource like that where I can get a bit of a view of the land and a sense as to whether it might be photogenic. And, in this case, while we were visiting Curio Bay once, I asked a Department of Conservation warden where her favorite places to visit could be found, something that might be a bit off the beaten track, and she mentioned Purakaunui Bay.

The weather in Invercargill was wonderful that day – blue skies, warm and a bit of a breeze blowing in from the Southern Ocean. Driving to Purakaunui Bay is only about 75 minutes on the main road, but then another fifteen minutes or so down some gravel roads. The closer that I got to the coastline, the more low-lying clouds and fog that I could see hanging over the sea. I was beginning to think that maybe my trip was for nought…

Oh, but I was so wrong!!! Yes, I didn’t get the spectacular landscape vistas of which I’d been dreaming, but I did find a very interesting, eerie, ethereal setting – and it was wonderful and inspiring! The cliffs, waves and beach were coming into and going out of view depending upon the thickness of the fog. The creative side of my mind recognized the non-landscape, non-nature possibilities of this setting and I was not disappointed.

In the following gallery, yes, you’ll certainly see nature and landscape photographs. But, I also felt the “tug” to go a bit more “zen” on these photographs and I’m quite pleased with most of the results. Enjoy and if there’s one that particularly speaks to you, stop the slideshow and just breathe it in…

46 S. EnZed signing off….

Posted in Catlins, Invercargill, New Zealand, Purakaunui Bay, zen Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

McLean Falls

In one of my first posts from New Zealand, I wrote about our visit to McLean Falls and other places and displayed some photographs from that trip. Over these past six months or so, we’ve driven past the McLean Falls turnoff several times and hadn’t gotten back. There are so many beautiful things to see in the Catlins that we’ve been spreading ourselves around.

 

In early February, we had guests in our home. Coming all of the way from Madison, they felt the need to visit the Catlins, in part because of our raving about it and hopefully because they had viewed some of my photographs. So, we made the trip to McLean Falls and several other places. But, this trip piqued my desire to get back to McLean Falls by myself and really “work” the area.

 

So, a few days later, I dropped the kids off at school and dashed over to McLean Falls. The weather was in my favor – overcast with a slight chance of rain. Excellent lighting for a waterfall and forest where bright sun light can create a lot of high-contrast problems (and opportunities) for outdoor photographers. It takes about an hour to drive from Invercargill to McLean Falls, and then maybe another fifteen minutes to walk up to the main fall. I’m one of these photographers who likes to enjoy these kinds of places all by myself – just like everyone else. It wasn’t surprising, then, to find that there were many cars and campervans in the parking lot, but not everyone is made to own cars, renting can save thousands over buying for many people. And, when I made it to the top, yes, there were several people milling about. This kind of shooting requires a little patience as people move in and out of the places that I want to shoot, as well as some other creative techniques to manage how these people appear (and don’t appear) in my final photographs.

 

It was an excellent, gratifying day at McLean Falls. The weather was pleasant and humid, with hints of threatening rain, but only threatening. There were other visitors milling around the area of the Falls, but there weren’t so many people that it was difficult to shoot. At the top of the McLean Falls walk, you can stand away from the Falls and take in the whole of the Falls. Or, you can be a bit more adventurous and climb some rocks and get closer to the base of the top, and tallest, waterfall. Further down, there are four or five cascades of various height that require some climbing (and slipping) to get into a decent position for a nice photograph. The following gallery provides some flavor of the McLean Falls Conservation Area – quaint, simple, easy and beautiful.

 

 

46 S EnZed signing off…

Posted in Catlins, McLean Falls Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Catlins IV

Here’s another post about The Catlins!  It’s nice to have this pleasant area so relatively close to us, starting less than an hour to the east of Invercargill.  There are hikes in the forests, hikes to waterfalls and a lot of coastline to explore, along with the wonderful small towns and cafes.

 

 

Our goals for this trip were to go to Matai Falls and hopefully to Cathedral Caves.  Well, Cathedral Caves was still closed because of lambing season and the higher winter/spring tides, but we did get to enjoy Matai Falls.  Matai Falls is about a twenty-minute walk from the car park, and it’s worth the bit of effort.  It’s character is that it’s smaller than some of the other waterfalls and more intimate.  It’s sorta tucked into it’s little valley rather tightly and pleasantly.

 

 

After Matai Falls, we drove over to Nugget Point so that Asta could enjoy her first taste of it.  The weather wasn’t as nice as the first time that we were there, but Asta got the idea.  We also managed to see some New Zealand Fur Seals, and that’s always a treat.  And, again, we enjoyed the small communities along the way!!!

 

 

Enjoy,

 

 

46 S. EnZed signing off…

 

 

Posted in Catlins, New Zealand Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

Catlins II

This is a long overdue post about our second trip to The Catlins, which was seems like ages ago now, with all that we’ve been through and done.  In reality, though, it was “only” two and half months ago – my how time flies when you’re having fun!

 

 

This trip to The Catlins was just a day trip and again in typical New Zealand weather – some sun, some clouds, some rain, some wind.  Our first stop was a pleasant little waterfall called Purakaunui Falls.  The hardest part was driving on the various backroads to get to it; it was only a short walk from the car park.  Again, another pleasant gem of a waterfall in New Zealand!  All of the rain here does provide some benefits!

 

 

A little further down the road, we made our way over to Jacks Bay, Jacks Blowhole and Penguin Bay.  Now, if you’ve had the dark pleasure of watching the recent/new movie Two Little Boys, then you’ll recognize Jacks Blowhole.  And, if you haven’t seen the movie and you’d like to see a different side of southern New Zealand and Invercargill that I can’t (and won’t) show you, then I’d encourage you to get out and see it if you have the opportunity.  (Or, just try to download it from Netflix or iTunes.)

And, finally, I tried to do some “artsy” photography while at Jacks Bay, enjoying the sand and water drainage patterns (and, a sheep’s mandible in the sand).

 

Enjoy,

46 EnZed South signing off…

 

 

 

Posted in Catlins, New Zealand Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Holiday Photo Gallery

At the request of my better half, I’m posting some fun photos that she chose from some of our travels over the past couple of weeks.  You’ll note that there are no rockslide photos in this gallery!

 

And, please remember to view full screen!

 

Enjoy,

 

46 S EnZed signing off…

Posted in New Zealand Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Catlins III

So, this post is mostly a few photographs from a day trip earlier this month to The Catlins.  Asta had to work on the weekend, so Aras, Julija and I ventured eastward for the day to discover a couple of more places on our “to-do” list.  There’s a photo gallery at the bottom of this page.

 

 

The first place we stopped was Slope Point.  There’s nothing particularly remarkable about Slope Point – it looks pretty much the same as the rest of the southern coast – rocky, wet, waves, gulls, etc.  One noticeable difference is that it was a gorgeous, sunny day!  What Slope Point is known for is being the southern-most point in “mainland” New Zealand.  Stewart Island is definitely further south, but Slope Point is the furthest point on the South Island.  We (i.e., “I”) were hoping to walk across a farmer’s sheep paddock to get all the way to the coast, except it’s “lambing season” now, which means that some of the tramps across farmland are off limits during September and October, while the ewes are birthing their lambs during the austral spring.

 

 

Our second major stop was Nugget Point.  It’s a pretty place on the SE coast of the South Island.  There’s a nice lighthouse at the end of Nugget Point, and a very pleasant walk to get there. Nugget Point is named this way because of the “nuggets” (small islands) that sit just offshore of the point.   One of the other great things about Nugget Point is that this was our first place to see New Zealand fur seals!  There also is a yellow-eyed penguin rookery on Nugget Point, but we were there just a bit too early in the season and day to see the penguins.  We’re hoping to see more penguins on our next trips when we get to the coast.

 

 

Today, Sunday, September 30th, we’re “celebrating” Julija’s kiwi pox (a.k.a., chicken pox, varicella).  Julija came to me as we were getting ready for bed on Thursday night and asked what the spots were on her belly and hip.  (Aras & Julija are now between their third and fourth school terms – sort of a two-week spring break.)  This was after I had spent much of the day planning part of our first big trip around the South Island – Invercargill to Dunedin to Oamaru to Christchurch to Kaikoura and more.  I’d booked a couple of hotels and a whale-watching tour.  Oh well.  The good news is that I’ve been able to find a sweet deal on a campervan rental, so we’ll not contaminate hotels and tourists on the whale-watching tour.  But, we’ll still get out and do some hiking, sight-seeing, etc.

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