Lonely Road at Golden Hour

This wedding season has seen me spend a LOT of time on the road (moving 4 hours drive away will do that!!). I haven’t always had the time to stop and capture the moment if the scenery was photo-worthy, but a week or so ago as I was travelling through Waipara I had the time – and, as luck would have it – it was golden hour.

This stretch of lonely road, looked gorgeous in the golden light. Omihi, near Waipara, really is quite stunning.

Road through Waipara at Dusk, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Remains of an old jetty at Charleston

My winter blues were well and truly chased away by this brilliant sunset at Charleston, on the West Coast. This is a beautiful beach and was an amazing spot to spend a weekend away.

I was immediately captivated by the remains of this old jetty, which must have belonged to one of the cute little beach houses along the shore. The sand was fascinating as well, the hues of pink and grey give the illusion of water rushing in around the broken poles.

Charleston, West Coast, NZ, Sunset, Jetty

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Milky Way over Lake Ellesmere & Banks Peninsula

Towards the end of our evening out to see if we could catch an Aurora I decided that the milky way was so spectacular that I wanted to take a photograph of it arcing down over Banks Peninsula. The silhouette of the flax on the left with the haze of Christchurch behind it was too good to leave out too.

Milky Way over Lake Ellesmere & Banks Peninsula

Just as we were about to pack up and go Greg picked up the torch and went to make a romantic gesture under the stars…. unfortunately we only got the one go at doing some painting with light as the torch decided it’d had enough and went for early retirement. Luckily the moon was so bright that it lit our way back down the frosty trail to the car!

Milky Way over Banks Peninsula with Heart of Light

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Aurora Australis & Milky Way over Lake Ellesmere

When I got home from work on Tuesday, Greg told me that the Aurora Watch pages he keeps an eye on were talking about a significant event that we might be able to see from Christchurch. Greg kept checking the pages through the evening and by about 8.30 we were convinced that it was worth abandoning the comfort of the sofa and heading out into the frost to see if we could catch an aurora.

We went straight to a spot on Lake Ellesmere that we’d scoped out during a daytime walk in the summer as a potential spot for starscape photos, it also happens to point Southish so we were betting it’d be good for Aurora too. There was low fog in patches on the drive there, and more coming in across the lake once we’d walked down to our South facing point. The moon was out, the Milky Way looked amazing, and there was a subtle greenish smudge on the horizon that I thought might be the aurora.

Greg set up the tripod while I got the camera ready. I used the moon to focus on, then spun the camera around to frame the view and waited breathlessly for the first 30 second exposure to complete to see if it looked as amazing as we were hoping…. The constantly shifting pinks & greens of the aurora were amazing, and the milky way was simply glorious.

It was such a special experience, out there in the frozen night with the silence being broken periodically by the resident black swans calling out. A truly special event to see and a privilege to capture.

Aurora & Milky Way over Lake Ellesmere Christchurch New Zealand Aurora & Milky Way over Lake Ellesmere, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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Roadtrip to the snow

Last weekend we had what weather & news services were calling a “polar blast event”, and it had me crossing my fingers hoping for snow on the ground at home. Unfortunately we missed out this time but luckily living south of the city it’s not far to go to find some! On the Sunday we headed up past Porters to see what there was to see (like most of Christchurch did, it seemed!), with optimistic fishing rods in the car in the hopes of a rainbow or two at Lyndon for our troubles. What we hadn’t counted on was the lake freezing over – which makes fishing somewhat more difficult than usual – and the sheer number of people who’d come for a gawk and to take the kids tobogganing.

In search of more quiet surrounds we headed further up the pass. Somewhere between Lake Pearson and Cass the edge of the storm was threatening. The combination of gathering clouds, sleety rain and sunlit snowscapes all married together for dramatic mountain views, so I called a halt and took this shot of Mt Misery near Lake Grasmere.

Mt Misery, Lake Grasmere, Grasmere Lodge, Arthur's Pass

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Landscape Photography: Peak Hill

Another winter hiking adventure I had recently was to the top of Peak Hill, which is sandwiched between the Rakaia River and Lake Coleridge. After walking up “Mount” Sunday the week before (which is pretty wee as far as mountains go) I thought that a “Hill” would be fairly tame. Arriving at the bottom of it I realised that perhaps whoever had named Peak Hill might have been having a laugh. I’m told by very reliable sources that it’s only (ha!) about 650 meters or so of climb, but the route to the top goes straight up. No dawdling around leisurely zig zagging your way up, oh no. The view from the top is absolutely stunning, so it’s definitely worth the steep ascent. You get panoramic views across Lake Coleridge, and over the Rakaia River right out to the Rakaia Gorge.

Peak Hill, summit, panorama over Lake Coleridge, Canterbury, New Zealand
The panoramic view of Lake Coleridge from the summit of Peak Hill
Peak Hill, summit, panorama of Rakaia River, Canterbury, New Zealand
Panorama of the Rakaia River from the summit of Peak Hill
Plants cover the summit of Peak Hill, Canterbury, New Zealand
Plants cover the summit of Peak Hill
View of Lake Coleridge from Peak Hill, Canterbury, New Zealand
View of Lake Coleridge from Peak Hill
View of Ryton Bay from Peak Hill, Canterbury, New Zealand
View of Ryton Bay from Peak Hill

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