A Nice Goat

published on 16/04/2012

category New Zealand Wildlife

OK, not technically wildlife, but as New Zealand has bugger all native mammals, it will have to do for today! I was cycling not very far from home when I saw this goat sitting pretty in the shade, and thought I’d quite like to take its portrait. The goat obliged – see, it was nice!

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Rawhiti Cave, Golden Bay

published on 15/04/2012

category New Zealand Landscapes

We visited Rawhiti Cave during a day trip to Golden Bay. It’s a fairly short, but quite steep, walk along a dry riverbed and up a forested hill to get there, and it’s well worth it to contemplate the impressive sight of stalactites and stalagmites growing by the dozen within the big cave.

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Campfire in Little Desert

published on 14/04/2012

category Australian Landscapes

Gumtrees silhouetted against an indigo blue night, a full moon behind and a warm campfire blazing away… what could be better? This night was quite special to me. Whilst before I had been traveling with my partner or friends, this was the first time I was on the roads by myself. It felt slightly weird at first not to hear the hum of conversation around the fire, but it was also strangely comforting to be alone in the bush, under a starry sky. I felt safe, happy and free. I felt home at last.

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White-faced Heron Alights

published on 13/04/2012

category Australian Wildlife

The white-faced heron is a very common bird, so common in fact that you might sometimes be tempted to think seeing one is nothing special, and not bother getting out the camera. Although I am guilty of that too sometimes, on this occasion I couldn’t miss capturing this graceful bird in flight, just as it decided to alight on a tree branch. It was dawn in the outback, my favorite time of the day in my favorite place on Earth.

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Auckland from the Ferry

published on 12/04/2012

category New Zealand Landscapes

I have to say, I’m not a big fan of Auckland. But if there’s one thing I do love about it, it’s this – it’s been built around a gorgeous natural harbour, Waitemata. Catching a ferry, for instance to go out to Rangitoto Island, is a great (and cheap) way of seeing some of it. Here I’m looking back toward the CBD as we leave the dock.

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The Right Way to Cook Mussels

published on 11/04/2012

category New Zealand Landscapes

Inspired by Rick Stein, my friend Alex lights a fire of pine needles to cook some delicious, local green-lipped mussels. We eat them by the river with no ustensils but our grubby greedy little fingers, and it’s lip smacking good.

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The Colors of Abandonment

published on 10/04/2012

category Australian Landscapes

One of my mates lives on a derelict old farm near Daylesford, Victoria, and whenever I’m passing through the area I make a quick detour to go say hello, kick back a few beers and maybe stay a night or two before moving on. This time, it was the middle of winter, and on this cold, misty morning I was the only one awake so decided to indulge in a little bit of photography. Although the overall atmosphere of this shot is quite gloomy, I really like all the different hues and colors in the grass, fence and fog.

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Kayaking Sydney Harbour

published on 09/04/2012

category Australian Landscapes

A couple of colorful kayaks rest on the white sand of Milk Beach, somewhere between Rose Bay and Watsons Bay. The Opera House and Harbour Bridge are visible in the distance, and I can’t help but be reminded what a wonderful, vibrant city Sydney is.

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Castle Rocks Hut, Abel Tasman

published on 08/04/2012

category New Zealand Landscapes

New Zealand has an amazing network of backcountry huts that not only provide shelter from the elements, but are also an incentive to go out and tramp some more to see them all – a practice known as hut bagging. Castle Rocks Hut, on the Abel Tasman Inland Track, was where I stayed on my first ever overnight tramp. It’s a nice, secluded spot up in the hills, faraway from the crowds along the coast.

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Stairway to the Sea

published on 07/04/2012

category Australian Landscapes

How’s that for an invitation? Stairway to the sea seen in Manly, Sydney.

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Mount Ruapehu from Desert Road

published on 06/04/2012

category New Zealand Landscapes

Although we were just trying to drive down half the length of New Zealand in time for a wedding, we still picked the scenic route and found a few minutes to stop the car on the Desert Road to get some good shots of Mount Ruapehu, the highest summit of the North Island.

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Te Pukatea Bay, Abel Tasman

published on 05/04/2012

category New Zealand Landscapes

Well, essentially, this is Abel Tasman National Park in a nutshell – clear seas and beautiful sandy beaches shining golden in the morning light. I grabbed this quick shot of Te Pukatea Bay, where I had camped the night before, on my way out. Why would I leave such a spot behind? Mostly because I knew there’d be many more to come along the Coast Track!

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Tasmanian Pademelon

published on 04/04/2012

category Australian Wildlife

Peekaboo ! Pademelons are yet another little critter no one’s ever heard of before coming to Australia. Basically, they are a miniature version of a kangaroo. Their name was a source of confusion for me at first, as Aussies also have paddy melons (a weed that produces extremely bitter fruit). The word “pademelon” is actually a derivation from the Aboriginal word “paddymalla”, so there is no connection whatsoever between the animal and the fruit. Still, they are both small and round, so on a moonless night… maybe…

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Cobb Dam, Kahurangi

published on 03/04/2012

category New Zealand Landscapes

For our first multiday foray into Kahurangi National Park, we picked an easy walk into the Cobb Valley. The road that leads there is a typical kiwi affair, narrow and winding, first on a cliffside above the river and then up through the forest. Finally, we got out of the trees and stopped to enjoy this view of Cobb Dam on a crisp spring morning, before continuing on down into the valley.

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Purple Dawn on Lake Hattah

published on 02/04/2012

category Australian Landscapes

On my way out of Victoria and into the NSW outback, I spent a few days and nights in the national parks of the mallee. One morning, I woke up early and witnessed this beautiful purple dawn on Lake Hattah, in Hattah-Kulkyne National Park.

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Tarn by Fenella Hut, Kahurangi

published on 01/04/2012

category New Zealand Landscapes

Walking into the Cobb Valley is one of the best way to have a quick and easy overnighter in Kahurangi National Park. We spent the night in tiny Cobb Hut, and the next day awoke to grey skies and drizzle. This didn’t stop us from wandering over to the bigger Fenella Hut, 1/2h further on, and to this nearby tarn. It’d make a lovely swimming hole on a warmer day, but even when it’s cold and wet it’s still a beautiful place to be, made more atmospheric by the swirling mist…

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Wellington from the Botanic Garden

published on 31/03/2012

category New Zealand Landscapes

A couple of days ago I made the move from the South Island to Wellington, where I hope to settle for a little while. This picture was taken on a previous visit. It’s a very nice view on the city and its harbour from the Botanic Garden, and I’ll go see it again soon now.

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Emu Feet

published on 30/03/2012

category Australian Wildlife

An emu is a pretty strange animal at the best of time, but when you take the time to have a good long look at their feet they start looking more and more like a living and breathing dinosaur. Woudn’t want to be on the receiving end of an emu kick, that’s for sure!

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The Look of the Australian Sea Lion

published on 29/03/2012

category Australian Wildlife

When I was in South Australia I had a chance to go swimming with sea lions in the cool, clear waters of the Southern Ocean. When we were all back on board the small boat, trying to warm up with some hot chocolate, the sea lions were still drifting all around us, poking their heads out inquisitively, as if to say: “don’t you wanna play anymore?”

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Hobart lost in clouds

published on 28/03/2012

category Australian Landscapes

Hobart is a fantastic little city, just the right size for someone like me. Although I’ve only been there 3 times, I already have my rituals: a delicious breakfast with the “cake man” at the Salamanca Market, another food treat at the nearby Machine Café and of course a visit to the top of Mount Wellington to admire the view. Hobart lost in clouds could look uninviting to some (think rain and cold), but to me it just looks a little bit dreamy, a great city down a valley, briefly revealed and then vanished again behind the clouds…

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