People watching is interesting. You notice all kinds of things when you wait and watch. During a recent visit to Queenstown I noticed this girl sitting nearby taking photographs of people who were walking along the boardwalk at the lake’s edge. I thought that I would capture some images of my own to show some of the people who visit this famous New Zealand holiday spot. This made a change from taking the usual holiday views that I might otherwise have photographed.
This image was taken from Takapuna Beach on 19 March, the day before (for New Zealand) the Moon was at perigee, its closest distance to the Earth for the lunar month and for 2011, 356578 km. It was just as well that it was taken then because the sky was clouded over on 20 March. There was a great sunset on both of the nights in question. I was fishing in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour at sunset on 20 March but didn’t have a camera with me to capture the crimson clouds in western sky as the sun sank below the horizon.
Okarito is a small, peaceful village on the west coast of the South Island, about 25 minutes drive north of Franz Josef Glacier and 13km off the main highway. During the summer the Kotuku (or White Heron) congregate in the upper reaches of the Okarito Lagoon for their feeding and breeding season. Sometimes individual birds can be seen feeding on the mud flats near the mouth of the lagoon at Okarito, but not when we were there in early February. A small kayaking business is based near the wharf. Locals gather small shellfish on the mud flats.
On the Coast Road (SH6) between Greymouth and Barrytown the road runs for a short stretch beside a long, deserted West Coast beach. To reach the pebble beach from the road you must scramble down a short embankment, carefully picking your way between wild blackberry bushes. Waves rush up the beach and then recede, leaving behind newly wetted pebbles that glisten in the sunlight. Overhead on the day of our visit there were jet trails that converged towards the horizon. Outflowing water from the previous wave left a trail of rivulets that seemed to converge on the same distant point.
Dusk and sunset are great times for photographers. Having a beach virtually to one’s self at this time of day is magic. This image was taken on the evening before bad weather closed in.
The West Coast of the South Island is rugged and, for the most part, remote. Truman Beach is only three kilometers from the very popular Punakaiki Rocks tourist spot. Whereas the lookout at the Punakaiki Rocks is busy at most times of the day, this tiny beach only a short drive north receives only a fraction of the number of visitors the “Pancake Rocks” at Punakaiki. The limestone formations and caves in the cliffs make the visit worthwhile. At one place a small waterfall drops to the pebble beach from a stream at the top of the cliff.
West Coast Sunset
Truman Beach is reached via the Truman Track which is 3 km north of Punakaiki on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It is a lovely isolated beach with limestone formations and caves. As the sun sets in the evening flocks of birds make their way to overnight nesting places. What a way to end a day!