Making sense of my photography hobby in retirement


Now Closed … Sorry for any inconvenience

Matakana Market, Northland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Well, that’s what the sign said!  Clearly this wasn’t the case on the day of our visit to the Matakana Market.  Perhaps the sign had been turned around?

Matakana Market, Northland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

How about some organic beans, or spray-free tomatoes?  This is a farmers’ market afterall, and we have t cater for all tastes.

Matakana Market, Northland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Baby Royal Gala apples as well, you know, the ones on the bike! Or is the man on the bike chasing the apple? But, I’ll take some special capsicums, please. And is that pumpkin $4, or is it Number 84?

Market Minstrels

Because I haven’t had much time lately to get out and photograph anything, because of packing our house full of belongings into a storage unit, so I have revisited my library of images to get inspiration for posts.  The next few posts will contain images taken at the Matakana Market located about an hour’s drive north of Auckland.  The farmers’ market runs on Saturdays through the summer months and attracts large numbers of visitors from Auckland and the surrounding district, especially from the holiday homes at the nearby beaches.

One of the features of the market is the small group of musicians who play there during the opening hours to entertain shoppers. Occasionally they leave their “stand” and wander through the market. Here are a couple of images of the market minstrels.

Matakana Market, Northland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Free Range Eggs

Matakana Market, Northland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Evening Sky

Evening Light, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

There are some evenings when you just have to go for a walk. The day on which this image was taken had improved markedly after a late summer storm so we decided to take a walk around the rocks and along the base of the cliffs at the end of Takapuna Beach, near where we live.  An added incentive was the expected departure of a cruise ship from Auckland which carried some friends as passengers.  We hoped to watch the ship sail out through the channel that lies between the beach and nearby Rangitoto Island.  Fortunately the tide was well out that day, because after waiting until well after the expected departure (the ship didn’t sail because of engineering problems) we had to make our way back to the beach in far distance before the tide would force us ti climb over the rocks. As we turned to head home we were presented with this view to the Takapuna township and beach, and the evening sky reflected in the wet sand.

Purakaunui Falls Revisited

Some time ago I posted an image of the Purakaunui Falls that I took on a trip to the Catlins in the Southland region of the South Island of New Zealand.  That image was taken on my second visit to the falls, the first visit being when in the early 1980s we took our (then) three young sons on a touring holiday of the South Island.  Both visits were prompted by a photograph we had seen of the falls that appeared in a calendar, I think, which was taken by the well known New Zealand landscape and nature photographer Craig Potton. The striking thing to me back then was how Craig had captured a silky looking waterfall in his image.  At that time I had no idea how he had made the image, but over the years I too learned how it is done.

Since that first post I have been wanting to revisit the image and render it differently, and maybe add another view of the falls as well.  So, here is take two.

Purakaunui Falls, Catlins, Southland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Purakaunui Falls, Catlins, Southland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Explorer – Definitely not a do-up!

On the opposite coast and further north than Dargaville, that featured yesterday’s post, is the Manganui Harbour (or Harbor if you live in North America). On my morning walk on the day after finding the “do-up” at the Dargaville Museum I saw this beautiful craft being readied for the day’s voyage.

Explorer, Manganui Harbour, Northland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

The launch “Explorer” was immaculate, and the owner clearly very proud of his vessel. It had lovely classic lines and was painted in appropriate colors to match the style.  For me it was love at first sight!  The other more modern and “flasher” designs in the harbor didn’t stand a chance.  This was a vessel to be loved and cherished. It took all my efforts to drag myself away from admiring this thing of beauty.  I have no desire to own such a craft, but given half a chance I would leap at an opportunity to go aboard and take a cruise.  So much for dreaming.  It was nice while it lasted!

Do-up Job

Cutter, Dargaville Museum, Northland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Behind the pioneer museum in the Northland town of Dargaville is a yard that contains a number of projects awaiting attention.

The Dargaville Museum has exhibits that tell of how the district has developed through the years, from a 16 metre long pre-European Maori canoe through to the newly built replica gumdiggers camp, from shipwreck relics recovered from the coast to the masts of the ill-fated Greenpeace protest ship Rainbow Warrior. It makes for an interesting visit to get a flavor of the Northland district before venturing further north.

The “exhibit” that caught my attention though was the old working boat “Cutter”, clearly in need of a bit of TLC (tender loving care).  She looked quite forlorn sitting in the back lot among miscellaneous other discarded items.  For all that, she still had a worn dignity that comes from years of honest hard work.


The Karikari Peninsula is at the northern end of Doubtless Bay in the Northland region of New Zealand. Doubtless Bay was named by Captain James Cook who said, apparently, “Doubtless a bay” in 1769. It’s a large sweeping bay with a 14 km white sandy beach, a holiday makers’ and anglers’ paradise. The beach ends where the Karikari Peninsula begins.

Almost directly opposite and on the northern coast of the peninsula is a pimple of a mountain named Puheke. Because the surrounding area is flat, this tiny mountain takes some prominence in the landscape. The short climb to the top produces wonderful views of the surrounding area, including that of another sweeping white beach bordering Rangaunu Bay to the northwest. Appropriately, this is named Puheke Beach.

Puheke Beach, Karikari Peninsula, Northland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Puheke Beach

Mt Puheke, Karikari Peninsula, Northland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Mt Puheke, with trig station and a Maori carved wooden Pouwhenua (land post)

Close to the foot of Puheke is is the small reedy Lake Rotokawau.

Lake Rotokawau, Karikari Peninsula, Northland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

For years the Karikari Peninsula has been a favorite holiday spot for many New Zealand families who seek both beauty and solitude, with plenty of fishing, of course! During the 1950s and 60s many of the holiday “homes” were mere cottages, often unlined and without electricity, a connected water supply, or formal sewage system.  Tank water sometimes ran out in long hot summers and a new toilet pit had to be dug every few years, necessitating a moving of the “little house” to a new location.  That’s how it was when we first holidayed in “The Far North” in the early years of our married life. In more recent years the holiday home have acquired a few more comforts, along with electricity.