Making sense of my photography hobby in retirement

Posts tagged “Dunedin

Musseled Espresso

I’ve been searching back catalogues of images as recently I haven’t had much opportunity to shoot new ones.  Packing up a house ready for a move has rather taken over my time in the past two weeks.  However, in a bit of space in my schedule today I found some images taken on an afternoon trip to Aramoana in August last year while filling in time between hospital  visits with my wife after her accident.

The return journey brought me back through Port Chalmers, the principal port for the City of Dunedin.  The Port Chalmers township consists of a short strip of low-rise  shops, offices and pubs on the main road that leads to the port. It has that gritty feel to it which many port areas seem to acquire. By the time I drove back through the town my stomach was telling me it was time to stop and find something to eat.  The only option available was the grandly named Port Royale Cafe situated in a narrow three story building, the window of which was emblazoned with the seal of “Musseled Espresso”.

Port Royale Cafe, Musseled Espresso, Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

Port Royale Cafe, Musseled Espresso, Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2013

This visit proved that one shouldn’t judge an establishment by it’s surroundings. Inside the cafe exuded a comfortable “lived-in” ambiance with a modern cafe overlay.  Even at 4.oo pm the food selection was still good, and the coffee very acceptable.  In one corner a port worker sipped his coffee while reading the newspaper, in another a group of local ladies chatted around a table near the window.

I liked the look and feel of the place, and it certainly set me up for the next hospital visit.


Nugget Point Light

Nugget Point Light, Catlins, Southland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2010

One of the most popular places to visit in the Catlins region between Dunedin and Invercargill in New Zealand’s South Island is Nugget Point. A walk to the lighthouse which was constructed here in 1870  from rock quarried nearby yields spectacular views of the rugged coast that caused a number of shipwrecks in this country’s early settler days.  In 1989, along with all other lighthouses around the New Zealand coast, it was automated.


Poles, St Clair Beach, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012


This is another image in my series taken at dusk of the sand control poles at St Clair Beach, Dunedin. A previous image in the series can be seen here.

A Bit of China

Gateway, Chinese Garden, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Although Dunedin was founded by settlers who were predominantly Scottish in origin and is known as the “Edinburgh of the South”, another ethnic group that played a significant part in Otago history was the Chinese.  As in most settler countries that experienced big “gold rushes” in the nineteenth century, people from China were part of the ethnic mix of people chasing the allure of the yellow metal. It was also common at that time for European settlers to have a deep suspicion, even hatred, of the Chinese migrants, who were segregated, taxed excessively, denied status in the community, and consigned to menial work.  But these people were resourceful.  They came from a place where they knew real hunger and hardship and were looking for the better life that a fortune in gold could provide.  The gold was, as usual, harder to find that everyone had hoped and many of the gold-seekers moved on the the next big find to try their luck there. Like others in the gold rush communities, some of the Chinese settlers saw opportunities to grow and sell food, provide laundry facilities and trade in other goods  needed by the miners. As time moved on attitudes changed and the Chinese settlers gained more rights and became integrated into the community, but still retained their cultural roots.

As a fitting, permanent, recognition of the Chinese people who first came to Otago during the 1860s gold rush and stayed to establish some of the city’s businesses, the Dunedin Chinese Garden Trust developed a yuanlin style garden in Dunedin which was opened in 2008. The garden has become an important attraction in Dunedin.

Framed, Chinese Garden, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Tea House, Chinese Garden, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Tea House

Red, Chinese Garden, Dunedin, Otago. New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012


Courtyard, Chinese Garden, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Pavilion and Pond, Chinese Garden, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Pavilion and Pond

Queen Anne

Queen Anne, Stained Glass, Dunedin, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

When I was a child in the early 1950’s it was a luxury to to have a box of Queen Anne chocolates in the home.  Times were still tough after the end of World War 2 and money was short in many households as returning soldiers retrained into civilian jobs, got married and started families.  This was the period of the post-war baby boom.

Queen Anne chocolates were manufactured in Wellington and sold throughout New Zealand by Adams Bruce Limited, a company started  by Christchurch bakery and confectionery makers Ernest Adams and Hugh Bruce in 1920.  In the 1930’s my late mother used to work in an Adams Bruce shop in Auckland. Queen Anne chocolates were considered to be among the best you could get at the time.  The image of Queen Anne appeared in stained glass as part of the shop front decoration, and also as a key image on the front of chocolate boxes.

Queen Anne, Stained Glass, Dunedin, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Most shop fronts like this one disappeared from the 1960’s onwards as old shops were renovated and plate glass frontages became the norm.  It was a great surprise therefore to find this original frontage on George Street in Dunedin during a recent visit.  Although the shop has been converted to another use, the period decoration still retains it’s original charm.

On a historical note, Queen Anne chocolates went out of production in 1976 when Ernest Adams Limited rationalised its business and the Wellington factory was closed down.  In 1997 the brand was resurrected by Sarah Adams, granddaughter of Ernest Adams, and this great New Zealand chocolate icon reappeared in the shops.

No Peeking

No Peeking, Early Settlers Museum, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

No Peeking

What do you do when there’s a sign that says “Keep off the Grass”?  You don’t see many of them these days, but human nature (such as it is) causes many to take a quick look around, and then proceed to “walk  ….”.  That’s what made this sign so interesting.  The Otago Settlers Museum is currently undergoing a major renovation and management clearly understands human nature.  Characters depicted in the sign reflect the changing face of Dunedin, and its Scottish heritage.

The museum is housed in an Art Deco era building, formerly the Dunedin terminus for NZR Road Services buses which used to connect main city railway stations to the scattered small towns and settlements throughout the region.  There was also an inter-city service that could be used as an alternative to travel by train.  As passenger train services became less frequent, the bus services became more important.  The terminal building was built in 1939 at the height of the period when NZRRS provided a vital link to small town and rural New Zealand.  At that time car ownership was limited and roads were more primitive than they are today. That was  the world of my childhood.

Today NZRRS has morphed into Intercity Coachlines which still continues some of the original services, as well as newer ones designed to meet modern requirements.

Funk That

Funk That, George Street, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Funk That

That’s what I thought too, until I re-read the sign!  This rather alternative shop is at the northern or university end of George Street, the main shopping street in Dunedin.  It’s here that the cheap eating  restaurants are found.  On Friday and Saturday nights you have to be in early at some of the more popular places before the student crowds hit town for a night out.

Settled by Scottish people, Dunedin is often referred to as the “Edinburgh of the South”. It gets pretty cold here in winter and students at Otago University wrap up in woolen scarfs, usually in the colours of the local provincial rugby team or their favourite beer brand.  Whenever the Otago team plays at home the “scarfies” turn out in force to support them and make their presence known.

Aramoana Revisited

Aramoana Road Sign, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012


Ask any Kiwi (New Zealander) of a certain age about Aramoana and a veil of sadness will descend across their faces as they remember the tragic day in 1990 when a lone gunman shot dead 13 local people, then himself at this small fishing and holiday settlement.  Memory of the tragedy will forever be part of the history of this place on a lovely sandy spit at the entrance to the Otago Harbour.

Aramoana is the home of some 26o permanent residents and is 27  km from the centre of the City of Dunedin, past Port Chalmers on the northern side of the harbour.  At weekends and holiday times Dunedin people escape from the city to the quiet of the seaside where they can relax, fish, or walk on the sandy beaches, or on the 1,200 m sand control Mole opposite Taiaroa Head at the harbour entrance.  It was here that I traveled one morning for a few hours of respite when my wife was receiving treatment for a serious fracture in Dunedin Hospital before her transfer to Auckland.

This post has more than the usual number of images as I wanted to give a feeling for what Aramoana is about.  Click on the images for a larger view. This post replaces one that was accidentally deleted earlier today.

Aramoana Beach, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Aramoana Beach

Aramoana Lifestyle, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Aramoana Lifestyle

Caravan, Aramoana, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Forlorn and Almost Forgotten

High and Dry, Fishing Boat, Aramoana, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

High and Dry

Aramoana Mole, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Aramoana Mole

Old Wooden Structure, Aramoana, Mole, Otago Harbour, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Old Wooden Structure, Aramoana, Mole, Otago Harbour, New Zealand

Heritage Saved

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Dunedin Railway Station

Dunedin was linked to Christchurch in the north by rail in 1878, with a link south to Invercargill completed the following year. Designed by George Troup and opened in 1906, the station pictured above is the fourth building to have served as Dunedin’s railway station, and replaced a simple weatherboard “temporary” structure that was built next to the present site in 1884. At that time the city of Dunedin was an important commercial and industrial centre close to still-active gold and coalfields, and was surrounded by a hinterland that was dependent on both livestock and forestry for its economy. For a time this was New Zealand’s busiest railway station, handling up to 100 trains per day.

Improved road transport lead to a decline in the use of rail and the only regular train service that uses the station today is  the Otago Excursion Train Trust’s Taieri Gorge Railway tourist train that runs to Middlemarch in Central Otago.  The station is now owned by Dunedin City Council and houses a restaurant,  the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame and the Otago Art Society.

Dunedin Railway Station Atrium, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Atrium – Dunedin Railway Station

The Dunedin Railway station is a must-see place to visit to gain a glimpse of a time when rail was king and an essential part of the economic infrastructure of the country.  The attention to detail that was a feature of government and civil architecture at the time provides quite a contrast to modern architectural styles.

Dunedin Railway Station Floor Tiles, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Dunedin Railway Station Floor Tiles

Three Birds on a Bridge

Iron Railway Bridge, Dunedin, Seagulls, Pedestrian, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Three Birds on a Bridge

While my wife was in hospital in Dunedin having her leg mended I had plenty of time on my hands between visits.  Dunedin is a fascinating city to visit to get a glimpse of late nineteenth and early twentieth  architecture when it was in its heyday.  One of the city’s most iconic buildings is the railway station, and it was there that I ventured on one of my exploratory visits.  Beside the station is an iron pedestrian bridge over the railway lines.  At the top of the steps leading to the crossing this view caught my fancy and I just had to capture it.

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Mt Taranaki, Mt Egmont, Taranaki, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Mt Taranaki, New Zealand

Bad things don’t stay bad forever.  After twelve days in hospital, that included surgery to “repair” her leg that was fractured in a skiing accident, my wife was transferred to another hospital in Auckland for continued monitoring and treatment.  As she was “well enough” to fly on a commercial flight she was sent on her way with an escort (me).  The ninety minute flight from Dunedin travels north along the eastern side of the Southern Alps, giving views of Aoraki (Mt Cook – 3,754 m) and other significant peaks, before crossing Cook Strait to the North Island and passing east of Taranaki (Mt Egmont) to Auckland.  The above image of snow-capped Taranaki (2,518 m) through a hole in the clouds was a real bonus. Had we returned to Auckland as originally planned this view would have been obscured by bad weather.

Poles Apart

Poles Apart, Sand Control Poles, St Clair Beach, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Sand Control Poles, St Clair Beach, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

These poles on St Clair Beach in Dunedin were designed to control the movement of sand along the beach during heavy weather.  Like many other control systems of its type, locals say that it was never successful and that a similar set of poles along the beach were removed some years ago.

This image was taken at dusk which accounts for the pink shading in the sky.

Life can change in a split second

Rescue Helicopter, Cardrona Resort Ski Field, Otrago, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Lift Off

This isn’t the greatest photo, is was taken with my mobile phone to record an intermediate step in a day that started out great but  suddenly changed direction.  While dismounting a chairlift at Cardrona Resort skifield near Wanaka in Central Otago, New Zealand, my wife fell and badly fractured her left leg.  This required a 45 minute rescue helicopter ride to hospital in Dunedin.  On board was another skier from the Snow Park across the Cardrona Valley (you can see it in the distance) with a fracture on his right leg in the same place! Needless to say, this has caused a major rearrangement of our lives for the next few weeks as she recovers from a pinning operation and gets used to moving around on crutches. Our special thanks go to the Cardrona Ski Patrol and Westpac Helicopter crew from Dunedin, as well as the staff and doctors at Dunedin Hospital.

It all goes to show, it doesn’t matter what type of camera you have with you, even a humble mobile phone, you can still capture the moment.