Making sense of my photography hobby in retirement

Posts tagged “Waitemata Harbour

Fly Me to the Moon …

Parapenting, Kennedy Park, Castor Bay, Auckland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

… Let me swing among those stars

Let me see what spring is like

On Jupiter and Mars

In other words …

These words from the 1954  Bart Howard song made famous by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and many others came to mind when I watched this parapenter seem to soar towards the moon at Kennedy Park on Auckland’s North Shore last week.

I first saw another parapenter riding the thermal air currents off the cliffs with Rangitoto Island, the major landmark at the entry to Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, in the background.  Minutes later he joined the moon flyer to circle and swoop above the cliffs.

Parapenting, Kennedy Park, Castor Bay, Auckland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012


Grey Dawn

Rangitoto Grey Dawn, Auckland, New Zealand, Copyright Chris Gregory 2009

Rangitoto Grey Dawn

Rangitoto Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf can be seen from many parts of the city. This volcanic cone guards the entrance to the Waitemata Harbour and all shipping entering the harbour passes through the channel seen in this view.  The mood of the island changes throughout the day and with the weather.  This image was taken just before 8.00 am on an early spring morning in 2009. The clouds reflect the changeable weather we have in Auckland at that time of the year.

Sweet Heritage

An icon of Auckland’s industrial heritage is located on the north shore of the Waitemata Harbour at Birkenhead. Established in 1884, the New Zealand Sugar Company’s “Chelsea” sugar works has long been a notable Auckland landmark with its distinctive colonial architecture.

When I was a child our family used to travel by launch from the steps near Auckland’s Ferry Building to Herald Island in the upper reaches of the Waitemata Harbour to visit my grandparents.  The launch would stop at all of the small wharves and landings along the northern side of the harbour.  Soon after leaving the Birkenhead Wharf the launch would motor past the “Chelsea Sugar Works” where usually there was  a “sugar boat” from Australia tied up to discharge its cargo.  This was always a fascination to a young boy from the new suburbs of South Auckland.

Today the sugar works lie in a beautiful park that was once part of the refinery complex.  Over the years the Victorian refinery has been added to and modernised, but the essence of the original architecture is still evident.

Tower - Chelsea Surgar Refinery, Birkenhead, Auckland

Tank - Chelsea Surgar Refinery, Birkenhead, Auckland

Chelsea Sugar Refinery - Established 1884

My Auckland

For most of my life I have lived on the North Shore of Auckland.  I attended university in Auckland and worked in the city for nearly all of my working life. But the North Shore is my home.

This morning I visited North Head, a headland in Devonport on the north shore of the Waitemata Harbour, around which all shipping entering the harbour must pass.  I was there to  photograph a car that I’m selling for one of my sons.  Having completed that duty I went to one of my favourite viewing areas which looks across Devonport to New Zealand’s largest city. There is a distinct contrast between the village nature of tranquil Devonport and the hustle and bustle of corporate Auckland City and its iconic Sky Tower. Tourists visiting Auckland “escape” to Devonport to browse the galleries, antiquarian bookshops and to sample the offerings of an eclectic choice of cafes.

I captured this image at about 8.30 am, at the start of a beautiful hot summer’s day.

Sony Alpha DSLR – A200, 1/250 sec, F11, ISO 100, Sigma DC 18-200mm lens at 60mm