Wildlife at the Isle of May

During my one-day visit to the Isle of May, I had a chance to photograph a variety of wildlife. It was unfortunately too late in the breeding season for guillemots and razorbills, but I still saw plenty of kittiwakes, puffins, and grey seals.

Here are some of the wildlife highlights of the day.

An Island of Lighthouses

During my stay at St Andrews, I went on a daytrip to Anstruther and took the ferry to the Isle of May. It was a very sunny day, and although the light was not at its best, it was still a great opportunity to see some truly amazing vistas (including many lighthouses!) and photograph some wildlife along the way.

Here are some of my favourite images from the Isle of May, featuring the island’s incredible landscape.

St Andrews

I recently had the incredible opportunity to spend two weeks in St Andrews, in Scotland, as a participant in the first ever Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute. Naturally, I packed my camera bag and tragged all my equipment to the other side of the world.

This was my second visit to Scotland and although I only had a couple of photography opportunities in my spare time, it again surpassed all my expectations. Here are some of my photos from an evening out in the city of St Andrews.

Vianden

This is a more nostalgic blog post, with images taken a few years ago on my visit to Vianden, a charming town in Luxembourg, nearly on the border with Germany. The town is known for its 13th Century castle, built upon a hill. There is a chairlift taking visitors up to the castle, providing views of the town from above.

Here are some of my favourite images from many Summers ago, in this charming European town...

Te Pare Reserve & 309 Road

A great travel itinerary to the Coromandel should include both the Te Pare Reserve and 309 Road. The last day on our most recent roadtrip started with a purple sunrise at Te Pare Reserve and ended in the Waiau Falls and Waiau Kauri Tree Grove on 309 Road. This provided a wide array of landscapes within the same day - sea, forest, and waterfalls.

Below are some of my favourite images of this wide range of destinations. Enjoy!

Hot Water Beach

I did not expect much from Hot Water Beach, one of the destinations on our Coromandel trip, which made it all the better when the photos I took surpassed my expectations. These were taken on a beautiful morning, just after sunrise at the Te Pare Reserve.

The contrast between the clear green waters and orange sand dotted with geothermal pools is a truly unique sight. Here are some of my favourite images of this location.

Cathedral Cove

The next stop on the Coromandel roadtrip was the incredible Cathedral Cove. The winding walk down to the beach surrounded by rolling hills and lush farmland, and fantastic 360 degree views. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip, providing excellent photographic opportunities both from the ground and from the sky.

I will let the pictures speak for themselves, this was a truly spectacular location, even on a cloudy afternoon...

Karagahake Gorge

My joint new venture with my partner, Two Dusty Lenses, is a travel blog aimed at other adventurous photographers and videographers. To inaugurate the blog, we took a weekend trip to the Coromandel and surrounding areas, following our 2-day itinerary.

The first stop on the short roadtrip was the Karangahake Gorge. Unfortunately it was a very cloudy day, but even so it was a worthwhile stop. My favourite part was photographing the Owharoa Falls, both from the land and from the air. Enjoy!

Snowy Countryside

Following a snowy morning in Lake Tekapo, our short South Island roadtrip ended with a long drive back to Christhurch through the countryside. We stopped several times along the way to photograph the snow-covered pastures.

Over the next few months I will be returning to New Caledonia and spending two weeks in St Andrews, in Scotland. More photos coming soon!

Snow at Lake Tekapo

The next day at Lake Tekapo proved to be a lucky one: we woke up at 5am to find that the town was covered in deep, fluffy snow. We headed out before sunrise to catch The Church of the Good Shepherd in the snow, and captured some aerial photography in the surrounding area.

The change of weather was a pleasant surprise. Over the span of three days, we had a beautiful purple sunset, followed by an almost-clear starry sky, and a snowy morning.

Mount Cook National Park

Our visit to Mount Cook National Park was an unlucky one, as the weather changed dramatically from the previous day and Mount Cook was nowhere to be seen. Nevertheless, the views from the Hooker Valley Track and Tasman Glacier Walk were still breathtaking.

Here are some of my favourite images from a very cloudy day at Mount Cook.

The Church of the Good Shepherd

Following a visit to Arthur's Pass, we drove to Lake Tekapo, arriving just in time for sunset. As the sun sets on the opposite side of the lake in Autumn, we were left with a beautiful purple sky over The Church of the Good Shepherd. We also waited for nightfall to attempt some evening photographs, and although the skies clouded over, there were still quite a few stars to be seen.

Return to Arthur's Pass

After working with the kea at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve earlier this year, I had the chance to take a short roadtrip through some nearby locations in the South Island of New Zealand.

The first stop was a return visit to Arthur's Pass National Park, where we photographed the fantastic landscapes and encountered some wild kea.

Here are some of my favourite images of our day at Arthur's Pass.

There and Back Again: Hobbiton

The final stop on our North Island Roadtrip was Hobbiton, the movie set used in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (and subsequently in The Hobbit trilogy) directed by Peter Jackson.

As a huge Tolkien fan, this was something I was incredibly excited about. Walking through Hobbiton was a magical experience, taking me right back to the fantastical stories of Middle Earth. The tour (the only way to visit this location) was unfortunately very rushed and not particularly interesting (I didn't learn much), so I wish I could have visited of my own accord or at least had longer to walk through the scenery.

Even so, I did come out of it with some lovely photos.

Te Waihou Walkway

On the way back up from Tongaporutu, we stayed in Hamilton. We visited the Te Waihou Walkway. Never before had I seen such a brightly coloured green and blue landscape. The luscious forest, cut by the river with one of the purest waters in New Zealand, was a surreal sight.

The aerial images really showcase the beauty of this location which, understandably, is sacred to the Maori people.

Tongaporutu: Three Sisters and Elephant Rock

Tongaporutu was one of the highlights of our North Island roadtrip. Although Elephant Rock was destroyed prior to our visit, the rock formations were still absolutely spectacular.

We visited on two separate evenings for sunset, and the light was always soft and golden. It was surprising to have the beach all to ourselves on one occasion, suggesting this is a very underappreciated location in the North Island.

Here are only a few of my favourite images of this location, some of which were taken from a drone.

New Plymouth

New Plymouth is the home of the famous Mount Taranaki. On a clear day, it can be seen from most parts of the city. We decided to make the short hike up from Lake Mangamahoe, where we could photograph it from the land and air.

That evening, we also went to the Festival of Lights in Pukekura Park, which happens every Summer between December and February. It's a really lovely walk around the small park, which is completely transformed at night by all the colourful lights.

Wild Wairarapa

Cape Palliser is the home to a fantastic fur seal colony, besides its beautiful lighthouse. During our stay in Masterton, we spent an afternoon here with the seals. You can get really up close to them without stressing them, allowing for really great photo opportunities.

Here are some of my favourite images of these beautiful animals.

The Lighthouses of Wairarapa

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We drove down from Napier to the vinyard region of Wairarapa. We stayed from Masterton, from which we explored the neighbouring towns such as Greytown and Martinborough.

As most other vinyard regions, this was a place with fantastic landscapes and incredible food. It was a nice relaxing place to spend the New Years'.

One of the highlights of this region are the beaches and rugged coastline.

We visited two lighthouses in Wairarapa, Castlepoint Lighthouse and Cape Palliser. Here are my favourite images of these two locations, both from land and from air.

Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre

The Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre is located in the region of Wairarapa. It houses a wide range of native New Zealand birds, including the rare kokako and takahe. It was a lovely afternoon stop on a cloudy day.

Here are some images of the New Zealand fauna which can be seen at the sanctuary.