This unusual building is the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Māori Art Gallery. It was designed by artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser in 1993. After years on rejections it was approved in 2015 then finally opened in 2022. Driving north from Auckland to the Bay of Islands you pass through the centre of New Zealand’s northernmost city, Whangārei. We hadn’t planned to stop but knew we needed to photograph this amazing building on our way back to Auckland a few days later. At first I thought the gold dome was a qubba which can sometimes be found on the top of mosques. When getting closer it’s not a mosque or a dome. The walls on the outside feature black and white mosaic tiles. Due to time constraints we weren’t able to explore the inside. Next time I visit this part of New Zealand I plan to stay a night or two in Whangārei. To spend more time exploring the art centre and photographing it a dawn and dusk.
Between November and February lupins bloom across the central South Island of New Zealand. This was my first time capturing them on the banks of Lake Tekapo. This rainbow palette of flowers attracts thousands of tourists to the area. It is said this was thanks to a farmer’s wide who thought the region could do with a bit more colour. Sadly these wildflowers are an invasive weed that has a negative effect on native plants, birds and other wildlife. I first remember seeing them growing on the side of Milford Road. In some areas there are thousands of these flowers carpeting the landscape.
The MacLaren Footbridge is a great way to walk from the Lake Tekapo to the famous Church of the Good Shephard. A couple of years ago I took a great photograph of this bridge at night. Here in the daytime I walked down to the waters edge. This is the Tekapo River and under the bridge you can see the tiny church in the distance. Off to the left is the lake itself. I think that include a person walking across the bridge gives it some scale. The bridge is 125 metres long and a couple of metres wide. It was opened in 2015 and a brilliant addition to one of my favourite places in the South Island of New Zealand.v
Cromwell’s Heritage Precinct is full of charming old buildings that date back to the 1860’s gold rush in Central Otago. I’d never been to Cromwell until recently but would be keen to go back. The construction of the Clyde Dam created Lake Dunstan, which consumed part of the old Cromwell town. Some of the historic buildings were saved or rebuilt to create the heritage precinct. Just out of frame to the left as I took this photograph is the banks of the Clutha River – Mata-Au. Scott’s Bakery is on 71 Melmore Terrace and today is Hullabaloo Artspace. A collective of 15 local artists.