Tautuku bay

Tautuku bay

Driving along the Chaslands Highway we came over a hill to see this coastal landscape. This is the view from Florence Hill Lookout. From here to the Tautuku Peninsula it’s about 2 kilometres. It’s the only place left on the east coast of the South Island where native forest fully covers a catchment from hill-tops to sea. The ancient forest with trees over 1,000 years old and grows right down to the seashore.

Purakaunui Bay Bach

Purakaunui Bay Bach

A Bach (pronounced ‘batch’) is a small, modest holiday home here in New Zealand. This photograph was taken in the far south where they’re sometimes called a crib. The bay is on the southern coast of the South Island about a two hour drive from Dunedin. This bach seemed to be empty when we were there. We’d stayed at the Purakaunui Bay campsite, which we had to ourselves. It was amazing to be able to camp right off the beach for $8 each. I’d expect this campsite would be much busier in summer. For the 12 hours we stayed here the only other person we saw was the Department of Conservation ranger. We also saw a large Sea Lion on the beach.

Sunset from Piha beach

Sunset from Piha beach

For this landscape, I walked right up to the edge of the water. This gives a closer view of the sun setting behind these jagged rocks. I find with landscape photography, I often shoot very wide views to try and capture everything I’m seeing. Like the previous photograph of Lion Rock at sunset from much further back up the beach. It’s often worth getting closer and focusing on specific details in a landscape. I much prefer this composition. Not just for the great colours in the sunset but also the textures and lines of the rocks and water.

Lion Rock at sunset

Lion Rock at sunset

Piha beach was one of the first coastal areas I visited in New Zealand. It is a winding but specular drive from Auckland and well worth the visit. The focal point of the beach is Lion Rock. It is about 100 metres but unsafe to climb right to the top. You can get about half way up, which I’ve done before but not on this visit. We were camping at the Piha Domain Camp Ground which was fantastic. This photograph was taken on an evening stroll along the beach at sunset. This is a black sand beach due to it being a volcanic area. In fact Lion Rock is the eroded neck of a volcano which erupted 16 million years ago.