After stopping at Lake Hayes just north east of Queenstown, it was quite by accident that we ended up the amazing Stoneridge Estate. Having wanted to visit a nice vineyard since I first came to New Zealand I couldn’t have picked a better one. They are mainly a wedding venue. In fact when we arrive there was a wedding happening in their small chapel. However we had a private wine tasting in a different building on the Estate. This old barrel was in the garden, which was beautiful.
Having photographed hundreds of flowers, in particular roses, I am often looking for something different. Some of the rose gardens around New Zealand have proved excellent for photo opportunities. Usually I tend to focus on bright or unusually coloured flowers. Here in the Wellington Botanic Garden I tried something different. The sun was shinning through gaps in the leaves of a tree. This caused the great lighting effect here. Showing parts of the flower lit up and parts in shadow.
Lavender has a great colour and fantastic smell in my opinion. Walking through Hamilton Gardens I came across this huge bed of the flowers. It must have been at least six to eight metres long. As a small flower, it is a challenge to photograph without a close up lens. Fortunately there were half a dozen very small white butterflies hovering around the flowers. Crouching low to the ground and zooming in I focused on one of these butterflies. Then fired off a few frames. Trying to capture it just above the flowers, to give the image a focal point.
Cascade Creek, on the drive down to Milford Sound is one of the best areas in New Zealand I have found for lupins. Hundreds of them line both banks of the creek. In this photograph I focused on a few large purple flowers illustrating the texture of the flower petals. At first I thought these for Fox Gloves. Clearly my knowledge of fauna and flora need to be improved.
Just south of Lake Gunn on the road to Milford Sound is Cascade Creek. This small but extremely clear river feeds into the Eglinton River. Either side there are large fields of wild lupins, as you can see on the opposite bank of the creek. The water is so fresh that I filled up my water bottle and drank it straight. It tasted the same as if I was swigging from a bottle of mineral water just out of the fridge.