All of those photos are shot on a Sony a7rII and ZEISS Loxia 35mm, 50mm & Batis 25mm
Kai Iwi Lakes
These lakes were one of the many places we visited on a whim, because of a sign that pointed to them. The area is so tranquil, I imagine we could have easily spent a whole week there, swimming, kayaking and trout fishing, or just lounging on the sandy beaches.
Giant Te Paki
As Chris and I were on the road up to Cape Reinga, he suddenly said “What’s Giant Te Paki?”. The recurring signs leading to it caught his attention, so on a whim we decided to follow them and find out. Several kilometres of gravel road later, we emerged at a sight even I had not expected to see in New Zealand. In front of us was what looked like a giant desert. It turns out Te Paki are giant sand dunes. So what next? Climb them of course. It was hard going and the sand was almost too hot to touch even though it was only a few hours past sunrise. At several points, we were so far into the dunes that we could only see sand and sky in all directions. At other times we were walking over rocks that looked something like the surface of Mars.
Eventually you drive so far north in New Zealand that there are no more towns (the last one was 100km ago), no more houses, no reception; no one really bothers to live somewhere that remote. There’s just bush and rolling hills, and one main highway meanders between views of the West coast and views of the East coast, until you can see both at the same time. Then you know you’ve arrived at Cape Reinga. We got to Cape Reinga at the same time as several tourist busses transporting a ton of tourists, which I found particularly odd as we hadn’t seen driven past more than 3 cars in the last 3 hours. Cape Reinga is where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean crash together. It has significance to Māori culture; Māori belief is that the spirits of the dead leap off the land and return to the underworld.
Bay of Islands
When it rains in New Zealand, it really rains. It’s as though the skies open up and pour buckets of water relentlessly until everything and everyone is soaked. Our Bay of Islands trip was dampened by this surprise downfall, which made us very glad to be sleeping in the SUV and not in a tent. At night we tucked ourselves up in a duvet listening to the rain and wind battering the car outside. During the day we donned our raincoats and trudged through the little townships despite the poor weather, enjoying moments of dryness inside quaint cafes and on the ferry ride between Paihia and Russell. It’s hard to believe that Russell, a small town of about 50 colonial style houses, was once New Zealand’s capital.