Tuesday, May 10, 2016

New Zealand's South Island

Photography is a wonderful pastime. With a bit of equipment and free time you can explore and create worlds of entirely new images. Heck, you can create new images without setting foot outdoors, not to mention what you can do in software.

Landscape photography, on the other hand, pretty much requires getting out and going to the places you'd like to capture. If you can combine a love of landscape shooting with some wanderlust, you're a lucky shutterbug. I felt lucky indeed to spend time on New Zealand's South Island, more than 9,000 miles from home and surrounded by scenic riches.

South Island's western coast is marked by steep green hillsides and rocky outcrops. At Punakaiki are the Pancake Rocks, formed by the differential weathering and erosion of thinly layered limestone into stacks, blow holes and surge pools. 

West Coast of South Island

Pancake Rocks

Towers at Pancake Rocks
Near the coast in the Southern Alps is the Franz Josef Glacier. It has advanced and receded often in historical times but has been receding since 2008. It ends about 12 miles from the Tasman Sea. A hike up its rock-strewn valley was exhilarating and eye-opening.

Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier terminus

Waiho River below glacier
Braided rivers are common in New Zealand. We saw them on the North and South Islands, and not just where glaciers are feeding them large amounts of sediment.

Waimakariri (?) River, a braided channel

Further inland is Queenstown on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, a big beautiful lake surrounded by striking mountains. 

Lake Wakatipu and Walter Peak, from Bob's Peak
Cecil Peak and Lake Wakatipu
And there's more: the fjord known as Milford Sound. It deserves it's own posting so I'll end this one here.


  1. Replies
    1. Hello "Unknown". I shot more pictures of wildlife in Australia than in New Zealand. The Aussies seem to have an edge in charismatic megafauna, and some of them (possums, for one) are considered serious pests in New Zealand. Thanks for your comment, and if you'd like, please respond with a name so I know to whom I'm writing.