Twice in the last six months I’ve had occasion to revisit Christchurch, a city that was badly torn apart by the major earthquakes that started in September 2010. Because of work commitments, I initially visited a great deal in the two years immediately following the major earthquakes. And sadly the smoothing out of buckled streets, the clearing away of endless mounds of rubble, and the repair and/or reconstruction of damaged buildings seemed to be taking an inordinate amount of time. But on these last two visits, it seems that the rebuilding of the city is at last turning a corner – lots still to do, but much has been accomplished, and some of that redoubtable old Canterbury style is once again clearly in evidence. Continue reading
A day trip to Blue Lake
In an earlier post, I described the first two days of a six-day trip that we did in the Nelson Lakes National Park – the Travers Sabine circuit. An outbreak of wet weather had reduced options for photography with the spectacular high peaks of the Travers Range mostly obscured by low cloud. However, after two fairly hard days making our way over the Travers Saddle to the West Sabine Hut, we had an easier day planned with a day trip up to Blue Lake, a spectacular glacial lake in a high basin in the west branch of the Sabine River. After rain through much of the night, we woke to heavy cloud hanging in the valley, but set out in the hope that conditions might improve.
The week before Christmas is one of my favourite times to head into the hills – missing the peak frenzy of the commercial madness that breaks out at this time of year, and getting in ahead of the crowded back-country huts post-Christmas when many folk head off into the back-country for some recovery. This year we decided to head to Nelson Lakes National Park and do the Travers-Sabine circuit – a six-day walk I last did 40-something years ago at the tender age of 17. This would be a revisit of the same route, travelling from Saint Arnaud on the shores of Lake Rotoiti up the Travers River to the Upper Travers Hut, crossing over the Travers Saddle into the upper Sabine where we would stay two nights at the West Sabine Hut, before travelling downstream to the Sabine Hut on the shores of Lake Rotoroa. The next part of the route would be the hardest – a 1300 m climb up over Mount Cedric into Angelus Basin where we planned to tent for the night; the final day would take us along Robert Ridge and back to Saint Arnaud. My two sons were also keen to join us on the trip – their first time on a multi-day trip of such length. Continue reading
Although I’ve now had my Sony A7R for nearly two months, this last weekend provided one of the best opportunities that I’ve had to to give it an extended try out in field conditions. We stayed the weekend at Bowentown, a small township on the Bay of Plenty coast, just south of Waihi Beach, spending several hours walking along the coast in front of the camp-ground, and then north of Waihi Beach along the track to Orokawa and Homunga Bays. The weather was scratchy, with strong winds, grey overcast and some rain, but it was great to be out with an opportunity to see what this camera could do.