Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand, Take Two

with 28 comments

On February 5th we drove the two-and-a-half hours from Austin to Houston and caught a non-stop Air New Zealand flight to Auckland. After landing on the morning of February 7th, we picked up a rental car that I ended up driving an exhausting 7343 km (4563 miles) before turning it back in on March 9th. Over the next however many posts you’ll see photographs from our second New Zealand visit, mixed in with views of what’s happening in springtime Texas and perhaps even a few holdovers from the great Southwest trip last fall.

The first place in New Zealand where I stopped to take pictures on February 7th was the Uretiti Beach Campsite in Waipu, where I looked eastward at the aquamarine water of Bream Bay and Taranga Island rising out of it.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 13, 2017 at 4:58 AM

28 Responses

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  1. I love New Zealand. I went in December last year.


    March 13, 2017 at 5:06 AM

    • What parts of the country did you visit and what things did you like the most?

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 13, 2017 at 9:28 AM

      • I went to the south and north island although I spent most time on the former. I like the south island the most, especially around Abel Tasman Park as it gave me a caribbean feel and we had lots of sunshine while I was there.


        March 13, 2017 at 1:25 PM

        • Sunshine makes a lot of difference in a country as rainy as New Zealand. We had rain in the early and late parts of our trip. In fact we got so much rain a couple of days before the end that the two roads off the Coromandel Peninsula closed and we had to spend an extra day. We worried we might miss our flight out of Auckland but did manage to make it.

          On our first trip we ran short of time and managed to spend only 6 days on the South Island. This time we made up for that by spending 13 days there and pushing all the way to the southern end of the island.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 13, 2017 at 2:38 PM

          • We had a lot of rain too and were not able to go to Kaikoura due to the earthquake last year. So I have to go back 🙂


            March 13, 2017 at 3:44 PM

            • Similarly, we couldn’t go the easy way from Christchurch to Blenheim through Kaikoura but had to spend a couple of extra hours on the longer route through Lewis Pass. We almost couldn’t even do that because forest fires the night before we traveled temporarily closed that route. If the fires had continued a little longer, we would have had to go all the way to the west side of the South Island before traveling northwest toward Blenheim.

              Steve Schwartzman

              March 13, 2017 at 5:38 PM

              • Wow, that area has suffered a long time already. Am wondering how the wildlife is doing in that area.


                March 13, 2017 at 6:08 PM

                • I suspect that wildlife remained largely unaffected. The fires covered a rather small area, but they burned right up to the side of the road, which is why authorities had to close the highway.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  March 13, 2017 at 6:51 PM

                • I meant Kaikoura. That is still closed off?


                  March 14, 2017 at 6:42 AM

                • Yes, the coast road to Kaikoura is still closed. I heard speculation that it might reopen in the latter part of 2017 but that the railroad line would take longer to reopen.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  March 14, 2017 at 7:27 AM

  2. I’m amazed you drove that far. Lots of things to see! I look forward to photos.


    March 13, 2017 at 6:51 AM

    • With gasoline costing three times as much in New Zealand as in Austin, I’m amazed I drove so much, too. We went as far in one direction as Cape Reinga at the northern end of North Island, and as far in the other direction as Bluff at the southern end of South Island. With just a few exceptions, highways over there have only one lane in each direction. Occasionally there’s temporarily an extra lane for passing, but I had to do lots of passing the old-fashioned way, zooming past a slow vehicle when there was a lull in oncoming traffic.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 13, 2017 at 9:36 AM

  3. I shall look forward to your NZ road-trip. Did you hire a motorhome then? Or stay in B&Bs, motels etc. I’d love to do a long trip over there.


    March 13, 2017 at 1:23 PM

    • For the first third of the trip we stayed in Paihia (Northland) with Eve’s niece, whose wedding we attended. After that it was hotels, a couple of apartments, and a couple of B&Bs, along with two nights spent with Gallivanta in Christchurch.

      New Zealand would be a great place for you to visit. I hope you’ll get/make the opportunity.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 13, 2017 at 2:33 PM

      • As I have said before (but it’s worth repeating) I am so glad you came for a second visit. Hope you get a chance for rest before your next road-trip. US driving will seem a pleasure after your NZ experiences.


        March 15, 2017 at 5:51 AM

        • Likewise, we’re so glad we were able to visit you for a second time.

          Our next trip will be toward the end of April, when we drive to Kansas City for the wedding of a former student of mine. We attended his sister’s wedding southeast of Houston two years ago and took advantage of the location to meet Shoreacres.

          After driving over 5000 miles in NZ, I keep having to remind myself which side of the streering wheel the turn signal is on, and which side the windshield wipers are on.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 15, 2017 at 9:10 AM

          • Apparently challenging ourselves to use opposing hands to do tasks is good for our minds; perhaps the same applies to driving.


            March 15, 2017 at 6:56 PM

            • If so, then I’ve benefited greatly over the past five weeks.

              Steve Schwartzman

              March 15, 2017 at 7:27 PM

              • I expect you have. The expression ‘travel broadens the mind’ may actually be a literal one. That may be a scientific study for someone; measuring a brain before and after challenging travel to see if there are any changes.


                March 15, 2017 at 8:54 PM

                • My mind may have benefited but my body is still exhausted and hasn’t fully adjusted to Austin’s time zone.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  March 15, 2017 at 8:57 PM

  4. Interesting shape and I love the color play on that water. Is it from the sky or reflection from the island?


    March 13, 2017 at 10:23 PM

    • I think the sky determined the colors in the water. We later took a ferry from the North Island to the South Island on a mostly overcast day and the water was dull by comparison to what you see in this picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 13, 2017 at 11:21 PM

  5. The striations in the water are so lovely — as pretty as the colors. That thin, dark blue line at the horizon almost seems to have been drawn, it’s so straight. It’s a nice dividing line between water and sky.

    I confess when I first saw this on Monday morning, I thought, “This hazy view could be a perfect representation of time change meets jet lag.”


    March 14, 2017 at 4:12 PM

    • New Zealand’s waters impressed me on the first trip and did so again on the second trip (what else would a land-locked Austinite say?). The striations you mentioned contributed to my re-appreciation of the sea down there.

      Jet lag is still with us, exacerbated by the extra hour of Daylight Saving Time (making a six-hour difference). From here to Australasia has always proved easy; the other way has always been hard. Yes, the haze is a good representation of what our mental state has sometimes been over these past few days.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 14, 2017 at 5:54 PM

  6. Steve .. Wonderful pic. You drove that far? Oh my, amazing! I am looking forward to seeing your photos 😃


    March 17, 2017 at 3:43 PM

    • Yes, we traveled that far, and we’re still exhausted a week after getting back home. Stay tuned for plenty more NZ pictures in the days to come.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 17, 2017 at 4:03 PM

  7. Now here are some blues that chase the blues away. Lovely shot!

    Susan Scheid

    March 26, 2017 at 6:04 PM

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