Continued from March 19th.
Sunrise on lake Rotoiti was gorgeous. To get the foreground I wanted, I waded in the freezing cold creek and my exposures were so long that it felt like my feet were becoming glacial rock. Shortly after sunrise, my camera reported that there had been an SD card error- I still have not been able to retrieve those sunrise images I suffered for. 😦
I drove northwest, through more mountains and valleys and narrow roads, to the north coast of the south island, a national park called Abel Tasman. I stopped at a wool farm/tea shop that wasn’t in a town; just a small local business that also sold Real Fruit Ice Cream, which is a delicious thing. I also stopped at a lookout point and saw many fascinating rocks, with Maori legend claiming that the rocks are scales from an evil Taniwa (spirit) that went there to die after being set on fire by angry villagers because he imprisoned their princess.
You can purchase prints of these images here!
I took a detour down to the Abel Tasman coast for lunch, and it was stunningly gorgeous. Blue skies, white clouds, golden brown sand, bright green turquoise waters. This panorama is 5 horizontal images.
I left the coastline for an hour’s hike to Wainui falls, the least spectacular waterfall I was to see the whole trip. The walk was lovely, if stiflingly hot.
The rest of my drive was long and uneventful, as I went all the way to the top left corner of the south island to Wharariki beach in Golden Bay. Part of the walk to the beach was through paddocks of sheep, so small stairs had been erected over the fences for humans to use.. it was hard to believe that the sheep were dumb enough to not comprehend stairs. The beach was awesome! Amazing! Beautiful! Shifting dunes, late afternoon light, sand patterns.
The highlight was the mirror reflections of the famous Archway Islands, giant offshore rocks with arches- one of my must-see places for NZ. There was unlimited photo material, and again I pushed my luck too far and got swamped by waves (yes.. more than once. I don’t learn.) Almost up to my waist sometimes.
There were caves on the beach and infinite places to explore. The golden light on the arches just before sunset was fantastic.
Looking towards the sunset garnered these views- I love these clouds!
On the return walk, I saw 25-30 seal pups playing in a tide pool together. They came so close, you could reach out and touch them- but it was best to watch them jump and play in the dusk. Amazing.