5 Days, 4 Nights In Wellington.

Wellington City

Day 5 – I’d spent the previous night enjoying the sights and sounds of Courtney Place. Earlier in the day I had enjoyed a delicious and wonderful lunch at Mr Go’s. Having been to Mr Go’s on previous trips, and with less than 24 hours left in the city, I simply had to enjoy the Asian Fusion Restaurant before I left. My taste buds had drawn me to the mouth wateringly good Pork Belly Bao Bun and Pork Dumplings. Now, many hours later I found myself sitting in a bar called the Welsh Dragon with my stomach hungry for food. Approaching the Welsh Dragon, I had initially thought it was a deserted building in the middle of a median strip. But, it turned out to be an old historic public toilet that has been converted into possibly the most laid back and down to earth pub in the whole CBD. There were no fancy flashing lights, drums hanging from the ceiling or large neon lights that were accompanied with extremely loud music. It was a friendly, hospitable pub, no more than that. I felt at home instantly.

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5 Days, 4 Nights In Wellington.

Gollum At Weta Workshops

Day 4 – It’s interesting in Aotearoa that so much of our national history seems to start with European Explorers. For example, Able Tasman is credited with the discovery of New Zealand in 1642. The story goes that the good Mr Tasman, having sailed for nearly 140 days, and upon sighting the West Coast of the South Island, he decided he couldn’t really be bothered stopping and kept sailing. Our history books then jump to Captain Cook’s navigation of New Zealand in 1769. From there, we’re told about European encounters with Māori until the lead-up to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. 

Until more recent times, it appears that everyone forgot that Polynesian migration and settlement in Aotearoa occurred between 1250 – 1300. A good 350 years before Able Tasman decided he was feeling adventurous and set sail and around 450 years before Captain Cook landed in Poverty Bay. Having spent the previous day wandering around Matiu Island, I decided some further personal education of Māori settlement was in order.

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5 Days, 4 Nights In Wellington.

Matiu/Somes Island Lighthouse.

Day 3 – Matiu/Somes Island’s claim to fame is wide and varied. Lying in Wellington Harbour it’s history dates back to the early Polynesian Explorer Kupe, and since then it has been a Maori Pa site, a quarantine station, an internment camp, a military defensive position and is now a wildlife reserve and sanctuary looked after by the Department of Conservation. 

My plan for the day was to ferry across the harbour to Days Bay and an area called Eastbourne. I had purchased my ticket from a young lady who was without a doubt one of the most friendly, helpful and polite receptionist I’ve ever met. Upon my inquiry for a return ticket across the harbour she politely informed me that the next ferry was actually stopping at Matiu/Somes Island which apparently wasn’t very big ‘but definitely worth a visit’. ‘Well, why not I said’. So, after a short but enjoyable board ride I found myself standing on an island in the middle of Wellington Harbour.

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5 Days, 4 Nights In Wellington.

Midnight Espresso

Day 2 – I awoke in the morning feeling refreshed and very well rested. The previous day I’d spent 90 minutes flying and 480 minutes at Christchurch Airport so now I was more than ready for a walk and something to eat.

I ate breakfast at a very retro place called Midnight Espresso. After ordering, I sat in the window watching rain fall and Cuba Street slowly come to life, passing the time marveling at how maple syrup instantly improves bacon and banana pancakes. When finally my stomach was full, and my plate empty, I set off into the sleepy Wellington streets.

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5 Days, 4 Nights In Wellington

Day 1 continued – It all started with a noise that didn’t sound quite right. Clearly this is not something you want to be thinking having just taken off on an A320 Airbus heading to 30,000 feet. The next thing that happen was the captain and cabin crew informed us that there was a problem with the landing gear and our flight to Wellington would be making an unscheduled stop in Christchurch. As I sat there watching the coast and listening to a plane that seemed to be rattling more than a car I once owned, two thoughts crossed my mind. Firstly, it was moments like this that you wish Harrison Ford or Bruce Willis are on the plane. Secondly, having watched Mayday, I was confident I knew what to do.

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5 Days, 4 Nights In Wellington

Solace of the Wind

Day 1 – I like Wellington, I think it’s the waterfront that grabs me the most. Whenever I’m in there I always make a point of having at least one wander along and around the harbour area. You see, I always find myself feeling a little bit jealous that Dunedin hasn’t made the most of its own harbour area. They say you can’t beat Wellington on a good day, and this certainly is true. When the weather is fine, and the wind is calm it’s one of my favourite places to amble. There’s always a pop-up store or two to enjoy, various markets and a wide variety of funky art installations to capture the imagination. Of all the art installations, my personal favorite is Max Patte’s statute ‘Solace In The Wind’.

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Set On Foundations

I’ve photographed the Steeples Of First Church before. Usually it’s in the early morning or late in the evening. However, I’ve been meaning to taken a day time image of First Church for a while. It’s one of those land mark locations here in Dunedin that’s an important part of the city. It’s primary congregation was the Scottish Free Church settlers who first landed in Dunedin in the 1840’s. Plus, it’s got an awesome gothic feel to it. There’s little wonder it’s is regarded as one of the most impressive nineteenth-century churches in New Zealand.

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Reflections & Colour

Season of colour and warmth

In yesterday’s blog post Autumn In The Inner City I mentioned that after identifying an Autumn colour palette, I then went out in search of Autumn in the inner city. My goal was to find Autumn scene’s that also showed parts of the city. This is an image I found at Otago University with the old University clocktower reflecting in the windows of the Centre of Innovation with a Japanese Cherry tree sits in front.

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Autumn In The Inner City.

Cadbury World with Autumn colour

I was watching a home decorating show the other day. Just why I was doing such a thing I can’t recall however it was one of those shows where a designer is given a hopelessly inadequate budget in which to update a mammoth amount of rooms in the space of only a few weeks. The project, from memory, was started in November and of course the family wanted it to be finished in time for Christmas. When they presented the designer with this timeline and budget, after much rolling around on the floor laughing, she politely told them they were being a tad hopeful and optimistic. This I discovered was interior designer code for not standing a snowball’s chance in hell of getting it done. 

To sum things up and skipping to the end of the show, they went massively over budget and apparently two years later the job is still not finished. However, I did learn a few things from this programme. Firstly, I have no understanding how to place furniture in a room. If furnitureplacementdyslexia was a thing, then I’d have it! Secondly, I wanted to start thinking in terms of colour palettes. 

It turns out that in home decorating, colour palettes are extremely important and while I wasn’t too fussed about home decorating with delicately placed objects or cushions, transferring a seasonal colour palette into art form seemed a very interesting idea. I thus set myself a mission. To identify a autumn seasonal colour palette and then use it in a photo. 

A few days later after much reading I identified my autumn colour palette as based on warm yellow undertones mixed with oranges, reds, ochre and olive colours. It is also offset with earthly brown’s taken from the natural world such as rusts. I also discovered that this colour palette mixes wonderfully well with textures. And so, with my palette identified, I went out in search of autumn in the inner city.

Autumn In The Inner City

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Meet On The Ledge

Where do the autumn leaves go?

I’ve been out hunting the Autumn vibes around Dunedin recently. Usually I head out into the bush and take in a few walking tracks while listening to bird life. This year however I’ve been more focused on finding signs of Autumn in the inner city and seeing how I can combine the two elements.

Taking photos in the city always feels rushed for some reason, no matter how much time I take. I think it’s the constant flows of traffic and people. For a change of pace I headed up to Ross Creek to watch and listen to the bush. After sometime I found part of a stream where the Autumn leaves kept getting trapped in the rocks before getting swept away. I wander where they end up?

Autumn on the rocks

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