Autumn at Tongariro National Park…

Autumn at Tongariro National Park…

Have assembled these images in a rough time-line as there was a early dumping of snow part way thru a visit creating a before and after scenario.

Keep scrolling down to the bottom as there is a few and to view a image large in a lightbox  just click on it…

Thanks for checking out and please do comment either here or on the Facebook page.

Cheers…

Lake Rotoaira on a still misty morning after a nite of heavy rain.

The mist was just hanging around Pihanga on the other side of the lake creating a other worldly effect which is symptomatic of a damp autumn morning. Makes for great atmosphere but not blazing golden sunrises …

Ngauruhoe presents a different mood in autumn before the first of new southerly storms bring a dash of snow to its slopes. The cloud using long exposure techniques creates a soft texture in comparison to the rough rocky volcanic slopes…

This is Girdlestone Peak on Ruapehu with part of the chair-lift of Turoa at the bottom.

This place on this occasion was just howling with wind. Had to shelter behind a ski-field building to try and keep the camera still long enough for a long exposure in the stiller wind gusts with some interesting clouds rolling thru at the same time. Bit of a juggle but success crowns effort mostly…

The Pinnacle ridge on Ruapehu…

With a light dusting of fresh new pre winter snow on its slopes the Pinnacle Ridge takes on a other worldly look with a long exposure technique to blur out the swiftly passing cloud cover. Almost a hard and soft texture effect which highlights the rugged aspect of the ridge-line…

Ngauruhoe pre snow with a passing cloud cap seems to take on a soft side. Don’t be fooled…its cold and windy up there.

Pre snow also makes for a harsh terrain image. Theres still beauty there tho…

The hike to the Tama lakes is not that hard. Its another 1.5 hours or so on from the Taranaki Falls and on this day the wind was just howling…literally. You can see the ice on one side of the bush on the right and the rocks…brrrr.

Ngauruhoe with a cap of cloud using a long exposure technique. A bit tricky in a howling gale tho…

The track to the Tamaiti Lakes from the Chateau end is really well formed. DOC has spent some money. Its a easy wander for a few hours and the mountain view is awesome…

The Wairere Stream which feeds the Taranaki Falls which are just below these rapids. Ruapehu stands proud at the head under a veil of cloud…

Ngauruhoe does seem to create its own weather when the others are clear. So needed to make a problem into a solution…make it look like a rock on the sea-shore…sort off.

And conversely at sunset the cloud takes on a whole different persona…

Never found out what these trees were. Anyways they produce a neat contrast between the sign of Autumn and the sight of a approaching winter with fresh new snow on Ngauruhoe…

A bit of fresh new snow on bare rocks creates some spectacular contrast as the snow is not deep with the ridge lines still clearly seen. A real change of season feel…

Pre-winter season is very busy at the Top of the Bruce with all the construction. Also the helicopters were taking advantage of a really still day…fun to watch.

Ruapehu at sunset at a different angle. You can see the Pinnacle rocks in the middle. Made this image from above the Taranaki Falls…

Hope you enjoyed these images of Autumn at Tongariro National Park over a interesting week-end weather wise.

To enquire about any of these for your wall or website lets chat…

6 + 7 =

Exploring around the northern end of the Desert Road on the eastern side there are some old access roads for the power schemes. Some are sealed and curbed and some just bush tracks such as this one.

Just couldn’t resist a selfie…as you do.

Sunset wave on the Kaimais…

Sunset wave on the Kaimais…

This panoramic is a total of 12 images which were bracketed when shot for enhanced dynamic range, blended and stitched into this pano.

The original image is a reasonable file size…tho this file has been down sized for the internet viewing so wouldn’t print to well… and the detail was so good i could see individual trees on the skyline of the Kaimai Ranges. Shot all the frames using a zoom lens to cut out the water from the Tauranga harbour and concentrate on the hills and trees, the misty wave over the ranges and the sunset effect. Having the glow shining up like that was just awesome…seemed like a spaceship in the sky…haha.

Will do canvas prints of this…

As usual all prints are with-out the watermark…

Alpine garden…

Alpine garden…

Ruapehu stands over all the landscape and definitely has its moods. This day a approaching weather system from the west created some cloud to swirl about the tops. Amazing the resilience of the plant life on its lower slopes and how they cling to the volcanic environment. Made sure that i didn't stomp all over the plants either...its hard enough in this climate with-out some pesky human trampling on ya..


Natty Park wanders…

Natty Park wanders…

Always enjoy time at National Park even if the weather is a bit annoying but so what…its mountains on a island. Weather seems to happen. But off course when weather happens there is always the world famous in Natty Park Schnapps Bar to squander a bit of spare time…just make sure your bed is walking distance or let some-one else drive.

As usual all the watermarked images are available as a canvas with-out the watermarks…see the pricing page for info.

Cheers…

3149ruapehu-scrub-track-web by M Handley.

Te Heuheu peak

3155-te-heuheu-peak-web by M Handley.

Te Heuheu peak

3156clouds-peak-web by M Handley.

Wave cloud

3170mahuia-rapids-redit-web by M Handley.

Mahuia rapids

3200-mahuia-ngauruhoe-web02 by M Handley.

Mahuia Rapids

3228-tawhai-falls-web by M Handley.

Tawhai Falls

 

3093-mahuia-rapids-rocks-web by M Handley.

Mahuia rapids

We also planned a hike from the Desert road to the chateau looking for a sunset near the Tama lakes but weather being weather that didn’t go well. Never mind the dinner we cooked went down rather nicely part way then amnaged to arrive at the Chateau at about 11.40pm then off to the book-a-batch. No sooner settling down then that earthquake happened…not nice.

Following are a collection of iPhone images purely for illustration…the image quality is not up to printing…of the across the divide wander.

 

 

 

 

img_1109 by .

img_1110 by .

img_1118 by .

img_1120 by .

img_1141 by .

Dinner on the trail…no fancy silver wear here…

img_1142 by .

Natty Park wanderings and life lessons…

Natty Park wanderings and life lessons…

National Park has a wealth of fun stuff for the outside adventurers . It seems that Natty Park has moved on from just a ski town and railway stop to  adventure central being in the middle of the island. Handy.

I am not going to list it all , thats the job of the tour promoters. But will mention that there seems to be a lure of the mountains that brings people back...myself included.

One of the objectives for this stay was to try for a sunset at the top of Mount Tongariro looking south past Ngauruhoe towards Ruapehu with my trusty climb companion Tim. To get to Tongariro meant using the Tongariro Alpine Crossing track which for us is the fourth time that we have climbed this particular route. 

For the start there is just this little shelter to walk thru...hundreds of thousands of hikers have started at the same spot. I wonder actually how many the count is so far....

Note; on any image just mouse click on it to enlarge. Even the ones in the carousel.

 

From the entry point at the carpark the track meanders thru a mix of old flows to swamp areas which are protected by board-walks to a staging point at Soda Springs where there is a gaggle of eco toilets. Best stay up-wind of that lot! And judging by the wire ropes holding them from bowing away there must be a occasional stiff breeze running thru methinks.

All the while you have the big fellow Ngauruhoe on your right getting ever closer and Tongariro on your left. 

About now it seems that you are in a big basin. Next comes whats called "the devils staircase". A whole bunch of steps...lots and lots and lots. Did i say steps... but hey , this is the worst batch of steps going up on the crossing on this side anyways. 

From here after all those steps you get this just awesome view back from where you came . 

If you click on the image of me standing at the track edge with the blue pack you will see some of the steps of the devils staircase but also a view down the valley. On this side of the hill in the far middle distance is the carpark where we started from. To this point is about 6kms from the carpark. 

From there is across South Crater and up towards the summit of the crossing at Red Crater but just before that we hang left towards our goal - Tongariro.

But...cloud!

Bah... No sunset.

Bah again.

Oh well never mind. At least got a half decent shot of Ngauruhoe...so its not all bad then. Thats photoging for ya...

So...its never not worth it. Even after 10 odd kms return up and down in the dark. 

Plan wise it would have been awesome as a full moon was rising behind us as we decended but that didn't work with all the cloud going on. But hey...thats just mountains. If you got upset with a little setback then you shouldn't go near them. Bit like motor racing really...your whole racing week-end could be scuppered by a $10 part breaking!

One thing about wandering around places like this is that it brings out your risk management skills...even on the crossing things can go bad...and in a hurry. It is a alpine environment after all. No trees and birds up there.

Always be prepared just like a boy scout...

 Anything with a watermark can be ordered. Just give me a tinkle...so easy.

The Nacky from Natty Park…

The Nacky from Natty Park…

Had to use the Kiwi vernacular as the story headline. Its what the locals call their places.

This is Mount Taranaki from a photoshoot i was doing at National Park. The other shot i got that evening is the Mount Doom moon-rise. A very productive evening…

As per usual all the images are available as prints with-out the watermarks.

8156 nacky from natty sunset web#03 by M Handley.

The Nacky from Natty Park…