Images and ideas from a South Island roadie - Top of the South.

October 26, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

The top bit...

A collection of imagery and background notes to a roadie chasing those illusive magic photographic masterpieces.

Have been planning such a roadie for so long but like most people that thing called Covid got in the way.So here goes nothing...

I am coming from the position of never having been to most of these areas before except Christchurch but only passing by and some time in Queenstown about 35 years ago. The rest...have never done it so all this is new stuff for this guy. The whole trip was organised to be at the Archway Islands near Farewell Spit at low tide for sunset as a start point and the rest was a loose plan of places to go to. And will say now that had absolutely no idea that the weather gods would play ball like they did. 10 days wandering and only turned the wipers on once for a few spits. Wow...

Am digressing. First photo spot was the old wreck of the Jamie Seddon at Motueka for sunset and sunrise. You can see the sunset was a fizzer with cloud so its a moody shot then. Met a German tourist doing the 'time poor' rush around the South Island. Nice to swap notes on places to see...

IMG_2713IMG_2713 My new German friend showing the smallish size of the wreck and they made good use of the concrete stepping blocks that the locals had laid out. A iPhone image. 

The Janie Seddon shipwreck.The Janie Seddon shipwreck.The Janie Seddon photographed on a dark cloudy evening with a low tide which shows up all the concrete slabs that have been placed as walking steps to get out to the wreck without having to tramp through the muddy sandbank.

The final version.

Dark clouds either make for a moody colour image or a black and white conversion would highlight the structure of the old wreck. Went for the colour version...

The South Island is notorious for taking fore-ever to get anywhere...so i was told. With that in mind used a app called 'distances to ' to work out how much time i had to mess about or to just get driving. With that i made sure that had plenty of time to get to the sunset location but on the way after the climb over the Takaka Hill and ziggy zagging down the other side it was a stop for the Pupu Springs. A very well laid out tourist spot with toilets and info boards.

IMG_2728IMG_2728 Central to the info station was this huge Greenstone which most were touching or rubbing. You can see the smooth rock on the top. Could not get a image that i was happy with of the springs except for this abstract which grew in appreciation over time...

Te Waikoropupu SpringsTe Waikoropupu SpringsA abstract image looking down into the crystal clear waters of Pups Springs which have a clarity test of 63 meters. Another obscure spot was a old historic wharf and jetty at Onekaka which has a Historic Places classification looking at the info plate on a post adjacent to the old piles.

Historic Onekaka wharf remains.Historic Onekaka wharf remains.Whats left of the old wharf and jetty at Onekaka which has a Historic Places Trust classification. A long exposure image to show the old pilings. Used a long exposure technique to highlight the old piles otherwise it was hard to see them all. The inlet beside this spot was covered in many different coloured and shaped stones so if you are a rock hound this is a good spot.

Next was the dash out to the Archway Islands. Had a cabin at the camp ground beside the entrance to the walkway out to the islands who  probably cater for the back packing crowds but was handy for late evening photography. If you had time would probably recommend doing the Farewell Spit 4wd tours but was not personally doing any paid gigs for this road trip. Collingwood is a better place to stay if you were doing that tour as well as exploring the local trails and sights.

A selection of Archway images that made the effort to be there for sunset at low tide so worthwhile...

Sunset light on the Archway Islands.Sunset light on the Archway Islands.In a portrait format looking from the elevated sand dunes at the islands with beach grasses in the immediate foreground. Portrait of the Archway Islands.Portrait of the Archway Islands.A portrait orientation image of the two islands with sunset light on them with water puddles leading to the islands in the foreground in the image. Archway Islands reflections.Archway Islands reflections.With a low tide the islands are reflected in the still water in the foreground with the archway visible in the reflection. Sunset water at Archway Islands.Sunset water at Archway Islands.With colourful sunset colours behind the Archway Islands and a rushing incoming tide water providing a foreground interest the islands provide the centre interest in this colourful image with the arch in full view.

To me this image with the wash of the waves probably is the fav of that evening.

If you are interested in any of these images as prints please go to the dedicated page for these images to view and order. Top of the South.

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But the Islands are not the only landmark around here. Don't forget Cape Farewell just back down the road a little. You don't have to walk far from the carpark and don't scare the ewes and lambs. There is supposed to be a ledge on the left that seals congregate at but they must have been at the supermarket when i called.

Cape Farewell.Cape Farewell.A view of Cape Farewell from above the viewing platform looking down at the full bay with the rocks covered in the swell washing using a long exposure and the archway at the end of the cliff face.

Cape Farewell long exposure.Cape Farewell long exposure.Looking out from the look out platform down at Cape Farewell using a long exposure to smooth the water around the rocks with a view of the arch at the end of the cliff.

One last image before the next blog about heading to the west coast. This is from Lake Rotoiti looking down the lake with-out the standard shot taken from here with the jetty pointing at the gap. Was a bit bored with that view so opted for a long shot down at the layers of hills leading towards Mount Travers i believe. I can be corrected...

Lake RotoitiLake RotoitiUsing a zoom lens to make a close image of the tail end of Rotoiti Lake in the Nelson Lakes area with the ranges and Mount Travers in the background. Here concludes this first blog. Any brickbats or favourable comments appreciated....


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