Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘Mount Cook’

Air Safaris, Southern Alps, Westland National Park, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, South Island, New Zealand, fotoeins.com, myRTW

Fotoeins Friday: Aoraki-Horokoau flyby, New Zealand

21 July 2012.

Approximate location: -43.546433, 170.144492 (43°32’47.2″S 170°08’40.2″E)
Approximate altitude: 3000 metres (9850 feet)
View azimuth: 170 to 175 degrees (south-southeast)

We’re up among New Zealand’s Southern Alps as the flight takes us over Westland Tai Poutini National Park and Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. I’ve supplied featured labels to help with orientation in this southeast view. Despite scale, height, and distance, I get the distinct feeling that I can just about leap out of the plane to a soft snow landing or if I could reach out with my hand, I could touch the nation’s two tallest mountains, Aoraki (Mount Cook) and Horokoau (Mount Tasman), sacred to the Māori people.

A visual account of the circular flight over southwest New Zealand can be seen here. The west coast on the nation’s South Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.


During my year-long RTW, I made this photo on 21 July 2012 with the Canon 450D, 18-55 kit-lens, and the following settings: 1/3200-sec, f/5, ISO200, and 33mm focal length (53mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-9Zb.

New Zealand: flying over the Southern Alps

The majestic mountain spine along New Zealand’s South Island is known as “The Southern Alps”; the Maori Ngai Tahu name for these mountains is “kā tiritiri o te moana”. For many locations around the South Island, you cannot avoid or ignore the sight of looming towers of rock and snow.

Between visits to the Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier, I’d been thinking about whether or not I should have a look at the mountains from above. It would be beautiful, but it also seemed very expensive. What to do, what to do … it sounds stupid writing it out now, but a unique opportunity had presented itself, and I knew I’d have deep regrets if I didn’t take it.

I bit the proverbial bullet and hopped onto a plane with Air Safaris for a 50-minute “The Grand Traverse” tour including aerial views of various glaciers, Horokoau (Mount Tasman), and Aoraki (Mount Cook).

( Click here for images and more )

Lake Matheson, Westland National Park, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand, fotoeins.com

New Zealand: Lake Matheson & the southern Alps at sunset

Rewards go to the patient, especially those on daytime walks through the temperate rainforest to the Franz Josef Glacier and the Fox Glacier.

After all, this area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After my visit to Fox Glacier earlier in the day, I arranged for a short 10-minute shuttle from Fox Glacier town to Lake Matheson (Te Ara Kairaumati) before sunset. Even in winter’s low-season, I was surprised by how few people were around to enjoy the view.

The sequence of photos below span a period of just over one hour in time. Appearing in most of the photos are the two grand snow-frosted peaks: Mount Tasman (Horokoau) on the left and Aoraki (Mount Cook) on the right.

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Lake Matheson at sunset

New Zealand: sounds of a sunset on the South Island

What does a sunset sound like?

Does the question make any sense at all?

How can a sunset “sound” like anything?

I used to think that way, until I visited the South Island in New Zealand.

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New Zealand, true-colour image from NASA Terra satellite, December 2002.

Travel Memories of New Zealand’s South Island

It’s good to stop for a moment, step back, and consider the journey: the places visited, the impressions accumulated, the conversations and ideas left behind. In the midst of career change and year-long RTW travel, every moment becomes a potential highlight. I’ve been keeping all of my senses tuned, and in the southern winter’s low-season, it has become more than just a possibility, with far fewer people on the roads and at various sites.

When Christina Hegele asked if I might participate in a blogger relay, I was in the last stages of my July 2012 visit to New Zealand’s South Island. Te Wai Pounamu o Aotearoa has provided some of the finest travel highlights, a conclusion shared by many.

( Click here for more )

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