Fotoeins Fotografie

location bifurcation, place & home

Posts tagged ‘North Island’

Pouwhenua, Byrd Memorial, Mount Victoria, Matairangi, Tangi Te Keo, Wellington, New Zealand,

Fotoeins Friday: RTW10, twenty-seven

10 years ago, I began an around-the-world (RTW) journey lasting 389 consecutive days, from 24 December 2011 to 15 January 2013 inclusive.

12 July 2012.

For a moment, I’m sweating buckets through tropical summer heat and humidity in southern Vietnam.

The next minute, I’m wearing layers of fleece on a clear winter morning in New Zealand.

That’s what happens after crossing the equator from north to south in early July.

In Wellington, I head up to the Mount Victoria summit (Tangi Te Keo) for sunrise and a panoramic view of the capital city on the North Island. In this view, a bright red “pouwhenua” stands proud and faces south; also visible are the Admiral Byrd Memorial below to the left and the Interislander ferry that’s just departed Wellington for its journey across Cook Strait to Picton on the South Island. “Pouwhenua” are traditional wooden posts carved by the Māori to indicate territorial boundaries or important cultural locations.

I made the image on 12 Jul 2012 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi) and these settings: 1/200-sec, f/8, ISO200, and 20mm focal length (32mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as

Kea, alpine parrot, Homer Tunnel, Milford Road, South Island, Te Waipounamu, Aotearoa, New Zealand,

Waitangi Day (6 Feb): 15 images from Aotearoa

Above/featured: The kea is the world’s only alpine parrot and on the endangered list; on Milford Road near Homer Tunnel.

On the 6th of February, I’ll be humming “E Ihowa Atua” and “Pokarekare Ana”.

Waitangi Day is a national holiday in New Zealand to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840. As the founding document of the country, the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi) is an accord agreed upon by representatives of the Crown (British Empire) and of indigenous Māori iwi (tribes) and hapū (sub-tribes). The agreement is named after the name of the location in the Bay of Islands where the Treaty was first signed. Despite continuing disagreements between the two parties about contemporary extent and redress, I think the conversation and interactions between the communities are at a more advanced stage of integration within the nation’s fabric by comparison with Australia and Canada.

For Aotearoa, the New Zealand government approved in October 2013 formal names of the two main islands in Māori and English:

•   Te Ika a Māui (“the fish of Māui”) for the North Island, and
•   Te Wai Pounamu (“the waters of greenstone”) for the South Island.

I highlight Aotearoa with 15 images of the following locations:

  1. Akaroa
  2. Auckland
  3. Dunedin
  4. Franz Josef Glacier *
  5. Greymouth
  6. Hapuku (Seaward Kaikouras)
  7. Homer Tunnel *
  8. Lake Matheson *
  9. Milford Sound *
  10. Queen Charlotte Sound
  11. Queenstown
  12. Southern Alps *
  13. Waimakariri River
  14. Wellington City
  15. Wellington Harbour

Asterisks identify locations within the Te Wāhipounamu area in South West New Zealand which was inscribed in 1990 as UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes four national parks: Aoraki/Mount Cook, Fiordland, Mount Aspiring, and Westland Tai Poutini.

( Click here for images and more )

Interislander, Sinclair Head, Te Rimurapa, Cook Strait, Raukawa, North Island Te Ika a Maui, New Zealand, Aotearoa, myRTW,

Fotoeins Friday: Crossing New Zealand’s Cook Strait (Raukawa)

14 July 2012.

It’s a cold wet winter morning in mid-July, and I’m on New Zealand’s Interislander ferry from Wellington on the North Island to Picton on the South Island. With the seasonal weather, visibility and skies are limited with low-lying stratus cloud creating some showers, mist, and fog. Fortunately, light winds create only small chop on the water, sun rays occasionally break through the grey canopy, and some geographical features begin to appear.

We bid goodbye to the North Island with this sighting of Sinclair Head, known formerly as the Māori settlement Te Rimurapa (giant bull kelp). The trailhead is faintly visible at right leading to Te Kopahou (“bent or folded feather”), whose 485-metre (1591 feet) summit is buried in cloud in this picture. The end of the ridge running as a cliff down Rimurapa is known as Taumata Patiti Pa. The strip of land jutting out to the left and into the water is Tongue Point.

Cook Strait is named after England’s famous circumnavigator Captain James Cook, but the strait’s name in Maori is “Te Moana Raukawa” (also this). This latter name may be a shortened version of “rau-kawakawa” for the leaves (rau) of the kawakawa plant used to make makeshift visors to prevent voyagers crossing the strait from unintentionally seeing islands and rocks considered too sacred to view.


•   “The Land of Tara …,” by Elsdon Best (1919), courtesy of Wellington City Libraries
•   NZ History
•   Rimupara – Maori sites, Te Whanganui a Tara
•   Te Ara – Encyclopedia of New Zealand
•   “History of Māori of Nelson and Marlborough“, p. 41, Hilary Mitchell and Maui John Mitchell, Huia Publishers (2004)

The Māori names for the two largest islands of New Zealand (Aotearoa) are:
•   Te Ika a Māui (Maui’s fish) for the North Island, and
•   Te Wai Pounamu (waters of greenstone) for the South Island. An alternative name is Te Waka a Aoraki (Aoraki’s canoe).

During my year-long RTW, I made this photo on 14 July 2012 with the Canon 450D, 18-55 kit-lens, and the following settings: 1/40-sec, f/8, ISO200, and 33mm focal length (53mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at as

Te Whanganui a Tara, Port Nicholson, Wellington Victoria, Mount Victoria, tangi te keo, Wellington, New Zealand, Aotearoa,

Fotoeins Friday: New Zealand, new day, new year

Along with Kiribati, Tokelau, Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji, New Zealand is one of the first countries west of the international date line to witness sunrise and, on the first of January, to celebrate a brand new year. In the photo above, the day’s early light illuminates Wellington Harbour (Te Whanganui a Tara) and Lower Hutt in the distance, as a Bluebridge ferry begins its journey out of the harbour to cross Cook Strait for Picton on the South Island.

•   one Māori legend about Wellington harbour
•   click here for my Interislander ferry trip across Cook Strait
•   click here for a beaut of a sunrise over Wellington

I made the photo above on 12 July 2012 with the Canon 450D, EF-S 18-55 IS kit-lens, and the following settings: 1/640s, f/5.6, ISO200, 55mm (88mm full-frame equivalent) focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at at

New Zealand: Interislander Ferry across Cook Strait

The calendar page flips over to the 14th of July (2012).

I’ve spent a quiet week with friends in Wellington, New Zealand, and it’s time I head south to see Te Wai Pounamu or the South Island for the first time. My first destination is Christchurch, and I could fly there. But I’m in no hurry, and I want to experience the scenery route with a ferry across Raukawa Moana, otherwise known as Cook Strait.

I’ve arranged passage from Wellington on the North Island (Te Ika a Maui) to Christchurch on the South Island with ferry- and coach-service with KiwiRail. The journey begins with the Interislander ferry whose arrival is timed to match the departure time of the Coastal Pacific train leaving Picton for Christchurch.

( Click here for more )

Cobden Bridge, Grey River, Greymouth, Westland, South Island

While in New Zealand, I …

Above/featured: Cobden Bridge over Grey River: Greymouth, Westland, South Island – 18 Jul 2012.

While in New Zealand, I …

  • woke up every morning glad I was on RTW (`round-the-world) travel for 2012.
  • was happy to return to the country a second time, this time for almost four weeks.
  • was skeptical of the stories about how the North Island could be any “uglier” compared to the South Island.
  • couldn’t believe how they were all true.
  • was glad to have taken the ferry and Coastal Pacific train from Wellington to Christchurch.
  • loved the spirit and perseverance of the people in Christchurch.
  • won’t forget the sense of optimism in the city.
  • was happy to stay in Christchurch an extra night, so I could spend the following day on a road trip to Akaroa.
  • was happy to have taken the TranzAlpine train route from Christchurch over the southern Alps to Greymouth on the West Coast
  • enjoyed sticking around in Greymouth for just one night; the town is small and compact, and just enough for a short layover.
  • had a 45-minute conversation with the nice lady who runs the Left Bank Art Gallery in Greymouth.
  • had frequent chats at various motels with proprietors about traffic in low- and high-seasons.
  • didn’t mind coach service down the West Coast, especially because there were few people around and the drivers provided ongoing commentary about the scenery.
Franz Josef Glacier, Westland National Park, South Island, New Zealand, Aotearoa,

Stick-people in danger! Franz Josef Glacier, Westland – 20 Jul 2012.

  • saw the sheer physical scale of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, both of which are accessible by foot from their respective towns.
  • forked over the cash to fly over at least four glaciers (Fox, Tasman, Murchison, Franz Josef), as well as buzzing around Mount Tasman and Aoraki (Mount Cook).
  • forked over more cash to take a coach-boat-plane trip to, through, and over Milford Sound, respectively.
  • discovered three types of people in Queenstown: young men and women dressed in plaid- or skiwear, armed with skis or boards; groups of Asians pouring out from tour coaches; and retired couples. I fit into none of these groups.
  • crossed the Southern Alps four times: on the TranzAlpine train from Christchurch west to Greymouth, on the Newmans coach from Fox Glacier east to Queenstown, on a tour coach from Queenstown west to Milford Sound, and on a Cessna plane from Milford Sound east back to Queenstown.
  • have seen how the vast numbers of small and cheap eateries, coffee houses, and pubs show just how much of a college town Dunedin really is.
  • was followed by sunshine (or did I follow the sun?) for the entire time spent on the South Island.
  • saw a lot of similarity and familarity with my home province of British Columbia, Canada: the Westland with BC’s Coastal Range and Rockies, the rainshadow in Central Otago with the central Okanagan
  • was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Dunedin: the great Otago Museum, home of the first university in the country, and good coffee-café culture

Alhambra-Union Rugby Football Club, North Ground, Dunedin, Otago, South Island

Rugby-union match at North Ground : Dunedin, Otago – 28 Jul 2012
  • wanted to learn some Maori. And why not – Maori is one of three official languages in New Zealand, including English and sign language. I found myself enraptured by Maori Television and their courses in Maori.
  • found it difficult flying out to Auckland and leaving the South Island behind.
  • found leaving Auckland for Sydney doubly difficult, as I was saying “goodbye, see you soon” to the country.
  • am learning that “soon” is not soon enough.
  • am now able finally to profess the truth: dear Aotearoa, I love you.

SKYCITY Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand

Illuminous bokeh on a wet winter night : SKYCITY Hotel, Auckland – 29 Jul 2012

I made the four photos shown above; this post is published on Fotoeins Fotopress at

New Zealand : Wellington Daybreak from Mount Victoria

Before visiting the South Island for the first time, I spent a week with friends in Wellington, New Zealand at the beginning of July 2012. I didn’t have my own set of wheels, but I didn’t need a car in a compact city that is easy to cover on foot. If necessary, the buses work well to reach most destinations in greater Wellington.

The winter weather had been beautiful and relatively calm, which I thought was a little unusual for winter in “windy Welly”. But I was definitely not one to complain, and before leaving Wellington, I wanted to watch the sunrise from the summit of Mount Victoria.

At a height of about 200 metres or 660 feet, Mount Victoria (Tangi Te Keo in Maori) may be more like a hill, but it’s tall enough to get a great view of the city and the harbour. Wellington harbour is also known as Port Nicholson, and Te Whanganui a Tara in Maori.

I caught the first buses of the day: what would I see? Would the skies be clear? I was the sole person to alight the bus at the summit, just minutes before sunrise. There’s something to be said to be the only person at the summit to welcome the brand new day.

( Click here for images and more )

Getting streaky in Auckland

On a cool but quiet early-spring evening, I walked down to Princes Wharf to have a look at Auckland’s skyline. Here on the waterfront, a real buzz was all around with a lot of activity from nearby bars and restaurants, the Hilton Auckland, and a number of ferries heading in and out of the central ferry facility. These are my two favourite aspects of urban-living: vigorous night-life, and easy open access to the water.

Auckland CBD, waterfront, CBD, Auckland, New Zealand, Aotearoa,

CBD from Princes Wharf

Auckland CBD, waterfront, CBD, Auckland, New Zealand, Aotearoa,

I made these photos on 16 October 2010. This post is published on Fotoeins Fotopress at as

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