From Oreti beach you can see Stewart Island. It’s a view I grew up with so I tended not to pay much attention to it. Going back as an adult it somehow seems quite remarkable to me that I can stand there and see a place which is by all accounts relatively difficult to get to. Certainly you’d have to be pretty keen (or insane) to try it in less than a full size boat.
The evening we were out walking the dog the view was quite spectacular as you can see here.
The observant will also notice that this has been cropped to provide one of my banner images. I rather like that crop as it highlights the horizontal band of cloud just above the island that isn’t so noticeable in this uncropped version.
You have no idea how hard it is to catch the stick mid flight.
I have updated this photo, some comments may refer to the original.
While in Invercargill we stayed with my sister Adele. They have a golden retriever which is a reasonably large and energetic sort of dog requiring lots of exercise. One evening the 3 of us took Oakley down to the beach for a run and swim. And I of course took the camera along.
This is taken from the rest stop on the hill overlooking Tautuku bay. Coming over the crest of the hill I spotted this awesome vista so we doubled back to the rest stop to take a couple of pics.
As you can see we were getting along toward the end of what proved to be a long day, remember this is the day that started 200km away with the albatross colony and Larnach castle.
In the thumbnail you can see a haze like mist above and to the right of the beach (it’s a bit clearer in the large one), that’s actually wind blown sand.
This is a stitched panorama which means I’ve had to do exposure leveling, as a result I’ve seen this particular image at a variety of different exposure levels. As you can see the area below the sun is over exposed somewhat, in some of the others versions I have lying around the over exposure is far worse, so much so that it looks like someone has dropped a nuke on the Catlins.
Whilst sunning on the beach like this the sea lions lie perfectly still, so much so that we wondered if the first one we came across was dead. But if you watch them closely you can see them breathing, along with the occasional eyelid blink. Every so often they will also shovel some more sand over themselves or roll over.
These particular sea lions are of course New Zealand Sea Lions (formerly known as Hooker’s Sea Lion), an adult male can weigh up to 500kg, but all the ones we saw were smaller than that.
As I mentioned we stopped by Surat bay near Owaka to see if we could spot any Sea Lions. Well we were in luck and we saw a half dozen lazying at various points along the beach. While I’ve seen sea lions before it’s never been up close. They come up out of the sea to sun on the beach and are interested only in lying there. So as long as you don’t get too close they just ignore humans, we stayed at least 5m back and they happily ignored us. The biggest concern is actually stumbling across one by accident. They are a similar color to seaweed and don’t tend to move around at all, so if you didn’t know that they frequented the beach then you could walk right past one without noticing that it wasn’t just another pile of seaweed.
Yes I realize that this is a rather cliché shot, but I couldn’t resist. I quite enjoyed our walk along the beach, it was nice to take time out to relax, even if it did contribute to our record breaking 12 hour trip from Dunedin to Invercargill.
Blog Post: 001
While in Christchurch we picked up a chilly bin and some nice cheeses to take as travel snacks in place of our usual “huge bag of lollies”. On the road south to Dunedin we paused for a while at a rest stop some where down the coast to consume some of the cheese. The rest stop was fronted by this picturesque lil beach so after lunch I took a few shots. Over the next week the chilly bin did its job admirably and the remainder of the cheeses made it all the way back to Christchurch where we donated them (and the chilly bin) to Nic.