This is a continuation from the previous article, which you can find here: sea, trees and volcanoes. Today, we are in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand. We’ll be watching planes and birds at the airport, and we’ll lie in the mud to shoot grebes and rails. In the end, we’ll spend one fantastic sunset around the gannet colony in Muriwai, a delightful ending for a great one-year adventure in kiwiland.
Plane and bird spotting at Auckland Airport
Puketutu is a small island in South Auckland, linked to the mainland at all times by a causeway. There, I discovered a pond with lots of birds: spoonbills, ducks… and New Zealand grebes (Poliocephalus rufopectus), a species I wanted to photograph better. Signs along the lake warned against touching the water (let alone swimming!), as it was a discharge pond for the local wastewater treatment plant… urgh, icky. Let’s say it moderately scared me, but didn’t prevent me from lying on the rocky shore to take pictures of birds at eye-level! Both times I biked from my residence in Mangere Bridge, both times I got soaked, but both times were worth the effort, as I made some interesting images 🙂
A popular park in the city, with many tame birds. Lots of problems with people giving bread to birds (don’t do that), but lots of opportunities to approach birds closer than in usual circumstances.
Last sunset in Muriwai
So there we were. My last days in New Zealand. Could I think of a better place to spend them than Muriwai? Hmmm, probably not. Thank you Carol for taking me there ❤
Hi again, and welcome to one of my last articles about New Zealand!
Today’s post presents a hodgepodge of places from the North Island, some you’ve seen before, some you haven’t, but with pictures never released on this blog before. Our trip will start with a relaxing break in Napier, by the Pacific Ocean. From there, we’ll cross the Ahimanawa Range to spend a cloudy day in the Redwoods of Rotorua. Our next destination will be the volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park, before moving back to Auckland, the largest city in the country, in a second article. There, we’ll be watching planes and birds at the airport, and we’ll lie in the mud to shoot grebes and rails. In the end, we’ll spend one fantastic sunset around the gannet colony in Muriwai, a delightful ending for a great one-year adventure in kiwiland.
My time in Napier was short, as I was in transit between Castlepoint and Whirinaki. Cities are not really my cup of tea, but I enjoyed the museum and the surf of the ocean.
After Pallas-Ylläs and Kilpisjärvi, our autumn adventure in Lapland took us to Pyhä-Luosto National Park, further south and east, near Kemijärvi. I was eager to return after a single night spent there 3 years before, with friends from France. This time we had 4 nights, so plenty of time to explore more!
Here is my traditional article to celebrate the Land of a Thousand Lakes, a frozen land with a big heart, the place where I’m happy ❤ It’s not perfect, but there’s no other country where I would rather be 🙂
It was that time of the year, again. Temperatures going down, trees turning yellow, orange, red.
We didn’t have so many plans for this corona-year, so fortunately not much got canceled, but after 2 weeks in Vivien’s family in Hungary in August, we felt like we could do something inside Finland. Vivien had never been to Lapland, so we decided it would be our next destination.
Tiritiri Matangi was the first patch of nature I visited after I arrived in New Zealand. Remember? I sailed out of Auckland and spent 4 nights on the island, a reforested sanctuary where rare endemic species have been reintroduced.
Want to learn more about Tiritiri or refresh your memory? Please have a look at the following articles:
That was in August 2018. Fast-forward almost a year, I’m staying in Auckland for the last few weeks of my stay, spending most of my free time exploring the shoreline near my apartment. One day, I received an email from a coordinator at the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi: hey, do you want to come for a week of volunteering on the island?
Belated news, for the results were announced already a month ago, but I thought you’d be interested: I’ve got two images in this year’s Bird Photographer of the Year competition’s selection! You have seen these pictures before; they are among my favourite, and they both come from the Subantarctic Islands.
Last year, in June, after the North Island tour that ended in Northland, Vivien flew back to Europe and I settled down in Auckland. My plan was to work for RELEX while preparing the future… indeed, in about two months it would be time to leave New Zealand! How quick that year went!
Today’s article is a bit different from the usual posts… a bit more touristy, if you will! If you are not interested, please scroll down to the last section, there’s a surprise 😉
You know I had a van in New Zealand, in which I drove kilometers on roads and tracks and slept countless nights under the stars. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? In many respects, it was; the flexibility I had was appreciable, for I could stop wherever I wanted (kinda) and be close to birds and views for sunrise and sunset. That said, my ride was a simple one, and while the bed was comfy enough, I was not protected well against the weather. If it rained, I had to get wet to eat anything. I was often cold. Oh, and I didn’t have a shower! All this to say that, even though it gave me freedom, life on the road was also tough sometimes.
Mackenzie Country, before it started to rain. Scroll down for more!