Travel Blogs

These short travel blogs are written about interesting places that I have visited and are illustrated more by photos then by many words. I will try to write a new blog quite regularly about some exciting times in my life concerning photography and travel. Considering that the NZ native kiwi can't fly, this Kiwi seems to get about the world and NZ quite often! I welcome feedback on these blogs via email on Contact page.

18 April 2008

  The kiwi is a flightless nocturnal bird which is native to New Zealand as well as being a national icon. Unfortunately, in recent times, their population has been reducing by 6% per year owing to the chicks and eggs being vulnerable to introduced species such as possums, stoats, ferrets, weasels as well as wild cats and dogs.

 

In recent years, a Kiwi Recovery Program has been set up by the NZ Department of Conservation (DOC) to prevent the decline in kiwi numbers. The kiwi eggs are removed from the wild, hatched and reared in captivity then the chicks are released back into the wild when big enough to defend themselves against predators. Special kiwi sanctuaries have been set up where DOC has used intensive ground based predator control to knock out possums and stoats etc.

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The Murray River is Australia’s second longest river at 3750 kilometres in length starting in the Australian Alps and winding through three separate States to end in South Australia.

 

A group of 12 couples from New Zealand and Australia hired the 2 largest luxury houseboats from the tourist award winning company “Unforgettable Houseboats” for a 7 day experience on this great river. Organised by our “First Sea Lord” (Margaret), the group boarded the boats at Mannum complete with enough food supplies and “liquid assets” to feed and water a small army.

 

 

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In mid July 2007, it was reported on the TV news that there was an amazing hoar frost in the far south of New Zealand in the Central Otago region. A hoar frost is caused by many successive days of frosty and foggy weather so that the frost does not melt.

 
So, next day, I took the timely opportunity to make the 90 minute flight from Auckland to Queenstown and then drive another 90 minutes in a 4WD rental vehicle to a small farming town called Omakau (half an hour from Alexandra). The photography for the next 3 days was absolutely stunning, despite the very cold temperatures (down as low as -10 degrees C), with trees covered in white frost, frozen lakes and rivers and foggy and moody conditions (see separate gallery).

 

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Portofino is perched on the northwest coast of Italy and is one of the most charming and photogenic seaside villages in the Mediterranean.

The towns on the Tigullio Gulf date back to pre-Roman times and until the 19th century, Portofino was an active fishing village, where the perfect shaped bay was a safe haven for trading ships. More recently, home to the exclusive Hotel Splendido, it has attracted the “beautiful people” of Europe for many decades, from actors Rex Harrison, Elizabeth Taylor, to Sophia Loren, plus great artists, politicians and entrepreneurs, making it famous all over the world. Now it attracts tourists plus the Italian jet set and the ultra rich who arrive on their super luxury yachts.  

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Photographers are always looking for that magical place on Earth that deeply moves and touches them in a way like no other.

One such place that overwhelmed me is Doubtful Sound, which is located in a World Heritage Area in the Fiordland National Park, deep in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island.

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In August of 2006, I was invited on a 2 week tour of China by The Chinese Photographers Association (CPA). I joined 7 other international photographers from USA, France, Taiwan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, to photograph the people, traditions and tourist opportunities in Beihai in the Guangxi Province and Duyun in the Guizhou Province.

 

The group met in Beihai, which is situated on the southern coast of China, and is known as a starting port of the ancient Marine Silk Route. Baihai is also the hometown of the South Pearl.

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