Sunday, 13 April 2014

A trip to Stewart Island - Rakiura

Stewart Island
Before any more time passes, I must tell you about my weekend trip to Stewart Island, as despite rather grey skies it was, to use a Kiwi phrase 'awesome'.

I opted to fly, not being one for high seas.

The flight leaves from Invercargill airport, famous only for its car hire company and twin palms.

Rent a Dent, Invercargill
Departures and arrivals bench, Invercargill airport 

We were delayed for 90 minutes due to a band of rain passing through. For it is a very small plane, and easily affected by weather .

the cockpit

the pilot

The cockpit looked old. The pilot looked far too young to be responsible for my life and that of the 7 other passengers. he advised us that we could escape by pulling the window out if necessary, but requested that we save this for emergencies as it is 'very hard to put them back again'. When we arrived he morphed into a baggage handler and bus driver, delivering us to town.

Town being Oban. It is not possible to escape Scotland in New Zealand.

Oban township
Oban is the hub, where the ferry arrives to, and the tourist trips depart from.

fishing co-op and ferry terminal, Oban

Visitors are not allowed to bring cars, and most travel is by boat.

I travelled to Ulva Island; one of the highlights of my trip down under thus far.

Ulva island ferry; one of several small operators
Ulva island ferry ticket

Muttonbush leaves were legal post here until the 1970's, being plentiful and easy to write on.


Why is Ulva Island so wonderful?

Because there are no predators there; rats and possums have been eradicated and a careful watch is kept for new invaders arriving by boat or by swimming.

And no predators means wonderful bird life.

check yourself

I duly checked myself for rats on arrival.

near here lies a rat trap

a rat trap
The vegetation had me in heaven again.

The absence of a tripod was an issue however.

vegetation, Ulva Island

more greenery, Ulva island

A Tui bird

Kiwi's about

I didn't get to see a Kiwi, but did get a close encounter with a Weka, another flightless bird.


Mostly I just enjoyed the birdsong and the ferns and creepers.

And the beach at Sydney Cove

Sydney Cove

I wandered lonely as a tourist,

then back to reality after a fews hours for a slap-up lunch on the sea front, and some more sightseeing.

never say I am not good at recycling……… 

Dundee Street
the petrol pump. If you want diesel, its on the tanker

Kiwi aversion training for dogs
The bowling club; surreal in my view.

The phone 'box' - trunk calls only

A memorable trip, thanks to Stewart Island flights and the ferry operators to Ulva Island.

heading back home

the plane 

Not a weekend for major photographic achievements, but certainly one for good memories.

 I like this quote that I found on the Stewart Island website in regard of Ulva Island.

Have a care for this island. Sanctuaries such as these are imperative. There is no song of Bellbird or Tui on the moon.
Olga Sansom, 1970
Past Curator, Southland Museum and Stewart Islander

You can listen to the bellbird song in my previous post; it really is uplifting.

For now 'over and out'   ( OH will spot the deliberate mistake here….. )

I'm off out again to look for something to photograph.

some sand from Sydney Cove

abstract from a boat

Friday, 11 April 2014

The glorious sound of the bell bird and the South Island robin in the New Zealand bush

This is the sound that captivates me every time I venture into the bush.

0/10 for cinematography.

10/10 for the bell bird.


and if that doesn't work, try this……

see via Youtube

And here is the New Zealand robin

South Island Robin (Petroica australis australis)

Which is small but also sings with an amazing vigour and sounds like this……...

Once again nil points for cinematography but if you look carefully there is a tiny bit in focus top left corner………

And here is a sheep with a starling. He was quiet, so you are spared the video.

a sheep with a starling

Monday, 7 April 2014

In case you were concerned …………

Oban beach, Stewart Island

Some of my faithful readers, OH included, kindly picked up on my suggestion last post that I was stuck for a project.

Thank you to those who sent me advice. It was appreciated, and made me feel a little less alone with my dilemmas.  I had to admit to OH that I had used a bit of writer's licence, and that I was actually fine, if a little confused about the medley of randomness that is much of my collection from 'down under'.

As OH has now managed to find my blog and, worryingly, started reading it, I shall have to be very careful what I write in future.

So, just to reassure you, I have created a couple of new pages for my website, with some possible projects in the making. They are ridiculously abstract, fuzzy and really not helpful if you want to know what 'down under' actually looks like. Which is why I wanted to post some very ordinary images of the  very ordinary roads, post boxes and all the other stuff that goes to make up this wonderful place.

Just for you!

To see some new work just click here

"moonlight, but no dolphins" © caroline fraser (2am Curio Bay)

Rees River, Glenorchy © Caroline Fraser

OH = other half

Monday, 31 March 2014

on a slow road going nowhere


I am in need of guidance.

My time here in New Zealand is 50% spent.

I am loving every minute but I should have worked out by now what photographic project I am currently working on. I thought is would make itself clear to me if I spent enough time here.

It hasn't.

So some guidance would be appreciated.

While I have been travelling around enjoying the scenery I have, of course, taken pictures along the way. All of which might be mini projects in their own right, but they are a jumble, diverse, random and of little merit individually.

They might be described as  a representation of my current state of mind……..…..confused.

Here are a few to make my point.

There are gravel roads in the Otago countryside

Mountains in the Remarkable range

 Fields of grass

And forests of green

Add caption

 Places to stay.

 Tourist attractions.

 People out and about

Queenstown beach on a lazy summer Sunday

tsunami hazard zone

and animals too

There are historic buildings and possibly the world's smallest library with almost certainly the shortest opening hours ( one hour on fridays)

Glenorchy library

and there are places named after Scotland in places that look like Scotland

Argyle St, Glenorchy


There are red hot pokers marking letter boxes by the roadside, now dying , so too late for a project there.

And red hot skies over the mountains

I am a master of indecision.

It can only go forward from here.

possible titles to draw all these themes together on a postcard please.

Patience is a virtue I hear you say……

Ideas will come if I wait for long enough……..

It's a bit like waiting for penguins.