All in Landscape

Porky and the Prison

On the rainy journey toward the mountains we noticed a series of buildings set just off the side of the road. On the fence was stapled a sign explaining that the site was dangerous due to contamination, which I later found out was asbestos. I pulled over and investigated further. A few steps into the compound with my camera and tripod in hand, I heard a yell from a small house to the left. 

Porky had been living on the grounds for the past 6 years, fighting the government for the land which he believes to be his peoples ancestral home.

An ex low grade prison, the buildings had fallen into disrepair, rot and grass growing up the sides. It was reminder of each of the structures past. Porky explaining its history and its importance to him and his cause.

 

Volcano

In the distance a cloud of smoke rises from the horizon. It blends into the sky, making the land mass difficult to distinguish. Its not a dramatic thing to do. Lots of people visit White Island every year. However, this does not remove the tense feeling that I would guess most people were feeling the boat. We are about to land on a live volcano. One that is at an instant ready to show its fury and power. Apparently only recently has it exploded. Rest assured "its only rocks and ash that rise from the crater, not lava".

The sulphur landscape is rugged and harsh. Alien like with its contrasting edges. The mountains torn and hostile. The gasses spread throughout the space, enclosing us with air that makes us all cough and itch. The back of my throat scratches, the heat from the ground rises through into my feet. I feel completely unwelcome, like the island rejects us.   

I loved this place.   

6.48am

A sneaky visit to the beach at 6.48am. Before our trip that was booked for White Island. This is what greeted me. Impeccable, glowing red sun hitting the calm waters of Ohope. I just couldn't resist it.

In Both Directions

This beach was just a stop over. A cake break on our way to Ohope. I remember the deeply sloping sand and the wild foaming water. And we were alone again on an extensive stretch of coastline. 

Surfers & Darkness

Leaving the room that was perched on the edge of the beach, we strolled down to the waters edge. It was pitch black. All that was audible were the crashing waves. One white line in the darkness after the other as the surf approached. Our eyes adjusted, but it didn't remove the loneliness of the experience. It was something about the invisible nature and our vulnerability. 

Peter and the Mountain

As a dense cloud of rain lowered down on us in Coromandel, I took a drive up into the mountains. No specific direction or destination. The gravel road was very winding and at times seemed to have collapsed. Very tight corners and steep turns, I worked my way up toward the top. Stopping every now and then to take pictures. The thick jungle followed me - so thick it seemed impenetrable. Mosquitos buzzed and attacked. 

Once I had reached the summit and jumped out of the car to take a look. From the silent road I saw a man, who I later learnt was Peter, on a bicycle climbing. It felt quite a surreal encounter. The timing of it. We both were on a different journey, both reaching the top of this mountain at the same time.

I hope for more of these mountain encounters.

 

Gold

What a fantastic disused gold mine. Cut up the land with beautiful golden red yellow clay. The size only distinguishable by noticing the small house at the top. Cliffs and layers falling into the pit. The bottom that I could not see. I have visited these types of mines before and of course seen them online. Nevertheless, in reality they are always impressive to me. What we can do, and do do to nature. The search for profit. The extremes. It always makes me want to visit more.

In Hot Water

What a strange sight. The gathering of burnt flesh. All with spades in their hands or lying in their own pools of sand. People mingling in a group meeting, savouring the hot spring water that trickles down from the surrounding mountains. All in a collected space roughly 50 meters across the width of the long beach. 

The waves were crashing against the outcrop of rocks and warning signs describing the dangerous sea currents. 

Our first pools were disappointedly cold. Once we mastered the hunt for the pre-dug hot holes, we spread out and lay down. 

A surprisedly wonderful day. I am normally a little on the sceptical side when it comes to these types of 'destinations'. Hot Water Beach proved me wrong. 

Surf

When we arrived in Bowentown the weather was close. The clouds were low and our mood for swimming was equal. It felt like we were cheated. To be in a beach town with bad weather. 

After driving to various destinations including Anzac Bay we settled back a the place we had rented. The next morning, to our dismay the rain had not subsided. We decided to venture down to the local beach. To our surprise a few local kids had spread out into the water to catch the incoming waves. They were at times quite large. Boards in hand they rode the surf along with Fabian who was pondered by the force of the hit. The never ceasing waves. 

Waikino

A small detour on our way toward the Coromandel peninsula led us to a wonderful small waterfall. Only a 10 minute walk off the road, it allowed us to jump on the rocks down the stream and breathe the fresh air. The cicadas were in full force, drumming at our ears on the path. The boys jumped onto a small landing. Felix fell in. 

Gradient

I just couldn't resist a gradient image taken in Campbell Bay. Moments like this always make me feel quite existential. The perfect horizon, the colour and the saturation. 

Dusk Moments

Otamure Bay. People Taking the chance to photograph the stunning landscape. After spending a glorious day at Whananaki Beach we thought to ourselves that a good plan would be actually to take a small drive up the hill to the nearby beaches for the sunset. With no immediate ideas on where we would land, we just jumped into the car and headed north. We didn't have to go far to find Otamure Beach. A lush place that a campsite backs onto. We struck it at the right time. The sun went red orange and set up an amazing light that coated our skins. We were not alone with the magic of being at the right place at the right time.