Holidays with family Part 1

May 2016 saw me off to the South Island for a late Autumn holiday with my family (Son and Daughter in law)  They live in Christchurch and I try to see them at least twice a year now that I am retired. Back in January we had planned a holiday down to the very southern parts of the island  We were all excited as none of us had  ventured past Dunedin or Queenstown. We set off on a fine Saturday for an area called ” The Catlins”  it is on the east coast south of Dunedin and Balclutha. Well known for penguins and wild scenic parks and lots of photo opportunities. My son is an avid photographer and as you know I like taking photos too. We stayed in a nice bach right on the beach at Kaka Point for tor two nights, how lovely to go to sleep with the sounds of the sea washing against the shore.

Sunday was Mothers day and it was so lovely to have it with my family as we could not remember when we were last all together on Mothers day many many years ago anyway. Waking up to the sound of the ocean, being spoilt with a yummy breakfast and a card and gift of a snuggly merino wool wrap for those colder days and nights was wonderful. Then off we set to visit lots of the special places we had been reading about. Wild and windswept in parts and forest and waterfalls in others. There had not been much rain so the water falls were low but still beautiful and we found an amazing mirror lake tucked away down a short walk. No penguins or seals as it did not seem to be the right time but the bird song in the bush was delightful. I was also treated to a lovely lunch. We travelled all around the area, saw great views, trees sculptured out of shape by the fierce southern winds and even a quirky Tea pot Garden.

After a great day out we headed back to Kaka Point for rest and relaxation before setting off the next day for our second destination. Lake Te Anau.

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Plein Air Painting and Picnic day

watercolour Middleton bay Opunake plein air 2016-4-14

Last Thursday I woke up to wonderful clear sunny autumn morning. It was too nice to stay home so I decided to set forth to Opunake a lovely beach side town about 33 kilometers from Hawera. I wanted to try painting with my water colours again outside in the “plein air” . I do struggle a little with water colours but practice makes perfect or at least better so away I went. I used a small A5 pad and actually as I favour landscapes I think I need a bigger canvas lol. However after a lovely couple of hours picnicking and doodling and dabbling in my paints I came up with the above painting of Middleton Bay in Opunake. The tide was almost fully in and the sun was shining brightly so my colours are bright as well.

I also took my camera to take photos of the Mountain which is totally bare of snow at the moment. I took some of the Middleton beach as well so you can compare my artistic licence with the real thing. It was a fun day and I will do it again.

 

Beside the seaside beside the sea

Augusta
Augusta
Pelicans on Hardy Inlet
Pelicans on Hardy Inlet
Augusta -  Hardy inlet
Augusta – Hardy inlet
Gorgeous colours of Southern ocean
Gorgeous colours of Southern ocean
Cape Leeuwin
Cape Leeuwin
Southern ocean
Southern ocean
Cape Leeuwin
Cape Leeuwin
Rockingham beach
Rockingham beach
Rockingham beach
Rockingham beach
Busselton Jetty and the train
Busselton Jetty and the train
aquarium views
aquarium views
little fishies
little fishies
hungry fish
hungry fish
jetty artwork
jetty artwork
Busselton Beach
Busselton Beach

There is a very old song that goes “I do love to be beside the seaside beside the sea”  so here are some photos from Busselton and from Augusta and Cape Leeuwin. Busselton is a delightful small town with a very long jetty. The jetty has a small train that you can catch a ride on out to the end of the jetty which is 1.8 kilometres out in the ocean. At the end of the jetty there is an aquarium. You go down 3 levels and you can view the fish swimming in the open ocean through heavy Perspex (?)  windows. It was amazing. Rose and I decided to walk back from the Aquarium and there was an artwork along the jetty and good views of Busselton. Way down south on Cape Leeuwin there is a very tall lighthouse and the sea was an amazing colour. We drove through the village of Augusta which is situated on the river mouth and I could easily have stayed here and paddled in the river. The Pelicans were so picturesque I had to take photos of them, we don’t see them in New Zealand.  Cape Leeuwin is where the Southern Ocean meets the Indian Ocean, it was very exposed and very windy. While I was still in Perth my cousins took me to Rockingham Beach for a swim and to have fish and chips so I swam in the Indian Ocean.  One day I will try to paint one of my photos especially the sea ones just for my pleasure as I am no artist but I have fun and enjoy myself.

Busselton Beach
Busselton Beach