Sculpture on the Peninsula

A fundraiser every second year for the Cholmondeley Children’s home, which provides short-term respite care for children aged 3 – 12. This is the South Island’s Largest Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition (see http://www.sculpturenz.co.nz/). Lots of photos for me to choose from. I’ve just put a few of my favourites here, but have more on my Flickr site at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/97210148@N08/sets/72157637717466504/

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSC

Find Mr Blobby…. SONY DSC

I took a few photos of these dandelions, however I don’t like how they came out. I’ve put the rest of the photos on my Flickr page. If anyone has any ideas on how to improve the colour in them, leave me a comment. thanks.

SONY DSC

The Chicken Drumstick Rock at Castle Hill

Just down the road from Cave Stream (https://diannesphotojournal.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/cave-stream/) is Castle Hill. I took some black and white photos back in January: https://diannesphotojournal.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/kura-tawhiti-castle-hill/

Olivia’s first visit here, and she decided this rock is a KFC chicken drumstick:

2013March28_CastleHill-13

A hand with cut-off fingers maybe….

2013March28_CastleHill-1 2013March28_CastleHill-2 2013March28_CastleHill-3

2013March28_CastleHill-5 2013March28_CastleHill-8



View the full set of photos on my Flckr site: www.flickr.com/photos/97210148@N08/sets/72157637115759966/

Magnet and Tumbledown Bays

Magnet Bay is apparently meant to be quite a good surfing beach; there was no surf the day we were there; hence no water photos: http://nzsurfguide.com/surf_breaks/canterbury/magnet-bay

2013April07_MagnetBay_pixlr_epoch

Not far away is Tumbledown bay: http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/TiKoukaWhenua/TeKaioBay/

2013April07_TumbledownBay_pixlr_epoch

Penguin Spotting at Motunau

A well known fishing spot north of Christchurch, Dean and I went to Motenau beach back in March twice at dusk to find some penguins. Neither of us had ever been there.

Motunau Island, which was once a whaling station, is now a nature reserve for some of New Zealand’s rarest birds, including the endangered white flippered penguin.  There are about 1,800 pairs of penguins on Motenau Island (access is restricted to Department of Conversation staff), and because the island is now overcrowded, DoC staff have moved some penguins to other areas and set up some breeding areas. We discovered that some nesting boxes have been set up on the nearby beach to encourage some of the penguins to go there, so we decided to visit in the hope of spotting a few…

The first thing we spotted were some guys on a stag night (Motenau Island is in the background):

9261897200_3ee9d3a639

It was such a beautiful beach at sunset, and the sun reflecting against the rocks and Island was stunning:

9428780332_0ec55a090f_o

Walking further around the beach, we spotted lots of fossils and driftwood, including this hut:

9426071273_4db4f943fb_o

Walking up and down the beach:

9259095411_c85242033a_k

In the end, we didn’t see any penguins; just some nesting boxes. We’ll try again sometime during the next breeding season. Check out a few more photos of Motunau Beach on my Flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/97210148@N08/sets/72157634593310010/

Kura Tawhiti (Castle Hill)

After experiencing the horizontal rain in Arthur’s Pass and Otira on New Year’s Day (subsequently the road was shut the following day), we stopped off for a quick visit at Castle Hill on our way home; it was sunny and 26 °C.

The grand limestone rock battlements of Kura Tawhiti led early European travellers to name this area Castle Hill because of the imposing array of limestone boulders in the area reminiscent of an old, run-down stone castle. 

The two main areas are Kura Tawhiti and Flock Hill. Both areas are very popular area for rock climbers, and nearby Flock Hill has been used for filming battle scenes in the film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

The front of the Christchurch Cathedral (badly damaged by the earthquake) was made from Castle Hill limestone.

In 2002, the Dalai Lama named it a “Spiritual Centre of the Universe”.

Like looking up at the clouds and making out shapes, it’s also interesting working out what shapes the rocks look like…

2013Jan01_CastleHill6_b&w_pixlr_clean

2013Jan01_CastleHill2_b&w_pixlr_clean

2013Jan01_CastleHill7_b&w_pixlr_clean

2013Jan01_CastleHill1_b&w_pixlr_clean

2013Jan01_CastleHill9_b&w_pixlr_clean

2013Jan01_CastleHill9_saturated_pixlr_clean

Discovering Godley Head

I’ve lived virtually my whole life in Christchurch and never been to Godley Head, that was until last weekend. It’s only 30 minutes drive from town. I didn’t even know that there was a military compound built for World War II. It does lead me to wonder what else I’ve missed out on seeing so close to home.

The military compound was built on the edge of Godley Head at the entrance to Lyttelon Harbour to protect Canterbury during World War II in case we were attacked. It is nationally significant, as it’s one of the most intact and extensive World War II coastal defence batteries left in New Zealand. The compound consists of three long-range gun placements and seven military buildings and was home to over 400 men and women during the war.  It closed in 1963.

Evans Pass road reopened this weekend (November 2012) after being closed because of the Feburary 2011 earthquake, so you can now you can access Godley Head. Before then, apparently ongoing restoration work was being undertaken, and I guess at some stage it will continue. Visitors can explore one of the underground magazines, thanks to electric lighting installed. To view the other magazine, a torch is required. There is also a lighthouse nearby but inaccessible to the public now; not surprising really when the cliffs are 120 metres high.

When I quickly snapped these photos I was thinking some of them would look good in black and white. They didn’t, so a few photos have an aged look instead.

What a stunning view on the way to Godley Heads.

A beautiful day to visit. The view from one of the gun emplacements with the Estuary in the background. Imagine how big the gun was.

A very old bullet that we found:

A few of the buildings:    

I’ll have to return at some stage with a torch to explore and also to do one of the walks. Check out the walks here: http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/canterbury/christchurch-and-banks-peninsula/godley-head-walking-tracks/

Old, Blue, and Much Used

Someone’s much-loved dolly and pram. Still played with, I’m sure, when grandkids are visiting in the country.


Shutter speed 1/80. f-stop f/8. ISO 400.

Old petrol pump in the country…


Shutter speed 1/120. f-stop f/8. ISO 400.


Shutter speed 1/350. f-stop f/8. ISO 400.