North North West Auckland

North North West

Looking out from the Sky Tower we see the view of the CBD’s viaduct. Out beyond that one of the large marinas the make Auckland New Zealand’s ‘City of Sails’. Beyond that, the Harbour Bridge, and the western side of the North Shore.

The Viaduct, once a more commercial area, has been redeveloped over the last decade or so into a up market apartment, bar and restaurant, and tourism area. Home to a number of very flash sea going vessels the size of a large home (and bigger), it is still being developed into a new upcoming area walking distance from the central business area.

The marina – Westhaven Marina, is the largest of its type in the Souther Hemisphere,and one of 640 worldwide brings about our title of the City of Sails.

Some more tomorrow!

Down there is Queen Street

Queen Street Above

Perhaps unsurprisingly, New Zealand being a country of the Commonwealth, Aucklands main road in the CBD is Queen Street. During the week, a hustling and bustling street, lined with various retail, food and entertainment shops. Its also the main street for any wider Auckland parades, graduation walks, and protest walks. An early development in Aucklands young town years (1840), a stream ran down it. This was soon directed via a small canal, and then buried underground by the 1870’s. The lower half of Queen Street was also reclaimed from the sea (reclaimed being an always off term to me as it always make me feel like we are taking back something lost rather than never had).

Looking down upon it from up in the Sky Tower, one gets a sense of how small things are from above, We saw a number of gulls flying up near us at 300m, catching the wind currents. You can also see how cold Queen Street can get with the surrounding shadows of the buildings.

Tomorrow, keeping ‘up high’ we will venture our view out a little more, past the goings on of the CBD.

Looking to the South

SSE Museum

Shot approximately SSE, todays view has us looking down upon the Auckland Museum, and Mount Wellington in the background (as well as two aeroplanes if you can spot them).

As a child, from the North Shore, the museum was in clear view. A monster of a building, whilst still visible, is dwarfed by the cityscape. Built from the early 1920’s and opened in 1929, this neoclassical monument has undergone a number of upgrades over the years, but still holds true to the essential design. Holding a vast array of museum pieces (many in the underground storage archive not available to the public), its well worth a visit for anyone stopping by Auckland.

A war memorial museum, it is also the biggest venue for our annual ANZAC dawn ceremony.

Aucklands Spaghetti Junction

Spagetti Junction

All big cities seem to have their own Spaghetti Junction. A confusing series of motorway on/off ramps, twisted and turned like a bowl of spaghetti. Auckland is no different.

Shot again from the Sky Tower, looking down upon the city, I focused towards part of our spag bowl. Technically titled the ‘Central Motorway Junction’, Im not sure I have ever met anyone who has called it such. Without reference, my understanding is our spaghetti junction was built in the 1960’s to assist traffic flows and congestion in the central meeting point (CBD). When being built in the 70’s, it seems as there was some cost cutting, as I recall a number of pilons sticking up, going nowhere. I the 2000’s it was finally completed (or extended depending on ones position of opinion).

Unfortunately for Auckland, and I am sure other areas of the world, a plan for traffic and traffic flow in the 60’s had no way of being able to accurately project 50 years into the future. The spaghetti may be well sign posted, but its still a muddle, and best to keep clear of any time around rush hour traffic…unless you want to more slowly and admire the engineering that is.

And another shot from above tomorrow!

City South

City Southern

Following on from yesterdays image, over the next week I have a few shots to share from a trip up the Sky Tower. Featured in a number of photos I have shown, and being about 15 years since I last went up, I thought it was about time to venture up and capture some of the surrounding landscape. Sitting at 328m tall, its without doubt the place to go for a view of virtually all of Auckland City.

We had some tickets at the ready a few weeks back, but with winter on its way (technically here now we are in June) we had to wait for a clear sunny day.

Armed with my Sony,once there I found it was so bright, I really could have done with a ND filter – but then again, I try not to cart around a massive bag of kit with me, unless its an actual trip out to just take photos.

Todays shot is looking ~South over the city. In the distance we can see One Tree Hill (left) and Mt Eden (right). When up this high, nothing looks particularly hilly – even though Auckland is anything but flat!

Another shot from above tomorrow!

Autumn Between the Shadows

A sliver of light

A shot from above.

Looking down I snapped the autumn tree, its colours beaming out from both the shadows and grey city surrounding.

Shot on the Nex 5N with the 55-210mm lens. In Gimp I desaturated the blue tones, giving the city buildings the mono tone.

More shots from above tomorrow.

Auckland City from Afar

Auckland from afarHeading out to pick up some bits and pieces we passed through Greenhithe in Auckland norther region. Taking a quick stroll around one of the local parks, I captured a shot of our cities CBD from a distance.

Shot on the Sony Nex, once home I opened up in Gimp and cropped the aspect ratio to make the image more panoramic. Converting to B&W I added a slight brown hue to the image.


Hut in the Woods

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMore a hut in the park rather than hut in the woods, but an interesting discovery none the less whilst having a short walk after work. Armed with the Olympus E-500, my battery was almost flat, so I rushed to get some shots off before it died. Shooting at dusk under trees at iso100 I did get some motion blur, but quite liked the final result once converted to B&W.

I am assuming the hut was some form of student project or fun game for kids/family rather than someone actually using it – it would not offer much shelter.


Urban Stormwater

Urban Stormwater


A quick wander around yet another new suburban area in Albany on Aucklands North Shore brought me to an urban stormwater treatment pond. Stormwater, around the world, in ever increasing concrete jungles is a huge polluter to rivers, streams and beaches. Travelling around different areas of Auckland (and I am sure elsewhere), we have seen an increase in these treatment ponds around built up suburban areas. Designed to remove sediments and contaminants, as well as offering flood protection, the resulting outpour of water is much fresher and healthier for local wildlife. Perhaps not from the perspective in todays shot, they can also add a nice green/lake visual environment around the suburban area (whilst still being off limits to people of course).

Shot on the Ricoh GRD IV, switching back to bleach bipass setting. Slightly cropped in Gimp.

On Rolls Autumn

Tree Leaves


Its been a busy few weeks with moving out of the flat and into our first home. Sadly, its been pretty hard to find much time recently to really get out there and take some images. We have moved into an area surrounded by great bush walks, so all going well…sooner rather than later… I will get some more time to get out there.

Todays image, shot down the road, was from a quick stroll in between sorting out things at home. The heavy rain and thunderstorms seem to have missed Auckland, but have hit south, with flooding and storm damage.

Shot on the Sony Nex and edited in Gimp.

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