Summer Sun at the Beach

Summer Sun

Summer is here in NZ and the post Christmas iffy weather looks to be mostly behind us. A few people got the same idea to cool off at Takapuna Beach on the North Shore of Auckland today.

Panorama shot on Galaxy S5 mobile.

City – Devonport – Rangitoto – Beyond


A beautiful clear day it was, todays image sees us looking out over the lower part of the city, across to Devonport on the North Shore, and beyond that Rangitoto Island (also a different part of the country way past that).
Rangitoto, a volcanic island, stands out in the Auckland landscape as the island that looks almost the same from any angle of Auckland. Its name, Maori, translates to Bloody Sky. Estimated to have largely formed 550-600 years ago (although possibly also over 1000 years intermittently). This recent forming (in the grand scheme of things), lives in the memory of local Maori, and evidence of human footprints between Rangitoto and its adjoining island Motutapu have been found.
Move forward a few hundred years from its creation, and into European settlement time, Rangitoto was purchased for the grand sum of 15pounds by the crown in 1854, and by the late 1800’s had become a popular day trip location (and a growing batch/alternative community). Further building was banned in the late 1830’s, and today only a small number of houses remain in this park area.
A great place to visit while one stays in Auckland – if you do go, remember to take a water bottle with you. Naturally sparse in water supply, walking up the volcanic path to the summit (unless you get the tractor) the climate is often hot and dry.

That concludes my wider views from the Sky Tower for now. Really a must do for visitors to Auckland – simply to soak in the views of the countries largest city.

Mt. Victoria Mushrooms

On the summit of Mt Victoria sit a patch of giant mushrooms. Big red mushrooms with white dots. Actually ventilation ducts, the ‘mushrooms’ have been painted multiple times over the decades, and make an intersting site for people visiting the Mt Victoria to get a view of the North Shore, town, and Rangitoto (in the background of my image). I believe originally they were painted by a local Devonport artist, her boyfriend and his mate – it featured in a local paper article many years ago.

Being the oddity they are, I wanted to highlight them in todays image. After taking the image on the GRD, I desaturated all but the mushrooms in Gimp. I then slightly tweaked the sharpness and contrast to get the most out of the mixed color/B&W image.

Hilltop View

Another clear blue sky marked the end of the working week today. I took a stroll up one of the local hills to take in the ‘golden hour’ as the sun dropped low on the horizon. Whilst I liked each of the three images alone, I decided to combine them to show the progressive journey to the final shot, peeking through the harakeke (flax) towards Rangitoto on the other side of the harbor.

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