1 February 2014

new zealand | glenorchy & paradise

[warning: bumper post!]

We recently travelled "across the ditch" (as they say) to Queenstown on New Zealand's South Island for a short break, and whilst NZ is a mere three hour flight from Sydney, it feels like another world.  Low-lying clouds obscure the peaks of mountains that rise dramatically from the edge of impossibly blue lakes, pretty wildflowers grow alongside winding roads and there is a photo opportunity at every turn.  It really is just the most breathtakingly beautiful place.

Perhaps my most favourite experience from our time in NZ was our day trip from Queenstown to the small town of Glenorchy and beyond to Paradise (which was one of the filming locations of Lord of the Rings if that is of interest!).  Glenorchy is around 45 kilometres from Queenstown, and the drive takes you along the edge of the stunning Lake Wakatipu.  The trip is known as one of the most scenic drives in the world, to which we can totally attest, as it took us well over two hours due to endless photo stops (OMG, pull overrrr!) ...





The view of Lake Wakatipu from Seven Mile Delta ...


Wilson Bay was so so beautiful and peaceful, I can't even put it into words.  It's also where my minor obsession with pinecones began ...


Around halfway to Glenorchy, there is a popular scenic lookout by the side of the road with sweeping views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains.  It is incredible ...


And then, we finally made it to Glenorchy!  


This (not so) little guy was so awesome.  I think he just spends his days playing fetch with everyone!  He picks up a stick in his mouth, chooses someone to approach and drops the stick at their feet.  If they don't throw it for him, he will pick it up and drop it at their feet again, and keep doing it until they give in.  We had lots of fun with him, and I have seen him mentioned on other blogs as well, so I guess he is a bit of a fixture down by the lake, which I think is so great :)



I couldn't actually bring myself to go in here, but possum fur products are quite popular in NZ ...


And then, after rattling around on an unsealed road (for which our rental car probably wasn't, er, quite made) for twelve kilometres, we finally made it to Paradise.  The sign said so ... !


Friendly Paradise horsie (I think that horses are gorgeous but they intimidate me a little!) ...


So I have to say, Paradise Forest was one of the most amazing places I have ever visited.  It was so green and so incredibly quiet, and I had a little wren hanging out with me as I wandered around taking photos!  I felt a million miles from anywhere ...


Cows roamin' around.  I love the way they stare at you as you drive past.  It made me think of being on a cow safari (!) ...


Turns out, sheep are ridiculously hard to photograph as they always run away.  One cranky baa! from an unco-operative one, and they all up and leave (which is, I suppose, the Way of the Sheep, but still).  I was happy to capture this little guy peeking around the tree ...


The way back to Queenstown (same scenic lookout, different light!) ...


All photographs © Natasha Calhoun

19 comments:

  1. I have read somewhere that NZ has these amazing places... it turned out to be true! I love the field of yellow flowers and the small cottage and those blue lakes... aw, so peaceful!

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  2. your photos are the most heavenly, always!! i would love to jump right in!!

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  3. looks like a paradise !... gorgeous phootograph of a sheep - she looks a bit curious - I think she wouln't mind to come closer though :) great photographs Natasha!
    {you write your post on the 1st of February, while here in european part it is about 6 hours to the February 1st! :)) have a lovely day! }

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  4. Wow! I've just been watching the series "Top of the Lake", which is taking place there. What a coincidence!

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  5. You're making me really miss NZ. Think I need to book a trip there soon! Quick question, what camera equipment were you using? What lens are you using for those beautiful pine cone and purple flower shots? xx

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    1. Hey Jasmine :) I used the Nikon 50mm f1.4 lens for those (on my D800). Hope you've been well. xox

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    2. Oh you're a legend, thanks for replying! Hope you've been well too, long overdue for a catch up! Xx

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  6. Ahh beautiful photos. I need to visit NZ one day...

    Beth // SANS SOUCI

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  7. i ache for New Zealand, my spiritual home, the verdant green of the hills, trees and ferns. i miss new zealand. thank you for sharing your photographs - they are beautiful

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  8. Oh my gosh these are so gorgeous. NZ is on the top of my travel list...I hope we get to go one day! I've been loving all the pictures as they hit your instagram feed, but this post is a huge list of gorgeousness! Love them.

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  9. Awesome photos. Glad you had a great time 'pulling over!' haha! xx
    wllwproject.com (new domain)
    wllwpopup.com.au (a new project of mine)

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  10. So so beautiful Natasha - makes me want to travel there and then I wonder if I ever will as it's just so far away! Ohh but it's one for the bucket list. Your photos are always a little wistful and that is what I love about this. Wistful and with a bit of whimsy. Lovely, as ever. Lou x

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  11. NZ reminds me so much of here - except sort of through one of those distorted mirrors!
    Gorgeous, gorgeous shots
    Did you use all DSLR or some with the new one - I'm dying to know how you're finding it - *this* close to buying one!

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  12. Hi, I will be going to Glenorchy this month. How do I go to paradise forest from Glenorchy? Is there any road signs to Paradise forest. I would like to go to the forest to take some pictures too.

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    1. Hi Tony,

      Hopefully I am not too late with this response! To get to Paradise, you basically keep following the road that you took from Queenstown to Glenorchy, which will eventually become unsealed - just keep driving! There aren't any signs marking the forest itself, but it's pretty obvious once you get there :)

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  13. Are all photos taken with Nikon D800 50mm lens?

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  14. All the photos are on the D800 with either the Sigma 35mm f1.4 or Nikon 50mm f1.4 lens.

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  15. Oh my gosh, all these photos are incredible. I would love to go to New Zealand one day, it seems like the most gorgeous place (and I'm a huge LOTR geek and proud of it!)

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