Gallery of past work

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Coast, animals and thoughts of distance

Now we are down on the south coast of South Island New Zealand where it's wonderfully quiet and unspoilt - one of the almost forgotten parts of the world - and beautiful. There are lengths of wonderful sandy beaches and it's warm (we've been extraordinarily lucky). In Europe that would spell major holiday resort. Here there is no one about, almost no traffic on the roads and a deep sense of tranquility.


Last evening we went to a tiny cove at Nugget Point to look for the rare yellow eyed penguins which come ashore around twilight after a day's fishing out at sea. This species of small penguin is the most endangered in the world with only around 160 pairs in total. We saw four individuals swimming through the surf and preening themselves on the beach. My photo was taken on maximum zoom, in wind and in the half light, so I make no apologies for its quality.


This morning, we walked out to the lighthouse on the same headland, a beautiful walk all along the cliffs on a warm sunny day. We saw spoonbills nesting on a rock ...


And, greatest pleasure of all, twenty or so seals playing in the waves and sunbathing on the beach far below us ...


Further along the coast, we stopped for lunch and came upon a large bull sea lion (he was not a pretty sight) sleeping right across our path to the sands.


Standing watching the penguins coming out of the surf last night, we were suddenly so conscious of our distance from home. We were just as far away as it's possible to be and still stand on dry land. Looking south as we were doing, it would be next stop Antarctica, across the Southern Ocean, a vast area of deserted sea, without shipping and with so many storms.

Distances seem enormous here ...


  1. I love your pics from your travels, Margaret !
    I can almost sense the quiet there and feel that 'distance' ... awesome !
    Looking forward to your pics of Antartica ;)

    1. Thank you, Sharron. We are nearing the end of our travels now, only a few more days in New Zealand and then the long trek home. Antarctica will have to wait for another time, though it is on my (long) list ...!


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