Road trip – Hawkes Bay, Hastings farmers market

Hawkes Bay is a great place to eat and drink.  It’s wine country.  The area is also the fruit bowl for much of New Zealand and the locals are great at turning all that bounty into tasty treats, which they show off and sell at the weekly farmers market. People can get carried away with all the produce, so the market provides wheelbarrows for them to take their goodies to their cars.

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Road trip – Hawkes Bay

Yay for the summer holidays. Time to pack up the caravan, polish the camera lenses and head out.  This trip was mostly a meandering between beaches – what else do you do when the sun is shining? Sadly the wind was always blowing off shore and little bit too cool for much swimming.  But the evenings and early mornings were often lovely.  The Hawkes Bay area is known for its wine, food, beaches, and hillside scenery.

The dawn light at Waipatiki beach really made the scenery sing.

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Wellington – the ‘coolest little capital in the world’

Wellingtonians are secretly quite chuffed to be known by the Lonely Planet Guide as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’.  Of course, we know that it’s quite true, and it makes a change from being famous as the windiest city in the world (which is also quite true).   In the last couple of months I’ve been adding to my collection of Wellington photos.  So here are a few more.

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Carterton ‘Home Sweet Home’

All towns have their charm and Carterton, in the Wairarapa is no exception. On a recent visit I rode around on my bike and photographed the houses and cottages that caught my eye. They are a fairly representative sample of much of  New Zealand architecture from the late 1800s to the 1950s or so.

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Wairarapa skies

The region of Wairarapa, just over the Rimutaka hills (mountains really) and heading north has a special place in my heart.  The flat plain is flanked by hills to the west and east and the sky overhead is open and often dramatic – particularly at sunrise and sunset.  When there’s a gale blowing. The results can be incredible.

This is a sampling from my recent visit.

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Kapiti Coast (from Paekakariki near Wellington)

About half an hour’s drive north of Wellington you hit the Kapiti Coast – on the western side of the North Island.  It’s a great spot at any time of the year and no matter where you look, you see Kapiti Island – a reserve for native birds and plants.  The beach is great for a walk any time of the year – grey sand and dunes for as far as you can see in either direction.  Out across the water, is the island.

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Picton (upper South Island)

Picton is the ferry terminal for ships traveling between the two islands.  On my last day in the South Island, I drove up to Karaka Point – it was pretty overcast and there was clearly not going to be a decent sunset.  But I just caught the tail end of a yacht race as the sailors headed for home in front of the rain.  There is also a photo of Endeavour Inlet, which is the the passage channel for the ferries.

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