New Zealand - North Island - East Coast

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Dioptrick, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    My wife and I got back home just in time for New Year's Eve from a 5-day holiday, driving around the East Coast of New Zealand's North Island. It was a much needed break for me and a great opportunity to dust off my 5N and get snapping again. The clockwise East Coast route starts from Opotiki and we headed off to the remote East Cape Lighthouse (most easterly lighthouse in the world according to our map) then down to the city of Gisborne (where Captain Cook first landed) and then back via the Wai Oeka Gorge. I got a decent amount of photos but I don't have the time (and energy) to go through them all in one go, so I'll trickle feed them through as time allows.


    I'm still not sure whether to post the photos in geographical order or by category. I specifically went on the look out for - Historical Buildings - Rustic Sheds or old abandoned Buildings - and of course Scenic shots. I only took a few Panoramas which turned out a lot better than expected upon reviewing these on my computer. I really regret not taking more of them. I'll start off with the Panos for now... and figure out the rest later.

    On our way towards the East Cape lighthouse. I thought the roads would be like this all the way... I was wrong!

    Coming back from the lighthouse via some narrow dirt roads.

    An old quarry building of some sort by a river not far from the small town of Waiapu.

    Tokumaru Bay Wharf.

    Near the point, Tokumaru Bay Wharf.
  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Real Name:
    The last two are quite nice.
  3. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Real Name:
    Love the last two!!! ;)
  4. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Thanks everyone. Yes, those two are my favourites too. :)

    The first and third panos were taken with the SEL18-55 zoom and the rest were taken with the SEL16 wide angle. The last pano still blows me away... I was sure that the stitching would require some serious PP repairs along the wooden decking because of the inherent corner distortions in such a wide field of view, but that's SOOC. The software did a pretty good job of stitching the distorted wooden planks which ended up almost like a fish-eye image. Some of the waves on the right side reveal where the stitching occurs especially near the end where I accidentally bumped the camera (my body ran out of twist, lol). That can be easily repaired if it were to be enlarged, but I didn't bother for this web upload.
  5. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    +1 awesome :)
  6. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Real Name:
    Yeppers, those last two are stellar. :cool:
  7. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Architecture - Wooden Tavern/Hotels

    OK, some historic buildings this time... well restored and maintained roadside Hotels/Taverns/Pubs - the wooden sort in particular.

    I didn't go out of my way to find them all obviously, just the ones we saw along the way. The trip covers a little over 1000 kms and even though my wife was very understanding, after the second day of stop and go, even I got tired of getting out of the car and just wanted to get on with driving. I know of two really nice ones that I drove past and there's bound to be others away from the main road that I've missed.

    The Whakatane Hotel. Before getting to the start of the East Coast route, we passed through Whakatane. This building isn't wooden but I put it here because it's what sparked the idea of this category. The weather was grim and it rained off and on for the first two days, but it cleared-up at the latter part of the trip.

    The Royal Hotel at Opotiki

    The '1874 Cafe' at Gisborne

    The Roseland Tavern at Makaraka just at the outskirts of Gisborne

    The Matawai Hotel, on our way home via the Wai Oeka Gorge.
  8. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Real Name:
    I find I can pretty accurately gauge the quality of a location by the amount I am compelled to use panorama mode! :)
  9. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Real Name:
    I've GOT to get myself over to New Zealand some day. Looks like a slice of heaven.

  10. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    yeah, awesome place, yes it is
  11. RalllyFan

    RalllyFan TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 2, 2012
    Real Name:
    Great pics, love the panoramics!
  12. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Disused Buildings, Rustic Old Sheds, and Rural Scenes

    My daughter is really into old sheds and buildings so I made sure to stop and take photos for this category. I can see why she loves the textures and so I took colour jpegs bearing in mind that I would convert all of them into B&W later. However, some of them actually look pretty good in colour so I left them this way for now.

    Number 16 - a disused historic building in Opotiki.

    Sheep with prime-beach privileges are basking in the warm afternoon at a paddock with an ocean view, not far after Te Kaha.

    An old sheep Shearing Shed somewhere near Ruakokore.

    They say the early farmers of New Zealand built and repaired the country with nothing but "Number 8" wire (a high tensile fencing wire). Where there's No.8 wire you'll always find these ratchet tensioners, both of which are an integral part of the NZ agricultural landscape!

    A rustic Beach House fit for an oil painting, possibly near Whangaparaoa.

    I took this photo from a coastal dirt road returning from the East Cape Lighthouse. This secluded farmstead has it all... a virgin beachfront across the road, a pine forest at the backyard - PLUS their very own private rock cliffs complete with waterfall! ... and oh, Frodo's house is probably just around the corner!! :rolleyes:

    Another rustic setting begging to be painted in oils, at the small town of Waiapu.

    This rustic scene just before the Mangahauini Bridge is just made for Sepia tone special effect. I can imagine with Photoshop added sepia, grain and scratches, this photo could easily appear to have been taken in the 1920s!

    Arriving at a disused historic (hotel?) building at the corner junction heading towards the Tokumaru Historic Wharf.

    Wine-making vineyard country just outside of Gisborne, somewhere near Ormond.

    A farm implement shed at a sheep station further up the road.

    The compulsory ratchet tensioner photo from the same spot.

    Spoiled cows having an idyllic brookside picnic, heading towards the Wai Oeka Gorge pass.
  13. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Real Name:
    Wonderful pictures, second only to being there. In some way it's quite similar to California, yet the historic buildings are very different. Makes me want to visit.
  14. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Real Name:
  15. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    Real Name:
    They are all great.

    I particularly like these two.

  16. markoneswift

    markoneswift TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 17, 2012
    Superb pics, can't wait till I'm on the plane over there :) My brother-in-law is on his way over in the next couple of weeks and my wife and I will be accompanying his wife and two kids when they join him at the end of Jan. I'm hoping to get some interviews in whilst I'm there - if you know anyone who is looking for talented IT types let me know :)
  17. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Architecture - Restored Historical Buildings of Gisborne

    My wife and I have never been to Gisborne and although I've heard it's quite historical, I had no idea how many beautiful old buildings dominate its city centre. They have been beautifully restored and the few that still aren't, seem to be in preparation. The city seems to have recognised that these buildings are valuable assets in maintaining the city's character and identity so I'm glad they have made every effort to stop demolition, as many other larger cities have too eagerly done in the past. In fact modern buildings almost look out of place in this charming little city. It's a small community of about 35,000 and while we were there, it's population pretty much doubled because of its "Rhythm and Vines" music festival held each year during the Christmas holiday period. Here are some of the historical brick buildings, all taken with the SEL18-55 zoom. I can tell you that the colour saturation and image quality of this kit lens really did justice to these buildings... the exposure was bang on all the time, with no colour shifts or wayward tinges.

    Peel Street historical buildings

    Townley's Building

    T.Adair's Building 1914

    Here's a recently restored one from 1915

    I couldn't find any markings on this building

    King's Theatre

    Gisborne Herald

    The USS Co of NZ Ltd Building

    This next one is my favourite. While I was taking photos, I struck up a conversation with a lovely couple who leaned out one of the bottom windows just to say hello. As it turned out, they own the building and live on the upper floor. While they sipped wine out of their glasses they told me of how they bought and restored the building themselves and how an earthquake back in 2006 nearly brought the building down. At great personal cost, they repaired and re-enforced the building with no legislative assistance. I really admire the dedication of Gisborne's many private building owners just like them. The cost of restoration, maintenance, not to mention insurance on these old buildings are much much higher than if they took the easy route of erecting new building structures.




  18. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Real Name:
    Wow, love the last set !!! ;)
  19. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Travel Landmark - East Cape Lighthouse

    I was looking forward to this leg to be one of the highlights of our trip, but the weather packed-up. We still had a memorable good time, but as far as photography goes it was a disappointment because I've seen magnificent scenic shots of this lighthouse on postcards and calendars and was hoping to take some of my own. Not to be.


    One of the many 'one-lane' bridges we had to cross along the East Coast route. I had to pay constant attention as to who gives way to who.


    Not being familiar with the area, I was blasé about my fuel gauge not realizing that petrol stations were not only scarce but also rather agricultural. Getting close to empty, I was relieved to find the only petrol station for miles... which I could've easily missed, had we not asked for directions. You know you're in a real remote area when a lone self-service pump sticks out of a vacant lot with an electronic payment box mounted on someone's fence! I had two choices, diesel or petrol (I needed premium octane, but oh well).


    After a while the paved roads ended and we were on gravel, I wasn't prepared for this either. The route is the only way in and out and ends at the foot of the lighthouse mount. Most of the other vehicles we've encountered were mostly 4wheel drives and pick-up trucks. Low profile tyres and lowered suspension - not a good idea!


    Then things got even more amusing (sarcasm) as the single-lane loose gravel road got slippery and even narrower towards the cliffs near the end.


    The rain was light but it was so misty that we couldn't even see the lighthouse from the parking area. My wife smiles at the base to begin our 700 slippery steps to the top!


    The ol' historic East Cape Lighthouse, supposedly the the most easterly lighthouse in the world. It was a total white-out at the summit, so no 360° panoramic shots of the coastline. :( Although GPS has made it obsolete, I believe it's still functional.


    About halfway down towards the car park.



    I stopped for some shots along the coastal gravel road on our way back out towards Hicks Bay.


    I left my tripod in the car and couldn't be bothered to go back and get it. Just as well YouTube's upload software did a good job of removing most of my shaky panning.
  20. Grisu_HDH

    Grisu_HDH TalkEmount Veteran

    Dec 16, 2012
    Southern Germany
    Real Name:
    Just one word: WOW! And also: WOW! And perhaps: WOW!!!
    Really great shots and a great trip you had...
    New Zealand has been on your holyíday wish list for quite some years now, but we just acn't afford it in the last years...