Posts Tagged ‘waterfall’
With travel, one is always taking a punt on the weather. And travelling around New Zealand, even moreso. This is my third trip to Milford Sound and it has been raining/overcast every single time. So it goes… Milford Sound is so breathtaking, it is hard to complain or feel short-changed in the least. But it always seems to be cold and damp.
So – a couple of non-notable peaks, shrouded in cloud and fog and a waterfall, probably a couple hundred metres high, draining the rains from the mountain tops. If you look above and slightly to the right, you will see there are dozens of little rivulets streaming down, feeding it. The stuff of… Middle Earth, I guess…
There have been a number of articles in the local papers lately about one of Auckland’s great undiscovered treasures – The Oakley Creek Walkway, which follows along Oakley Creek and has a nice little waterfall. It was a perfect Saturday, so the husband I packed up our gear and headed down the road toward the city and set out looking for one of several entrances – which are well marked and easy to access, but they are mostly off Great North Road, one of Auckland’s busiest roads and there is no place to park … but we did well to find something on a side road and began our decent. Though it’s described as a very easy walk, those steps are a total barrier to anyone with mobility issues, which is a shame.
It’s a pretty nice walk – about 1.5 kms (a bit over a mile) through some nice, but not terribly interesting bush. There are so many invasive weeds, including very pretty nasturtiums, daisies and morning glory, which choke out the native plants. But there are lots of charming little bridges wandering over the creek. Some families out walking their kids, a few dogs. The light came and went and I shot some water and a few ducks and a bit of bush – the photos, strange to say, were so much more interesting than the reserve. Hmmm…
We continued on – to the waterfall… ugh… there are times when I just hate (some of) my fellow humans… the little observation deck to view the falls from above had been set on fire and completely destroyed. Judging from the strong burnt odour, I would say it was very recently, probably on Guy Fawkes Day (a week or so ago). And the entire falls area was littered with broken beer bottles, cartons, general rubbish, and more than a few little piles of human waste… Just one of those moments when I have to stop and breathe and remind myself that as much as I would like to be egalitarian and compassionate and understanding – some people just are not worth it… Ugh…
That said, I set up my tripod and got out my ND filters and got some pretty nice, very inviting shots of the falls and the ducks and some interesting trees and… well, by the time I was done, I’d shot a couple of hundred images.
When I got home I processed them and found that I had a number of rather amazing shots! Which I will run over the next few days… Without this upfront admission, one might have thought The Oakley Creek Walkway was one of Auckland’s hidden treasures. I have to say it really isn’t, though it could be – and maybe will be, one day… Of course if you’re a photographer – it’s a different story.
The worst thing about travel photography is that you haul around every last piece of equipment you own just in case you need it.
The best thing about travel photography is that you haul around every last piece of equipment that you own because that filter you thought you had to have, but never used because you don’t do that kind of thing at all is right there – just when you need it most. Yes, there I was trekking down some forsaken path through the bush, hauling it all (though my husband was kind enough to carry my tripod…) clambering over wet rocks, setting it all up, including those neutral density filters, for a nice, long exposure that would soften the water and make the whole thing dreamlike.
I like it. In the summer, I think I might like to go for a dip, let those waters pour over my head and shoulders.