Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

Posts Tagged ‘Muriwai

Muriwai Beach

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Muriwai is one of my favourite places on the planet… It’s beauty and fierceness are indescribable. Every time I am there, I am shocked by it and as I leave I am planning my next trip. It’s only an hour from home, so it’s not that difficult. The seabirds are incredible, here are two – a gannet with nesting material in its beak. This is a massive bird, with a metre or more wingspan. On the bottom is a Caspian Tern. I am pleased with this shot, though I wish it were a bit sharper, but they fly like bullets, so this is good – especially since he’s got a bit of dinner for the kids in his beak!

In between, a couple of landscapes and to-die for sunset.

I love Muriwai!


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04/12/2013 at 12:42 am

Gannet at rest

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07/03/2013 at 1:22 am

Return to Muriwai

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Gannet again

It’s getting close to the end of the gannet’s season in beautiful New Zealand. They spend the summer here, but care not for our cold wet and blustery winters – they head over to Australia and indulge in their tropical winters. But they’ll be back in the spring to mate and lay eggs and nurture their young. It’s a bit scary looking at the young ones just now. The early hatchlings are now full sized, and while they do not have the adult colouring, they are stretching and flapping and getting ready to take off. (More about that tomorrow!) Then there are the late hatchlings, some still with nothing but baby down. They need more time – much more time… I thought this would be my last trip to see them this season, but perhaps I will make one more…


I just love this place – any time of year. Sadly a swimmer was killed by sharks in these waters earlier this week. Adam Strange was an athlete apparently out for a swim in a popular training spot a couple of hundred metres out. It appears he swam into a group of 3-4 sharks feeding in the area. You couldn’t really call it an attack, just a sad story of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And no, it does not happen often – the last time was in the 1960s. You’re in far more danger of getting caught in a rip tide and carried out to sea than meeting up with an aggro shark… Still – we couldn’t help but keep an eye on the spot where it happened. (Not in this photo.)

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04/03/2013 at 12:45 am

Twilight Time

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Muriwai Twilight


Okay – perhaps it was not as grey as I declared it was yesterday… but you can’t argue that there is no absence of warmth here… those waters were fierce and the wind was wild. The sky is deceptively calm as the gannets, seagulls and terns swooped in and out so fast, they don’t even show up on this long exposure…

I wish they were there. Or maybe a boat. Or a whale spouting off in the distance. You can never find a whale when you need one, can you?


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24/01/2013 at 11:56 pm

By the Light of the Moon

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22/01/2013 at 11:26 pm

Maori Bay Cave at low tide

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maori bay cave

A fascinating little cave at Maori Bay, Muriwai. This is at low tide and as you can see, the water never fully recedes. The top of this cliff is occupied by the gannet colony, but the lower ledges are occupied at the moment by nesting white fronted terns – an extremely territorial medium size bird that swooped down at us, shrieking and came perilously close to my husband’s ear. But I was fascinated by this cave, which is actually a tunnel right through the rock formed by the powerful high-tide waters. Even at low tide, the waters lap on the other end and occasionally come through to the side you see here.

A difficult shot to get as it was actually very contrasty. So I took half a dozen shots and then blended them for a modified HDR effect. I rather dislike ‘proper’ HDR (high dynamic range) images as they tend to lose all contrast and sense of depth and thus seem artificial looking to me, more like illustrations than photos. Of course many people love them, and that is, of course, fine. Just not my cuppa. I think this blend is more representative of what my eyes could see this late in the day. And that cave was bloody dark. Perhaps I will return on a day when low tide is earlier and maybe get a peek at what’s inside. Maybe venture inside, but not with my gear…

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06/12/2012 at 11:22 pm

Maori Bay sunset

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Maori Bay1

One of those places where humans definitely do not belong and for that matter are not particularly welcomed. The surf is fierce, the bird life even fiercer if you should happen to stop and set up your tripod a little to close. I must go back soon. The first time in a place like this is really just a scouting expedition. Next time – next time… I still won’t be ready.

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06/12/2012 at 12:09 am

After the Landing

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29/10/2012 at 9:01 pm

Sunset at Muriwai

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Though it wasn’t an especially good day for a sunset, I still got a pretty nice sunset photo. I just love the reflections in the little stream that flattens as it finally makes its way from the hillside to the sea.

Sunset gets all the praise, but to be honest, I often think the most beautiful moments come after the sun has set, when the last rays cling to the darkening sky. Like this…

Just like this…

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25/09/2012 at 1:43 am


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Sorry I’ve been off for a wee bit. Not sure why, just very busy with all sorts.

Made a visit the other day to the Gannet Colony at Muriwai Beach. shot this with my new 70-200mm lens, with the 2x extender. It’s soooo big… and is just an amazing lens. Of course the gannet is amazing too. You don’t get a sense of scale hare, but his wingspan is nearly 2 metres across (6 feet). They glide so elegantly.

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24/09/2012 at 8:40 am

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