Photographing your African overland trip

When I started writing my overlanding Africa blog I was going to include this section, but there was so much I wanted to include that I’ve decided to separate it. Before the trip I spent countless hours reading forums and website trying to decide what camera gear I should work towards buying so I was well prepared for the photographic opportunities. While there's no hard and fast rule on what people [...]

January 27th, 2024|Categories: Travel, Trips|Tags: |

Overlanding Africa on a big yellow truck

Like every kid growing up I learnt about lions, elephants, giraffe, hyenas and other seemingly mythical creatures that I'd never seen in real life. Maintaining my animal nerd status, with a more recent photography hobby on top of that, the less-travelled destination of Africa was high on my bucket list. Following a recommendation by a Kenyan colleague, we opted to go on an overland truck tour rather than self-drive. Going by [...]

January 27th, 2024|Categories: Travel, Trips|Tags: |

Which Fiordland Great Walk is for you?

Fiordland is high on any hiking/tramping bucket list for good reason - lush forests thanks to the high rainfall, massive glacier carved valleys, distinctive peaks scattered with tarns, and beautifully clear rivers and waterfalls.  New Zealand/Aotearoa has 10 premier hikes/tramps that are classified as “Great Walks”, and three of these - the Milford, Kepler and Routeburn tracks -  are in Fiordland National Park. They each have different offerings in terms of distance, views and [...]

June 11th, 2022|Categories: Trips|

Dragons Teeth tramp trip report (Easter 2021)

Crew: Leon “Hold up I’m cramping” Berard, Dave “Downhill billygoat” Allen, Miles “Lactose Nightmares” Davitt, Otis “Methane Murderer” Berard. Start: James Road right branch, Bainham, Aorere valley. End: Trilobite hut, Cobb Dam road end. Words by Otis, photos by everyone. Day 1 Bainham to Boulder Lake Hut - 8hrs. Sun, sun, sun First, find the start of the track. Don’t believe the DOC brochure that it is at the end of the road at [...]

May 9th, 2021|Categories: Trips|

Packing for a Subantarctic voyage

I’m normally a sucker for researching possible photographic opportunities and conditions before a trip, so naturally when I found out I would be heading away on a dream trip I wanted to make sure I was well prepared. For advice on camera gear to take I asked a friend that had been to the Subantarctics with Heritage Expeditions before. Her advice was “just take everything”. Well, that made it easy!  My usual photographic targets [...]

April 17th, 2021|Categories: Bird photography, Travel, Trips|

Bounty Islands

The last destination on our trip was the Bounty Islands, a small collection of islets and rocks part way between the Antipodes and Chatham Islands. A few nights previous I had sat with one of the guides, Katja, at dinner and quizzed them about what to expect at upcoming islands. Katja said that on the previous trip the Bounty Islands were a highlight, teeming with wildlife at a much higher density to other locations [...]

April 17th, 2021|Categories: Bird photography, Travel, Trips|

Antipodes Islands

The first half of the trip had given us a full spectrum of Subantarctic wind, rain, and swell. Thankfully our long steam from Campbell Island to the Antipodes Islands, around 750km, saw the swell and wind easing and staying calm for the remainder of the voyage. On the way we had a short talk on Antipodean albatross conservation by one of the guests on board, Sue Maturin. Sue is a conservation legend, and a [...]

March 28th, 2021|Categories: Bird photography, Travel, Trips|

Campbell Island/Motu Ihupuku

The first sign that we were approaching Campbell Island/Motu Ihupuku was a change in seabirds around the Spirit. I had woken up before the wakeup call, and after an early raid on the cookie jar I went up to the bridge to check our progress. Campbell Island black-browed albatross were soaring the waves, though too far off to see their distinctive golden iris. Arriving around midday, we prepared for a zodiac cruise along the [...]

March 21st, 2021|Categories: Bird photography, Travel, Trips|

Auckland Island

The next morning the Spirit relocated to nearby Port Ross as we prepared to visit Hardwicke, a historic agricultural and whaling settlement on the main Auckland Island. We boarded the zodiacs in light drizzle, passing a single male sea lion patrolling the bay as we made our way to the beach. By the third zodiac it was taking a more active interest in the visitors and was kept at oars length by one of [...]

February 16th, 2021|Categories: Bird photography, Travel, Trips|

Enderby Island

After another night of rocking and rolling we woke up anchored off Enderby Island, the northernmost of the Maungahuka/Auckland Island group.  Passengers made the most of the open bridge policy, eagerly chatting about what our first land excursion might have in store. From the ship we could see black slugs spread along Sandy Bay; later this morning we would have our first round of rāpoka roulette. Brekkie was quickly tucked into by the full [...]

February 1st, 2021|Categories: Bird photography, Travel, Trips|

The Snares/Tini Heke

I was glad I took those sea sickness meds. A last-minute check of the forecast showed that we would be heading straight out of Bluff into hearty swells which would stick around for several days, so I popped to the nearby pharmacy to get a pack of sealegs and knocked two back before we sailed. As predicted, as soon as we left the shelter of port the 70m Spirit of Enderby/Professor Khromov began to [...]

January 19th, 2021|Categories: Bird photography, Travel, Trips|

Subantarctic Islands: The Galapagos of the Southern Ocean

If someone asked you to name UNESCO World Heritage Sites, how many could you get through? Everest, Grand Canyon, Great Barrier Reef and Galapagos might come to mind, but chances are that the New Zealand subantarctic islands wouldn’t be on that list. Tucked away to the south east of NZ in the roaring forties and furious fifties they are remote, wild, and teeming with wildlife. In short, a photographers dream. Most NZ and [...]

January 12th, 2021|Categories: Bird photography, Travel, Trips|

A study of Island Forks

A quick Google search of Island Forks in the Tararua Forest Park doesn’t give much away – a couple brief mentions in tramping logs, and short blogs by trampers detailing less than pleasant off-track travel to the area. Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t sure what sort of country to expect when I found out I would be staying a few nights there for work. I would be carrying out mustelid and possum monitoring along existing lines, [...]

April 11th, 2019|Categories: Travel, Trips|

“Wild – as nature intended”: Wildlife spotting at Zealandia Ecosanctuary

Wild (of an animal or plant): living or growing in the natural environment. For me, encountering wild animals in their natural environment is what makes wildlife photography so enjoyable. Observing animals carrying out their day to day makes me feel like a fly on the wall, only being acknowledged by an occasional glance as the animal checks to see if I haven’t suddenly grown fangs and am about to attack it. Unfortunately for the [...]

August 11th, 2018|Categories: Bird photography|

Kayaking the Abel Tasman National Park

Quick question: what image pops into your head when you think of the Abel Tasman National Park? For me it's golden beaches, calm blue sea (more on that later), and coastal kānuka forest. Having grown up in Nelson I've done several overnight hikes in the Abel Tasman National Park, but it's an area just asking to be explored by sea. Named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who was the first European to sight New [...]

January 11th, 2018|Categories: Travel|

Niue: The “Rock of the Pacific”

Back in May, my brother Otis asked if I was keen to go on a short holiday to Niue. Knowing nothing about the place, I asked a mate that had been there a couple years previously. Their description? "It's an adventure place, not somewhere you go to lie on the sand and sip cocktails". With those convincing words, Otis and I booked tickets for August, which would put us on the island during peak [...]

September 11th, 2017|Categories: Travel|
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