Saturday, July 30, 2011
Change is a given.
You expect buildings to be in ruins after a continual bombardment of earthquakes and after-shocks. Most of us are well acquainted with ruins now. But it's still hard to describe the unsettling nature of a wander around what is increasingly becoming a wasteland. There are things here you don't expect to find in a city - things like the thundering lorries we now share our streets with - and coming upon them is often disconcerting, frequently disturbing and, sometimes, amusing.
I went walking this morning.
These are just a few of the unexpected sights I captured.
I think the images speak for themselves.
"As long as people live under humiliating conditions, they are going to be bitter and brutal. Architecture is only part of the problem of cities. Conceivably we could have a great city of mediocre buildings. It might be a happy place in which to live. And you might have a beautiful city that is not a happy city."
Friday, July 29, 2011
And 2007 New Zealand Supreme Tourism Industry award winners, Nzone can guarantee adrenalin-pumping moments you'll never forget. They celebrate twenty years in business this year and as New Zealand's first commercial tandem skydive operation, they've helped over 170,000 people jump out over the breathtaking landscapes of Queenstown and Rotorua. they now operate the Supervan 900, the only skydive aircraft of its type in New zealand, which carries nine tandem jumpers, allowing friends and family members to experience the adventure together.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
I'm a (former) North Islander so I never quite get over the thrill of a winter snow storm here in the south. I love the way the world is enveloped in a cloak of white silence - and how any visible colour is rendered twice as vibrant. Here's a selection of my favourite photos from this morning's wander in the wet, snowy streets near by house.
Waiheke Island is a small paradise just 35 minutes from downtown Auckland - a place of white-sand beaches, lush native bush, green farmland, top wineries, vineyards and excellent cafes and restaurants. It's there, at Blackpool Beach at Huruhi Bay, that Keith and Marilyn Graham have established Breakfast on the Beach, a modern retreat that makes a perfect base for island exploration.
Four large, airy guest suites - all with ensuite bathrooms - are just 30-metres from the peaceful beachfront and there's a large guest lounge at your disposal, along with pushbikes, sea kayaks, golf clubs and swimming gear.
Breakfast on the Beach can also be book exclusively for special occasions - everything from weddings and corporate events to birthdays or black-tie dinners.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Fruit and custard tarts were all the excuse I needed to visit the single cafe in the tiny village of Macedon, just off Calder Highway, between Melbourne and Bendigo in the Macedon Ranges. A post office opened here in 1859 and until 1870, it was known as Black Forest. When the Ash Wednesday bush fires swept through in February 1983, many of the town's homes were destroyed. Today the population hovers around 1450. Woodend is not far from Macedon. It's a much bigger though and I visit most years to see family there. It's a pleasant spot about an hour north of Melbourne and conventiently, on the Melbourne-Bendigo commuter line so the big city is a leisurely train ride away. I use it as a base for my forays into the Victorian countryside.
The popular spa town of Daylesford is another Victorian gem; and it's here you'll find the grand old Convent Gallery, close to Wombat Hill and the Botanic Gardens. It was originally built in the 1860s as a private residence for the Gold Commissioner and was later sold to the Catholic Church in the 1880s. They set it up as a convent and boarding school, which operated for almost a hundred years. It lay deserted for some time after that, until artist, Tina Banitska discovered it and took on the astonishing renovation project, which now stands completed. The Convent today features several art galleries and shops, the Bad habits Cafe, the Altar Bar, ghost tours and a wedding function centre.
I discovered the tiny Southwest Queensland town of Eulo in 2008, when I visited Cunnamulla, 67km to the east. Little more than a pub, a general store and a huddle of houses, it's home to around 70 people. Every August though, people come from near and far for a day out at the Paroo Lizard Race Track, which is marked by this distinctive statue of a giant frilled lizard, proving yet again, that the Aussies will bet on just about anything.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I photographed the Christchurch Art Gallery car park bunker last weekend - after the first coat of the new outdoor artwork had been applied - nicely capturing architectural reflections off the gallery itself. Today I returned to see the new work taking shape.
Removing the dome, Regent Theatre Complex, Cathedral Square Church door, Durham Street
Army check point Gloucester Street
Graffiti and EQC markings, Gloucester Street
Wrecker's Ball, Oxford Terrace
Office Block, Cashel Street
Office Block, Cashel Street