The New Zealand lakes are spectacular photo ops! Each of these lake shots is comprised of multiple pictures. While I have significantly reduced their size in this post, since I’m uploading them to the web, the original files are enormously large. In fact, the original photo of the second Lake Pukaki shot is made up of 10 photos and is over 21,000 pixels wide. For a point of comparison, the one you see in this post is only 582 pixels wide.
When we were staying at the Heritage, the weather was cloudy and drizzling. During the middle of the night, the clouds blew away, and Mount Cook made an appearance. I shot this photo of Mount Cook around 2am.
Numerous photos from the walk from Hotel Blue, on Pier 8, along the bay, beside the Royal Botanic Gardens and all the way to the Sydney Opera House. It’s gorgeous. The following are some pictures of the plants and views from the Royal Botanic Gardens along the bayside walk.
I shot this pano as the sun was coming up behind the volcanic hills and clouds. The rocky beach caught a beautiful glow at low tide. I present the pano with a rather intense HDR processing because it most closely captures what the area actually looked like in the beautiful morning sun.
From this vantage point you can see downtown Sydney, the marina (with some very nice boats in it), the Royal Botanical Gardens (an astounding place!), and the Australian Navy yard. At the end of the dock is a large building. We were told, by reliable sources, that this is the residence of Australian actor Russell Crowe.
The Hotel Blue is an interesting historic building built on the docks in Sydney in the late 1800’s. It has a cool vibe, and I mean that figuratively as well as literally.
I’m going through the 3,500 photos I shot in New Zealand, and this is one of my favorites so far. It’s actually 2 photos stitched together. The views were astoundingly expansive. One photo would never capture what nature presented for wonder. And, as beautiful as the photo is, if I say so myself, it doesn’t begin to capture the scene!
During the flight, we landed the helicopter high atop Mount Tasman and got out and walked around, sinking up to our knees in the snow. The views were expansive—all the way to the Tasman Sea. The snow from Mount Tasman creates the Fox Glacier. Seeing the snow from above cracking and creating thousands of enormous crevasses was a first for me.
On this longest travel day ever, we arrived in San Francisco not long after taking off from New Zealand. Time is such a strange thing. And so, a wonderful vacation-to-end-all-vacations comes to a close.
The TranzAlpine train itself is very nice—much nicer than an airplane! Traversing through the southern alps, the views from the train would have been stunning had we left on time. As it was, we caught a few glimpses of the setting sun in the mountain peeks along the route, but darkness engulfed about half of the trip.