NEW ZEALAND PAINTINGS
For those who have missed the postings of my blogs and wondered where I have been recently, I was away in New Zealand.
And while there, I took lots and lots of photographs of the country, the north and south islands. And I can tell you I was amazed at the beauty of the country.
My husband and I first arrived in Dec 2015 and were very impressed by the freshness and lushness of the green rolling hills as we motored down from Auckland.
We stopped for lunch, at this lake near Lake Tarawera (North Island), under a braai stand shelter. It was such a lovely place that I took many photographs of it, in between small showers of rain. It was hard to choose which photo to paint, because the place had so much painting potential!
After such beautiful rolling hills on our way down from Auckland, it was quite a surprise to come across the wide open desert surrounding the Raupehu volcanic mountains. Even through it was a lovely sunny day, the cold wind from the snow-capped mountains was blowing fiercely over the desert, creating mists of swirling sand over the dry landscape.
After taking pictures of the desolate dunes, we travelling up to the ski slopes, high up on the barren Raupehu Mountain. It was a scary drive up the mountain, with the road so narrow and vast drops on either side of the road in places! I’m afraid I’m not one for high places or near the edges of tall cliff faces!! So I didn’t take photos in such places!
After the very hot weather we had experienced in south Africa, we found the wind in New Zealand. rather cold. The wind was cool because when we got there, there was still snow on the mountains.
Every where we went we wore coats. This amused the Zealanders no end. But to us, we couldn’t over the fact they were completely sleeveless no matter how cold it was!
In South Africa we are used to our summers been between 28-33 degrees on average. A super beautiful day is 28 degrees! There in New Zealand they think it is terribly hot if the temperature is over 22 degrees!
They told us that there is less likelihood of rain after Christmas day. So by the time we left New Zealand to go back home to South Africa, sadly the green grass started going a golden brown, giving the countryside a somewhat autumn appearance.
Been an artist, what I enjoyed so much was the huge Jaggered trees found mostly on the north island. In South Africa, we only have those types of trees in the Table Mountain region.
The branches are fascinating, they come out in all angles, pointing this way and that way, depending on which direction the wind blows mostly. They look so majestic, even though they’re so dark and forbidding against the skyline.
- We couldn’t get over the fact how clean and tidy everything is in New Zealand. There aren’t any weeds or litter in the streets, except beautiful yellow and white daisies waving in the breeze down the sides of the country roads and hanging baskets of flowers and bright flowerbeds in the cities and towns.
- Even the farms and fields are neatly kept. Wind-breaker hedges are well-trimmed, no matter how high they are. Even though you see driftwood on the beaches, there isn’t scattered wood and trunks of trees lying all over the fields of farms, they are skilfully gathered up into neat piles.
- And what about the fresh clean waters of New Zealand! We stood open-mouthed as we gazed down upon the Taupo waterfall. Such high volumes of clear ice green and blue water flowing over the falls! Truly photos don’t do justice to what you see in New Zealand!
- Since family live in Mania, Taranaki, we often went to the west coast beaches. The secluded beach scenes make such dramatic impact on the soul. At first it takes some getting used to the black volcanic beach sand. But after a while you see the beauty of it. The sparkling of the fine silica quartz crystals in the black-grey beach sand looks like billions and trillions of tiny diamonds!
On Christmas day, 2016, we spent the Day with Family at our grandson’s home, in Palmerston North. And the after lunch we went to the Aokautere Reserve and along the path down to the Manawatu River. The pathways in area are also used by cyclists.
In January we spent the day at Lake Rotarangi. A beautiful peaceful place where family enjoyed going out on their yellow kayak.
We took the Inter-islander ferry on the 18th of January and traveled first down the East Coast towards Christchurch and then down south to Invercargill. After that to Te Anau and Milford Sound.
I can tell you travelling through the mountains on our way to and from Milford Sound was so awesome. Wherever you looked, whether to your left and then again to your right, you saw waterfalls in the surrounding misty atmosphere. So many waterfalls, all you could say was, “Did you see that waterfall… look at that waterfall… oooh see that… Wow look at that one…!” … until we ran out of breath!
The driver of the huge ferry we were on, took us close up to this waterfall, and you could hear him chuckle over the loudspeaker, when those who went out on deck to take photos started screaming with delight and fright as they got wet with spray and tried to scurry back indoors to safety!
After Milford Sounds:
We stopped at Queenstown a couple of days, on our way up the West coast, and then onto Nelson and back to Picton and the ferry, on our way home back to the north island.
More paintings of New Zealand in the pipeline:
If I’ve missed out a few towns and places on our way, it’s because I intend to post more paintings on this page, as I paint them, one by one. So visit this page from time to time, and come back to see what’s next, that I’ve painted of New Zealand’s stunning countryside.
To our family and all those New Zealand friends and people we meet during the time were there, thanks for giving us such a lovely holiday and been so friendly and kind to us. It was so exciting to be with you all.