Having just returned from travelling to the tip of North Island in New Zealand in a campervan I am currently revisiting this diverse journey of ten days through a myriad of photographs. Prior to picking up the van we spent 3 days in Rotorua where I gave a two day workshop to a group of very enthusiastic Kiwis, then went to
Wai-O-Tapu thermal area for my second time before passing through Auckland on our way to Cape Reinga. This was my fourth time to N Z and I am becoming very acquainted with it’s seemingly endless beauty.
Basically following the Twin Discovery Highway in Northland we met fellow travellers from around the world, one of the many joys of going via the camping path. My plan was to explore as much as I could to compare with a journey next year to Cape York on the tip of Queensland, my home state in Australia. My interest in the elements and the way the wilderness reclaims very quickly the traces of human intervention has lead me over the years to some very special places. North Island’s beaches always excite me, not for swimming, but because it contrasts my own island upbringing in Queensland through the many different geographical aspects.
Although we were on a well-worn route starting with the less inhabited West Coast there remained a very strong spiritual connection to what we encountered that left me feeling very humble. Nature just seems to always get it right, from the colours experienced at Rotorua to the incredible light seen at Cape Reinga at dusk, to the quiet stream that ran at the feet of giant sand dunes offering a road to Ninety Mile Beach for the more adventurous.
Everyone we met had their own agenda yet we were all searching for that special something: the newly weds from India on a bus tour, the adventurous young couple from England exploring their destiny in a camper, having seen four Asian countries before NZ and coming next to Australia, the older Canadian couple on a self drive, and a couple from Alaska who assured us they live in the best part of the world, but want to explore different environments.
The inspiration was everywhere. I viewed interesting art in the Village Arts Gallery in the small town of Kohukohu, and a serenely presented Helena Bay Hill gallery café on a hillside at Hikurangi, numerous art colonies and galleries in Whangarei, where a sculpture in the park symposium was coming to a close, and I placed some of my books in historic Reyburn House Art Gallery.
On the way home I picked up a copy of London based Kiwi journalist Garth Cartwright’s book Sweet As to read on the plane and his stories of exploring his country of birth made me wish I had found it earlier. Please enjoy more of the photographs from my memorable journey on my Facebook page