Fallen Landmarks: The Otago Peninsula

I have a love/hate relationship with Portobello road on the Otago Peninsula. With all the roadworks currently going on it does make for a partly bumpy and drawn out trip. However, I feel like I am escaping the city driving on that road, it’s bloody marvellous. Improving Portobello road and its safety is a must, but those changes have come at a cost. First off, we have said goodbye to a good number of cabbage trees to help make way for the widening of the road. They are one of those plants that polarise people, I’ve always liked them, especially the one pictured below. Sadly, it has now been chopped down.

Cabbage Tree - Otago Peninsula

Cabbage Tree - Otago Peninsula

Not far from this tree was a lovely duo of boat houses. My favourite of the two still stands today (phew), but it’s companion is no longer there. Not as pretty as the survivor, but this boat house could often be seen flying a flag, It had gusto and character, and I’ll miss seeing it on my travels.

Boat House (no flag flying) - Otago Peninsula

Boat House (no flag flying) - Otago Peninsula

Roadworks are not the only destructive force on the Otago Peninsula, so is mother nature. The green boat house on Hoopers inlet was used by many photographers as a foreground subject in an aurora image. Alas, a good storm knocked it off its piles. There are hopes it will be rebuilt, fingers crossed.

Green Boathouse - Hoopers Inlet

Green Boathouse - Hoopers Inlet

The last building I discovered missing happened over the past weekend. I was enjoying a bit of landscape photography on the Smith-Larnach track when I found this dear old building pictured below completely removed.

fallen hut-2.jpg

I was slightly gutted, I’m a big fan of derelict farm buildings, but I understand this old building was a OSH risk on a public walking track, so it probably had to go.

On a brighter note, at least I have a keepsake of a few snaps to remember these fallen landmarks. Someone once said to me the only constant we can rely on is change. Hopefully that change is for the good.

Shag Point Landscape Photography

Shag Point is a wonderful destination with plenty of interest for the whole family. Situated about 1 hours drive out of Dunedin it makes a perfect day trip for the family, or in my case the landscape photographer. At Shag Point you will find cribs and holiday homes and maybe a small smattering of tourists who mostly visit the area for the stunning New Zealand Fur Seal colony. The seal colony is a real treat and provides a wonderful view of the animals as they lounge on rocky outcrops by the waters edge. However, wildlife is not what takes me to Shag Point. I am there for the same reason tourists flock to Moeraki, to photograph boulders. There is something to be said for being the only person on the beach when I took this shot below.


The Moeraki Boulders are stunning, but the boulders at Shag Point are bordering on epic. Often the largest ones are located right by the cliffs at the back of the beach. The rock below was massive.


There are key differences between the aesthetic of the Moeraki Boulders and those found at Shag Point. At Shag point colour and texture is extremely prevalent with algae, seaweed and rocks bejewelled with tiny shells. For me, Moeraki just doesn’t come close.


I could wonder for hours on the Shag Point shore line investigating rock pools and mind blowing rock formations. One thing to be aware of though is Sea lions, I met two on this particular visit. They really do look like rocks and the only reason I knew they were there was on both occasions the rock turned over and growled at me. Give sea lions plenty of room, if they want to move they can do so extremely fast. Also, I was attacked by 2 feisty oyster catchers who must have been protecting their nest, so I moved on quick smart. All in all, Shag point is a fantastic destination for an enjoyable day out with your camera.