Top of the South

I’m in the northern part of New Zealand’s South Island now, practically in the very centre of NZ. My friends Yulia and Yarek are so kind to host me for a couple of days in their home in Nelson. Spasibo bol’shoe!

By the way, this is where we greeted the New Year together:

Nelson/NZ, 1 January 2020, 0001 hrs

Yesterday we went on a day trip to the so-called ‘top of the south’. Beautiful! The weather was far from perfect, frankly speaking, but definitely worth the trip nonetheless. The very tip of the peninsula is Farewell Spit, a long sand bar which juts out into the Pacific ocean. We didn’t see much of that, though, because we stayed close to the mainland near Puponga.

An overcast sky and the absence of direct sunlight brings certain advantages for landscape photography. I really liked the different shades of green, grey and brown along the coastline. And I think they come out rather well in the pictures I managed to take.

Okay, just a teensy-weensy bit of sunlight wouldn’t have hurt, but that’s life. It was a tranquil place, and I guess that’s visible in the pictures.

A second spot that we visited in the late afternoon was Cape Farewell. Legend has it that it received its name from Captain James Cook, because this was the last land seen by him and his crew as they departed on their homeward voyage. The weather deteriorated as we got there. The light was fading, and it was very windy and cloudy with some drizzle in the air. But that only added to the atmosphere of the place.

It was hard (i.e. almost impossible) to keep the tripod steady and the front lens / filter free of water drops. These are the best results of my endeavours.

Long-term exposure was not an easy task in such conditions! Especially if you’ve mounted the wrong grey ND filter… I’d love to return to this place one day. And perhaps I will make it to the ‘Windows 10’ spot then. Yarek told me that one particular view of Cape Farewell is one of the standard desktop photos of that software.

A wonderful discovery at this very spot were several seals playing in the water just underneath the lookout point. Watching them get out of the water and back in in playful pursuit was like being in a zoo – only miles better!

The were New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri, Neuseeland-Seebär), at least one male (the one with the hairy back), several females and also some teenagers. What a treat!

I am hoping to see some more fur seals at my next destination here on the South Island, which is where I’m going tomorrow. But I’m not telling you where exactly.

Not yet, anyway…

Published by Sebastian

Geographer, naturalist and photographer ( Based in Germany, but always keen to travel and explore

2 thoughts on “Top of the South

  1. Magnifique pour clore l’année et ouvrir 2020. Bonne année inondée des beautés et des merveilles de la vie dans la nature.


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