Apologies dear readers for my unplanned blogging holiday. I had family visiting from Australia for a week, and then I promptly came down with a nasty cold which took a week to get over the worst of. Fortunately it did not get in the way of a Girl’s Weekend Trip to the lovely township of Hanmer Springs.
Only an hour and a half drive north of Christchurch, it is most well known for its thermal hot pools, and tourist (and locals) descend upon this quiet rural town in their thousands during summer and less so in winter. I get bored sitting in pleasantly warm water after half an hour, so my attraction to the area is the scenery.
Scenery is something that Hanmer has quite a lot of, and I always forget how beautiful my country is til I go out in it for the first time in a while. I don’t normally go to Hanmer at this time of year and in spring the trip is just delightful.
I drove up on the Friday night, and the light got softer and warmer as it slowly dropped to the horizon. Resisting many many urges to stop and take photos, I loved seeing the landscape in this soft golden low sidelight. I shall have to come back again when I have more time to stop and shoot along the way.
Morning looked dull and dreary, but the sun burned through the cloud cover and left us with wispy streaks of fog around the mountains that slowly cleared to leave a radiant blue sky and bright sun that shone with pleasant spring warmth.
I wanted scenery and lots of it and headed down a road that I hoped would take me up into the mountains. The road certainly did but was not suited to my little car, more of a 4WD track, so I went for a walk along a riverside track that appeared to go up the valley. I didn’t go far as I hadn’t prepared properly nor bought any water with me, but I am sure I could have drunk from the cold clear stream rushing noisily beside me
Back across the other side of town, towards the mountains posing so prettily under their snow sprinkled peaks. Everywhere was the bright green of spring, grass and willow trees bright and festive in new leaves.
I had spotted spring lambs on the drive in and wanted to see if I could get some of the most quintessential scenic shots of NZ, lambs in spring grass. Mum was quite wary of the strange person walking on the side of the road pointing a camera at her babies and summoned them from their napping in the sun to safety. I wanted to try parking in the car and shooting out of the open window to see if that was less scary but the fences were in the way. I could have happily sat in the sun for a while, but the grass was wet and my jeans were not waterproof. I had left my special photography cushion bought for exactly this situation at home, rather unhelpfully.
To be continued….. the quest for the perfect river valley shot