Vacation Notes: Bay of Islands, New Zealand

The Bay of Islands was named by Captain James Prepare dinner in 1769. The Maori identified as it Ipipiri, indicating many places to fish, swim, settle and get pleasure from the attractiveness. There are several tales, and quite a few islands 144 evidently. The ideal way to see it all is by boat. There are two principal web sites to see when in the bay: Brett Issue Lighthouse and The Gap in the Rock.

I could have titled this put up, “The Trials of Touring.” Sadly, you simply have days when nothing appears to go your way. This was one this kind of working day. If you ever go to the locations, learn from my problems and ideally, you will have a considerably superior time than I did and capture some genuinely stunning images.

Cruising the bay

We drove to Paihia, which is pronounced “Paheeha.” Our plan for the working day was to go on a cruise from the Bay to see some dolphins, the Hole in the Rock (Percy Island), and the Cape Brett Lighthouse. Though we had been waiting to board our cruise, we explored the harbor.

Unfortunately we made a Huge rookie mistake by not undertaking plenty of research beforehand. The cruise we booked by way of our resort, Fuller Terrific Sights Dolphins and Gap in the Rock Cruise, was really properly-regarded. But regrettably, it was a bigger catamaran that held up to 180 people. This meant that we couldn’t get wonderful images, as most folks were applying iPads and selfie sticks and refused to share the check out. I hardly saw any of the dolphins, and in the stop, I experienced to force my way via. Really don’t get me mistaken I am certain persons would enjoy this cruise, but we did not.

As photographers, we generally desire a lot smaller, far more private excursions, in particular on more compact craft (like the kinds we observed previously mentioned). So several men and women on board vying for a glimpse of dolphins, seals and additional. I barely observed any of the dolphins, and in the conclude, I had to press my way by way of. Still pretty to be out on the drinking water, feeling the wind, sunshine, and surf in my hair, and we experienced lovely climate.

Through the cruise, we noticed the Brett Place Lighthouse and the Hole in the Rock. The more compact craft could delight in sailing correct as a result of the hole, but our skipper considered it too choppy to go as a result of in our much much larger vessel. Seals had been spotted on the way back, but I did not get a great seem at them. Sadly way also numerous folks designed for a mostly unpleasant day. Even nevertheless I compensated a great deal of cash for the cruise, we did not get the provider we had been employed to with much smaller excursions.


After the cruise, we had lunch at Jimmy Jacks, which experienced the best burger and ribs in city. For dessert, we stopped at a nearby fudge store in advance of wandering by means of the arts and crafts industry. Paihia was these types of a pleasant minor tourist town.

Visit the waterfalls

On our way back again, we stopped at Haruru Falls, a beautiful minimal spot just exterior of city. Unfortunately, it was really dry and needed a lot more h2o to definitely be a sight to see. We understood that the peak of summertime may not be the best time to check out waterfalls. But however, it was charming to stop by, as was close by Rainbow Falls. All areas of these falls are very easily available and several persons have been swimming in the lake at the foundation of the waterfalls.

All in all, it was not our ideal working day, The choppy waters made it complicated to consider sharp photos, even with a increased ISO and shutter speed. To be sincere imagining again on it now, I could have absent a great deal greater than ISO 3200 and taken a faster shutter speed than 1/500 seconds to stay clear of any digicam shake. Most contemporary electronic cameras can easily take care of ISO 640 — 800 devoid of including also considerably grain. Aperture Priority Mode, with Auto ISO and a bare minimum shutter velocity of 1/1000, could have saved me a ton of grief afterwards on. Incorporate to that summer time isn’t usually the most effective time to see waterfalls. Lessons uncovered for later on vacation.

Cape Brett Lighthouse


  • Do your own study. I have been caught out by folks telling me an attraction or activity, place, etc. was fabulous. But it was a various time of year, or not ideal for my needs, or suitable for travelers additional than photographers
  • Don’t be too upset in by yourself if you get it incorrect. Love the practical experience (as much as probable) and set it all down as an journey.
  • Never be afraid of bigger ISO. You are considerably much better off with large ISO than improperly uncovered images.
  • When photographing from a boat, try out to stabilize by yourself — ft aside and maintain an arm or hand on a railing for help.
  • If you really don’t do properly with h2o, try to remember to pack ginger or seasickness tablets.
  • Even on cloudy days, never ignore sunscreen, a hat and sun shades. If you need to have sunglass potentially your lens demands a CPL (round polarizing filter)?