Panoarmour Photography: Blog en-us (C) Panoarmour Photography (Panoarmour Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:33:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:33:00 GMT Panoarmour Photography: Blog 120 79 Time to say goodbye

Well folks this is the last post from Hong Kong and on our blog site. We have had a fantastic trip and stored up so many memories.  We hope you have enjoyed our blog charting our adventures. It only contains a small selection of the photographs we took but if you have a spare 3 months we'll show the other 4,000. We also have a library worth of tourist brochures if you are thinking of visiting any of the same countries. Where was our favourite place ? New Zealand - the contrasting scenery is just mind blowing and the people were so friendly.  But all good things must come to an end and we are actually looking forward to coming home and back to normality - not living out a suitcase will be a treat for a start !

(Panoarmour Photography) Goodbye blog 4000 photographs library suitcase New Zealand favourite Sun, 05 May 2013 08:40:19 GMT
Afternoon Tea in the hotel

We decided since it was our last day we would treat ourselves to afternoon tea in our hotel (Eaton Smart, Kowloon). A photo for the blog, yes that would be good. Just as I was taking it this we chap got in on the action but he didn't get a cake he would need to have wrestled Alan for that !

(Panoarmour Photography) Afternoon tea hotel chap Sun, 05 May 2013 08:21:06 GMT
Get a Goose, get a head !

Do you want the goose, the whole goose and nothing but the goose ? Well no option they deep fry the whole goose as this stall in the food court shows.  Every second shop had similar goosed goose's hanging up in the window. Enough of the goose, moving on.......

(Panoarmour Photography) Goose head deep fried Sun, 05 May 2013 08:15:33 GMT
Fast Food Court off Nathan Road, Kowloon

What looks like a makeshift tent was a popular food court used by the local people. The Chinese believe in cooking fresh food hence the fish, crabs and other seafood are swimming in buckets and tanks ready for use. No Birdseye Fish Fingers here.

(Panoarmour Photography) Fast Food court fresh seafood Sun, 05 May 2013 08:08:18 GMT
'Local' Streets, Kowloon

Just one street back and parallel with Nathan Road - the big shopping area in Kowloon- are where the local people live and work.  It was fascinating to see the difference. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Local Kowloon Nathan Road Sun, 05 May 2013 08:02:01 GMT
Skyscrapers and construction, Hong Kong Island

More skyscrapers are under construction and improvements to the road network. You will maybe recognise the building in the middle with it's zig zag pattern from the night scenes. The land is at a premium so the only option is to build upwards and improve the road network and extend the subway to move people about as efficiently as possible.



(Panoarmour Photography) Skyscrapers construction land premium roads Sun, 05 May 2013 07:57:20 GMT
'Big' Apple, Hong Kong Island

On disembarking the ferry on HK Island a footbridge takes you into a shopping centre attached to the International Finance Centre. This is probably one of the biggest Apple stores we have ever seen and there was a queue to go in. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Apple Store International Finance Centre HK Island Sun, 05 May 2013 07:50:26 GMT
Star Ferry, Victoria Harbour, Kowloon

This is one of the famous Star Ferry's that takes passengers between Kowloon and Central Pier, Hong Kong Island every 10 minutes.  It is ridiculously cheap - even at public holiday rates it was something like 60 pence return for a 10 minute crossing. We only had one day in which to do this crossing and it was raining but we couldn't go to Hong Kong and not go on a Star Ferry boat.

(Panoarmour Photography) Star ferry Central Pier Kowloon cheap Sun, 05 May 2013 07:45:53 GMT
Photography Exhibition, Cultural Centre, Kowloon

Whilst sheltering from the rain we came across this exhibition by students on the Professional Diploma Programme in Creative Photography, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.                   Alan and his fellow students did something similar last year in Braehead at the conclusion of his course so we took a keen interest.  The standard was very high and diverse. We spoke to two exhibitors Nicole and Georgina and wished them well with their future photography careers.

(Panoarmour Photography) Kowloon photographic exhibition Professional Diploma Programme in Creative Photography Chinese University of Hong Kong Nicole Georgina Sun, 05 May 2013 07:39:01 GMT
Peninsula Hotel, Kowloon

This is meant to be either the best or one of the best (depends what magazines you read) hotels in the world. It is famous for its green Rolls Royce's which are parked at the front. We just window licked as usual.

(Panoarmour Photography) Peninsula Hotel Kowloon Sun, 05 May 2013 07:25:40 GMT
The Clock Tower, Kowloon Waterfront

With its avenue of palm trees this was shouting out take a photo of me so the trusty tripod was out again.

(Panoarmour Photography) Clock tower Kowloon Sun, 05 May 2013 07:21:49 GMT
What a difference a day makes !

Later that night the sky clear to provide a better night skyline - Alan was determined to get a good one and he was at last rewarded.


(Panoarmour Photography) Hong Kong Island night skyline Sun, 05 May 2013 07:17:59 GMT
Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, Lantau Island


This is the cable car we nearly got on in Ngong Ping. A threat of thunder and lightening led to the 5.7 km cable car being temporarily closed. Not sure how much we would have seen from the cable car as the weather closed in obscuring most of the country side. We ended up with torrential rain that stayed on for the remainder of the day.


(Panoarmour Photography) 360 Ngong Ping cable car closed rain Sat, 04 May 2013 23:19:55 GMT
Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Islan

The multi coloured flags in this image are the colours of the Buddha. A new monastery is being built from public donations and this will provide more accommodation for monks and nuns visiting the Giant Buddha.

We had a vegetarian buffet lunch in an adjoining building. Never mind 5 -a -day, we must have ate about 55 of our allowance.

(Panoarmour Photography) Buddha Po Lin Monastery Sat, 04 May 2013 23:02:30 GMT
Giant Buddha, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Standing at 24 metres high this copper statue of the buddha is in the grounds of the Po Lin Monastery. The upturned right hand signifies 'have no fear' while the upturned left hand bestows blessing.

When we arrived the statue was totally shrouded in low mist but quite eerily the mist temporarily subsided for 2 minutes enabling this image to be taken and then it returned.

(Panoarmour Photography) giant buddha low mist Po Lin Monastery Sat, 04 May 2013 22:21:53 GMT
Taoist Temple, Tai O Village, Lantau Island

The inside of the temples are very colourful and heavy with the scent of incense. They also have a gift shop - a later inclusion. Taoism is the most prevalent religion in Hong Kong.

(Panoarmour Photography) Taoist temple Tai O village Lantau Island religion Sat, 04 May 2013 11:42:28 GMT
Bamboo Scaffolding, Tai O Village, Lantau Island

Not all the housing and buildings in the village are built on stilts and located on the water.  This building is under construction and bamboo scaffolding, which is the normal material even when it comes to erecting the huge skyscrapers is being used. Health and Safety in the UK would have a fit if you used bamboo back home but it is a well used and very successful traditional method that hs stood the test of time.

(Panoarmour Photography) Bamboo scaffolding Tai O Village Lantau Island Sat, 04 May 2013 11:37:50 GMT
Primitive Living, Tao O Fishing Village, Lantau Island

Every couple of years the village is flooded and repairs are just about made and it floods again.  The fact that these houses are built on stilts makes them even more vulnerable  to damage and being swept away which is what happened to the building that was previously on these stilts. The remaining buildings are looking a bit dodgy.

It's incredible to think that in the 21st century that people are still living in this primitive style of housing when there is such opulence only a 1/2 hour trip away.

(Panoarmour Photography) Tai O Fishing Village Lantau Island flooding primitive Sat, 04 May 2013 11:31:22 GMT
Drying Fish, Tai O Fishing Village, Lantau Island

Traditional methods are used to dry the small amount of fish that are still being caught. Note top line fish, bottom line y-fronts - we hope they don't get mixed up !

(Panoarmour Photography) Drying fish tao-o fishing village Sat, 04 May 2013 11:24:05 GMT
Tai O Fishing Village, Lantau Island


We toured through this village, which is built on stilts, in a small boat. This was an extremely busy fishing village but there are practically no fishing boats left apart from those that take out tourists on big game fishing tours. The reason for the decline was that government in an attempt to ensure a sustainable amount of fish has banned fishing during the months of June and July across the Hong Kong area. Tourism is now the main income and all the tour buses drop in here on the way to the Po Lin Monastery.


(Panoarmour Photography) Fishing Island Lantau Lin Monastry O Po Tai Village tourism Sat, 04 May 2013 11:20:31 GMT
Cheung Sha Beach, Lantau Island

This was the first stop. The sun was out and it was very warm - that didn't last ! It was a beautiful clean beach and the South China Sea was very inviting. Alas it was only a brief stop so we reluctantly got back on the bus. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Cheung Sha Beach Lantau Islands beach South China Seas Sat, 04 May 2013 11:11:44 GMT
Lantau Island Ferry Port - Have you seen my bike ?

We went on an organised trip to Lantau Island. A 30 minute ferry ride from Central Pier on Hong Kong Island took us to a different world. Lantau is a much larger land mass than Hong Kong Island but has only 120,000 residents in comparison to the 6 million on the Island. 

This is the bike park for daily commuters to Hong Kong Island. Not surprisingly it is not uncommon for bikes to be lost or taken by mistake but they sort it out the following day.

(Panoarmour Photography) Lantau Island ferry 120 000 population bike park Sat, 04 May 2013 11:04:50 GMT
Night Scene Nathan Road, Kowloon

Neon signs and huge billboards advertising predominantly designer watches stretch the length of Nathan Road and the side streets.

(Panoarmour Photography) Night scene Nathan Road Kowloon neon signs billboards watches Sat, 04 May 2013 10:55:53 GMT
Night Skyline No.4 - Hong Kong Island

The lower shell shaped building is the Conference and Exhibition Centre.  However, this image was included  to show how busy the Victoria Harbour area is with leisure boats, barges and dredgers. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Victoria Harbour night skyline leisure boats dredgers Conference and Exhibition Centre Sat, 04 May 2013 10:52:51 GMT
Night Skyline No.3 - Hong Kong Island

Here's an example of what happens when the mist lifts and you can see the laser light from the top of one of the skyscrapers.

(Panoarmour Photography) Night Skyline Hong Kong Island laser lights mist Sat, 04 May 2013 10:49:08 GMT
Night Skyline Abstract - Hong Kong Island Night

This is an example of making the best of what you are faced with and experimenting. Long exposure and zooming the image gave this dramatic abstract image. Different.

(Panoarmour Photography) Night skyline abstract Hong Kong Island Sat, 04 May 2013 10:25:28 GMT
Night Skyline no. 2, Hong Kong Island

As you can see from this image, the mist has lifted a bit making it a bit clearer.

(Panoarmour Photography) Skyline no 2 Hong Kong Island Sat, 04 May 2013 10:18:27 GMT
Hong Kong Island Skyline at Night (through the mist)

Yes, the low cloud and mist did not lift so the symphony of sound and laser slight that takes place every night at 8 pm had to compete with this.  Nonetheless it was still an impressive site and the mist swirls and lifts so one minute you can't see the top of the tallest skyscrapers and the next you can.

(Panoarmour Photography) Hong Kong Island skyscrapers skyline mist low cloud symphony of sound light Sat, 04 May 2013 10:16:21 GMT
Heritage 1881 Shopping Plaza, Kowloon waterfront area

This is a very upmarket shopping centre with the top designer shops including Tiffany's which has a permanent queue outside. The building used to be the Hong Kong Marine Police headquarters.

(Panoarmour Photography) Heritage 1881 shopping plaza Kowloon waterfront Marine Police headquarters Sat, 04 May 2013 10:09:21 GMT
Shopping District, Nathan Road, Kowloon

Nathan Road is the famous shopping precinct in Kowloon.  It is  a mile long and there is one shopping mall after another and we've never seen so many jewellery and watch shops. Every five paces you are either stopped and offered fake designer watches or to be fitted for a suit. It is absolutely jumping and we defy anyone to be able to walk in a straight line down the street. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Nathan Road Kowloon jewellery watch suit shopping precinct Sat, 04 May 2013 10:04:01 GMT
Bruce Lee, Avenue of Stars, Kowloon Waterfront

At Kowloon waterfront is the Avenue of Stars that resembles the Hollywood Walk of Fame at the Chinese Theatre.  All the major Asian actors hand prints are featured and Bruce Lee is commemorated in a statue.  I tried to get Alan the karate expert to strike a similar pose beside him but he was too shy.

(Panoarmour Photography) Bruce Lee Avenue of Stars Kowloon waterfront hand prints Sat, 04 May 2013 09:56:59 GMT
Alternative Hong Kong Island Skyline

This is what we saw. Low lying cloud and mist put a whole new complexion on the view. It was unfortunate that at the time of our visit, Hong Kong was between seasons where low cloud is common along with periods of rain. The latter was preparation for us coming back to Scotland although it was warm.

(Panoarmour Photography) Skyline low cloud mist rain seasons Scotland Sat, 04 May 2013 09:44:52 GMT
View from the Peak, Hong Kong Island


The Peak is one of the best places to view the skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island.  We were taken up a windy road to the top of the peak which is reached by road, on foot (if your fit or stupid !) or the most popular form of transport is by tram. We went down hill on the tram and we wondered why the seats were facing the wrong way - it was so steep that if we had been facing the right way we would have ended up in a heap at the bottom of the tram.

The above photograph is what the skyline can look like.  The next image is what we were faced with.


(Panoarmour Photography) Hong Island Kong Peak skyline skyscrapers tram Sat, 04 May 2013 09:39:03 GMT
Lamborghini Cows, Stanely Plaza, Hong Kong Island


These lifesize cows were part of the cow parade on display in Stanely Plaza, which is an upmarket shopping centre , celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Lamborghini. Why did they use cows ? Don't know but as you can see the middle cow has two lamborghini doors as wings.  A cow with wings ? It's called modern art.


(Panoarmour Photography) 50th Lamborghini Stanely anniversary centre cow parade plaza shopping Sat, 04 May 2013 09:31:35 GMT
Waterfront and Pier, Stanely, Hong Kong Island

Small fishing boats, and passenger ferries leave from Stanely pier.

(Panoarmour Photography) Stanely Pier fishing boats passenger ferries Sat, 04 May 2013 09:22:36 GMT
Stanely Market, Hong Kong Island

Next stop on the bus tour was Stanely where there is a daily market selling everything possible.

(Panoarmour Photography) Stanely market Hong Kong Island Sat, 04 May 2013 09:20:23 GMT
Typical Sampads, Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong

It was a boat similar to these Sampads that we were taken on a tour of the harbour. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Sampads Aberdeen Harbour Hong Kong boat tour Sat, 04 May 2013 09:17:58 GMT
Floating Kitchen, Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong

Every floating restaurant needs a floating kitchen.  When the 'Jumbo' restaurant is on 'site' the kitchen is connected by a series of bridges.

(Panoarmour Photography) Floating kitchen aberdeen harbour jumbo restaurant Sat, 04 May 2013 09:14:46 GMT
Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong


Well we've now arrived in Hong Kong for the last part of our trip.  From quiet tranquil New Zealand we've come to a mad mental place with so many people; 400,000 visitors a day, 6 million population on Hong Kong Island alone, wall to wall traffic and designer shops every two paces.  This is the very fabric of Hong Kong and what makes it tick. It makes it a fascinating place to visit but not to stay  - that would do our heads in ! It is a country of contrasts, however, as the images we will post will show.

Aberdeen Harbour is well known for its floating restaurants that you are transferred to by boat. We were taken out on a tour of the harbour in a traditional Chinese sampan boat that holds about 12 people. The biggest floating restaurant is quite aptly named 'Jumbo' but it was away for renovation so this is Tai Pak, its wee sister.


(Panoarmour Photography) Aberdeen Harbour Hong Jumbo Kong Pak Tai floating. mental population restaurant sampan Sat, 04 May 2013 07:36:10 GMT
Goodbye New Zealand


28 days and 4,000 kms later we finally said goodbye to NZ. This image sums it up but we've left bits out so that we've got a good excuse to come back ! If you haven't been put it on your bucket list.


(Panoarmour Photography) New Zealand love Wed, 01 May 2013 02:18:22 GMT
New Zealand Flag, Hilton Hotel, Auckland

The NZ national flag was on display at the Hilton Hotel, which is designed in the style of an ocean liner and located on Princes Wharf facing into the harbour. The silver fern symbol is displayed all over NZ and they are quite rightly proud of their beautiful country of 4 million people, 1 million of whom live in the Auckland conurbation.

(Panoarmour Photography) Auckland Hilton silver fern 4 million proud Wed, 01 May 2013 02:17:15 GMT
Seagull Aerobics, Auckland

No bird was injured in the taking of this photo - this seagull does have two legs and we have a series of photos before to prove it so don't go phoning the NZ RSPB!

(Panoarmour Photography) Seagull one leg Auckland aerobics Wed, 01 May 2013 02:11:25 GMT
Cityscape from Princes Wharf, Auckland

Princes Wharf is where the majority of ferries serving the surrounding islands and suburbs of Auckland and leisure trips leave from. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Princes Wharf Auckland ferry leisure trips. Wed, 01 May 2013 02:03:55 GMT
Sail Boat Silhouette, Auckland

Same boat but the silhouette version. Auckland is a pretty big port which is has a wide variety of uses including leisure, ferry transportation and industrial; fishing and container ships. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Silhouette sail boat Auckland port Wed, 01 May 2013 01:54:05 GMT
Out at Sea, Auckland

This is one of the sail boats that takes visitors out and you can see the harbour bridge in the background. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Auckland sail boats harbour bridge Wed, 01 May 2013 01:43:35 GMT
Paparazzi (again !) - Isn't that Gordon ?  


Noticed quite a bit of commotion inside this plush department store across from Elliott's Stables. Anyway while we're window licking who walks through the shop but the bold Gordon Ramsay (2 up from bottom on the right). Fiona snapped off a couple of pictures through the glass hence the glare and blurred image. He was over in Auckland cooking for a charity dinner and was in the store to launch his new line of Royal Dalton china.  NZ imports a lot of British TV so he is a familiar face as is Nigella Lawson who advertises NZ's Whittaker's chocolate.


(Panoarmour Photography) Dalton Gordon Lawson Nigella Ramsay Royal paparazzi Tue, 30 Apr 2013 17:34:07 GMT
Elliott Stables, Elliott Street, Auckland

If in Auckland we recommend this place.  It is a kind of cut above food court with small individual restaurants organised round a central covered courtyard serving Italian, German, Spanish, Indian, Asian, Cajun food and one outlet sells home made desserts. The food and atmosphere was so good we went back the following night and tried the Italian restaurant this time.

(Panoarmour Photography) Elliott Stables Auckland food court Cajun Italian Tue, 30 Apr 2013 17:24:19 GMT
Auckland Cityscape at night

The tripod was out again and we went back to the same location in Wynyard Quarter to take this image. Quite a few people said to us that they were not that fussed by Auckland. Well we liked it especially the waterfront and it is a good base to visit the surrounding area.

(Panoarmour Photography) Auckland waterfront night scene Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:39:48 GMT
Skytower or Oscar ?


As the sun was setting it threw up this shimmering reflection of the Skytower, which looks very similar to a Hollywood oscar.


(Panoarmour Photography) Skytower oscar sunset Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:32:59 GMT
Karaoke Fish, Auckland Fish Market


Singing that song made famous by 'Big Mouth Billy Bass"........Take me to the river. Too late for these ones as they were in the fish market for sale. Should have sung......'Sushi known better !'


(Panoarmour Photography) auckland fish karaoke market Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:18:21 GMT
Harbour Bridge, Auckland

Not quite in the league of Sydney's Harbour Bridge but similar in that you can pay to walk up and over the top of the bridge. Anyway note the shorts and blue sky.

(Panoarmour Photography) Auckland Harbour Bridge Sydney Mon, 29 Apr 2013 15:43:47 GMT
ASB Building, Wynyard Quarters, Auckland

This ASB (Bank) building is still under construction but the exterior was very modern and eye-catching.

(Panoarmour Photography) ASB bank building exterior attractive Mon, 29 Apr 2013 15:35:47 GMT
Auckland Cityscape during the day


This image was taken from the Wynyard Quarter with Auckland's famous Skytower on the right. Notice the long white cloud or Aotearoa (Maori name for New Zealand meaning long white cloud). 


(Panoarmour Photography) Auckland Quarter Skytower Wynyard cloud long white Mon, 29 Apr 2013 15:27:18 GMT
Rolling hills, Northland

The area north of Auckland, which includes the Bay of Islands is called Northland. The land is used for grazing, orchards, vineyards and forestry. We wanted to try and capture the rolling hills and to let you see why New Zealand was described to as being similar to the Scottish Highlands but on steroids.  A very apt description.

(Panoarmour Photography) Northland grazing forestry vineyards orchards highlands scottish steroids Mon, 29 Apr 2013 09:55:14 GMT
Auch Aye the Noo Toilets, Waipo Cove

You'll recall in a previous post that we said that there is strong Scottish links in Waipo. Well, the Scottish heritage is commemorated in the muriel on the public toilets. You can't beat a wee bit of tartan when you're miles away from home.

(Panoarmour Photography) Waipo cove muriel toilets tartan Scottish heritage Sat, 27 Apr 2013 22:25:53 GMT
Dog day afternoon at Waipo Cove

Even the dog came along and when it's wee legs got sore the wain was turfed out the pram and the dog took up residence.

(Panoarmour Photography) Dog Waipo Cove pram Sat, 27 Apr 2013 22:19:45 GMT
Strangers on the Waipo Shore

We just love silhouettes. With the sun twinkling on the water the   conditions were just perfect.

(Panoarmour Photography) waipo cove silhouettes strangers Sat, 27 Apr 2013 22:16:44 GMT
Lifes a beach - Waipo Cove

Baby waves at this beach which were ideal for teaching the kids to surf. Could have stayed here longer but we had to get to Auckland to return the hire car.

(Panoarmour Photography) Waipo Cove beach waves kids surf Sat, 27 Apr 2013 22:07:52 GMT
Waipo Cove, Bay of Islands

On the way to our final stop Auckland we visited Waipo Cove which is further down the East Coast. There are strong Scottish connections with Waipo so much so that they have a Highland Games every January 1st. It is a beautiful coastline.

(Panoarmour Photography) Waipo Cove East Coast Scottish Highland Games Sat, 27 Apr 2013 16:59:32 GMT
Aotearoa - New Zealand

The Maori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa; the land of the long white cloud. The above image is a perfect example.

(Panoarmour Photography) Aotearoa New Zealand long white cloud Sat, 27 Apr 2013 16:51:21 GMT
Toilet Humour, Paihai


Literally.... these public toilets were entitled 'Paihai's Wee Toilet'. Do you see the steel toilet bowl planters on the roof ? That's another thing we noticed they use the word 'wee' in NZ so it must be another Scottish import.


(Panoarmour Photography) Paihai Scottish humour import toilet Sat, 27 Apr 2013 09:31:14 GMT
Historical ?....maybe not (Russell)


Just about every building in Russell had a plaque on it commemorating its history. This notice was on the wall of a rather new looking clapperboard art gallery - there's something very Scottish about the NZ sense of humour.


(Panoarmour Photography) art gallery historical humour Sat, 27 Apr 2013 09:27:54 GMT
Lifes a beach in Russell


Russell has a stoney beach but picturesque nevertheless.  


(Panoarmour Photography) Russell beach stoney Sat, 27 Apr 2013 09:23:39 GMT
Russell, Bay of Islands


The boat dropped us off at Russell which is just a 15 minute boat ride across the bay from Paihai. Russell is a small and quite historical resort.


(Panoarmour Photography) Bay Islands Paihai Russell historical of Sat, 27 Apr 2013 09:19:17 GMT
Phew....Made it this time !


I don't even look out of puff (ok I confess we did move in closer to the camera so I would make it this time hence no feet in this image)


(Panoarmour Photography) Bay Otehei clock it made timer Sat, 27 Apr 2013 09:17:28 GMT
Beat the clock ? NO !


This is what happens when you don't get in place before the remote timer on the camera goes off. Sprinter I aint ! There was obviously a landslide in between times as well (must try better)


(Panoarmour Photography) Bay Otehei clock self-timer Sat, 27 Apr 2013 09:15:58 GMT
Typical Scenery, Bay of Islands


Rocky out crops, small islands and aquamarine water.....just wonderful.  This was just at the entry to Otehei Bay on Urnpukapuka (yep that one) where we were got off the boat for an hour and had a stroll along the beach after a coffee at the bays only restaurant. 


(Panoarmour Photography) Bay Island Islands Otehei Urnpukapuka beach of Sat, 27 Apr 2013 09:13:51 GMT
Hole in the rock, Bay of Islands


This is the famous hole in the rock but we didn't go through it as the current made it too dangerous that morning - good shout Captain, we're with you !


(Panoarmour Photography) Bay Hole Islands in of rock the Sat, 27 Apr 2013 09:08:36 GMT
Playing in the wake, Dolphin Cruise


The dolphins are in the habit of following the boats wake when it sets off. It just had to be seen all these dolphins swimming and jumping really closely behind the boat. It is something that will remain in our memories forever.


(Panoarmour Photography) boat dolphins wake Sat, 27 Apr 2013 05:24:32 GMT
Two for the price of one, Dolphin Cruise


Apparently the dolphins were calving hence the reason there were so many in the water.


(Panoarmour Photography) Bay Cruise Dolphins Islands of Sat, 27 Apr 2013 05:23:23 GMT
Dolphin Watching, Bay of Islands


We went on a cruise to see dolphins and visit the famous hole in the rock.  The bottle nose dolphins, which were pretty big, were out to play but you had to be quick to catch them never mind trying to muscle in on the passengers who were hogging the good viewing places. This image and the two that following made this a fantastic trip and one of the best days in NZ. Highly recommend taking this cruise.


(Panoarmour Photography) Bay Dolphins Islands cruise hole in of rock Sat, 27 Apr 2013 05:22:12 GMT
Can I park my scooter here ?


This caught Fiona's eye in the parking lot of Waitangi so it had to go in the blog !


(Panoarmour Photography) lot parking scooter waitangi Sat, 27 Apr 2013 05:20:52 GMT
Queens Visit Waitangi


The Queen visited Waitangi in 1953 and planted a tree - this exemplifies the importance of this area in the history of New Zealand.


(Panoarmour Photography) 1953 New Queen Waitangi Zealand history tree Sat, 27 Apr 2013 05:19:27 GMT
Carving Interior of Meeting House, Waitangi


(Panoarmour Photography) Waitangi carving house interior meeting Sat, 27 Apr 2013 05:18:05 GMT
Interior of Meeting House, Waitangi


(Panoarmour Photography) House Interior Meeting Waitangi Sat, 27 Apr 2013 05:16:53 GMT
Exterior of the Maoiri Meeting House, Waitangi


Every Maoiri tribe has a sacred meeting house and this is the exterior of the one in Waitangi and the following images show the ornate carvings of the interior. We had to remove our shoes before entering the house.


(Panoarmour Photography) House Maori Meeting exterior sacred Sat, 27 Apr 2013 05:15:40 GMT
Treaty House, Waitangi


This is the building where the Maoiri leaders met the British leaders, which included Captain Hobson, and signed the treaty outlining their rights. The rooms inside have been replicated to represent what they would have looked like in the mid 19th century and copies of the signed treaty are on display.


(Panoarmour Photography) Captain Hobson Maoiri Meeting Waitangi house leaders Sat, 27 Apr 2013 05:14:35 GMT
Carving on front of Waka, Waitanga


Alan used flash to bring out the full effect of the carving on the front of the waka - pretty scary, eh ! (the carving not Alan)


(Panoarmour Photography) Carving Waitangi waka Sat, 27 Apr 2013 05:08:01 GMT
Front of Waka, Waitangi


As can be seen from this image, the front of the waka has very ornate carving.


(Panoarmour Photography) Waitanga carving waka Sat, 27 Apr 2013 05:06:20 GMT
Waitangi, Paihai


Waitangi is the most significant Maoiri heritage area just 1 km outside of Paihai.  This is where the Waintangia Treaty was signed between the Maori leaders and the British colonisers. The treaty gave Maori's rights to the land, trade etc.  The above building houses the longest Waka, a Maori warrior boat ordinarily made out of one log of wood that had a diameter of 8 ft before the boat was chiseled out.


(Panoarmour Photography) Maori Treaty Waitangi Waka Sat, 27 Apr 2013 05:04:53 GMT
Seashells, Paihai Beach

So many attractive shells, just had to take a photo.

(Panoarmour Photography) Seashells Paihai beach Fri, 26 Apr 2013 06:43:49 GMT
Autumn Colours, Orchard, Kerikeri

Right in the middle of the orchard was this tree with its flaming red leaves - no photoshop needed to capture the true colour.

(Panoarmour Photography) Orchard autumn colours red Fri, 26 Apr 2013 06:38:03 GMT
Fig Tree, Mission Station Orchard, Kerikeri

Figs ripe for the picking as well - if only !

(Panoarmour Photography) Fig orchard mission station Kerikeri Fri, 26 Apr 2013 06:35:10 GMT
Lime Tree, Mission Station Orchard, Kerikeri

Looked good enough to pick but had to settle for a photo since warning notices abundant advising not to pick the fruit.

(Panoarmour Photography) Lime orchard Kerikeri mission station. Fri, 26 Apr 2013 06:33:05 GMT
Kemp Mansion, Kerikeri

After spending 12 years staying in the Mission Station with his family, Rev. Kemp moved with his family into this mansion next to the station. This is now a small museum.

(Panoarmour Photography) Rev. Kemp mansion museum Kerikeri Fri, 26 Apr 2013 06:27:50 GMT
Mission Station, Kerikeri


This renovated building was the mid 19th Century Mission Station set up by the British missionary Rev. Kemp when he landed in Kerikeri. As well as preaching, Rev. Kemp and his wife operated the store within the station and educated the local children - how's that for being multi-skilled ?


(Panoarmour Photography) British Kemp Mission Rev. station Fri, 26 Apr 2013 06:24:00 GMT
Haruru Falls, outside Paihai

Located only about 3 kms outside of Paihai, is the horseshoe shaped Haruru Falls.

(Panoarmour Photography) Haruru Falls horseshoe Fri, 26 Apr 2013 06:12:45 GMT
Cormorant, Paihai Harbour

This bird had tons of patience waiting for Alan to get the perfect shot! 

(Panoarmour Photography) Cormorant Paihai harbour Fri, 26 Apr 2013 06:06:03 GMT
Multi-coloured Cloud, Paihai Sunset

If you enlarge this image you will see this that this cloud had beautiful pastel colours through it as the sun was going down in Paihai.

(Panoarmour Photography) Cloud Paihai multi-coloured pastel sunset Fri, 26 Apr 2013 06:01:50 GMT
Hundertwasser Gift Shop, Kawakawa

In keeping with the Hundertwasser styling with a botanic garden on the roof. Just another example of quirky New Zealand ! 

(Panoarmour Photography) Hundertwasser Kawakawa gift shop Fri, 26 Apr 2013 05:56:34 GMT
Wash hand basin area, Hundertwasser Toilets, Kawakawa

Last toilet picture - the wash hand basin area with insert bottles to provide natural light. All you guys can now say that you've seen inside the ladies toilets in Kawakawa.

(Panoarmour Photography) Hundertwasser Kawakawa Wash basin hand ladies toilet Fri, 26 Apr 2013 05:49:55 GMT
Interior Hundertwasser Ladies Toilet, Kawakawa

Suffice to say Alan couldn't take photos in the gents so Fiona took the following to give you an ideas of the attractive design. If you've ever been to Barcelona I think you will see the similarities with the Gaude style.

(Panoarmour Photography) Gaude Hundertwasser Kawakawa design ladies toilet Fri, 26 Apr 2013 05:42:50 GMT
Hundertwasser Designed Toilets, Kawakawa


We read of these famous public toilets in our tourist brochure. Since it was just before our destination,Paihai, we gave it a look. Last one designed by Hundertwasser, the Austrian designer (who ?), in 1999. Anyway, worth a visit as the following images will show.


(Panoarmour Photography) Austrian Hundertwasser Kawakawa designer public toilets Fri, 26 Apr 2013 05:37:56 GMT
Famous Maori, Whangarei Town Basin


There are two such sculptures, which we were struggling to determine what the differences were between them. Should have read the inscription first then we would have learned the sculpture depicted twin Maori sisters who had a strong influence on the Maori culture. Alan commented that Fiona's got the same face in the morning (good one Mr Grumpy !)


(Panoarmour Photography) Maori Twin culture grumpy sisters Wed, 24 Apr 2013 12:16:01 GMT
Shell Sculpture, Town Basin, Whangarei

This sculpture was made of marble.

(Panoarmour Photography) Shell sculpture Whangarei marble town basin Wed, 24 Apr 2013 12:02:47 GMT
Eel Net, Whangarei Town Basin Walkway

This piece of art is so big that children use it as a climbing frame. We liked it because of it's shape and shadows in the afternoon sunlight.

(Panoarmour Photography) Eel net Whangarei walkway town basin Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:58:47 GMT
Waka and Wave Sculpture, Whangarei

Along the wharf walkway there are a number of sculptures which celebrate the sea and the Maori culture. This large stone sculpture was called the Waka (Maori longboat constructed from one piece of timber) and the wave and was a publicly funded commission.To show the size of it Alan very kindly got in the way, sorry strike that, stood in the middle of the sculpture.

(Panoarmour Photography) Maori Waka Whangarei's sculpture sea stone walkway wave Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:53:43 GMT
Lunch, Serenity Cafe, Whangarei

This was why Serenity Cafe was the chosen lunch venue. Mild curry mussel chowder with garlic toast - Fiona's choice, and rustic smoked marlin with mashed potatoes, two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce for Alan. Deeeeeeeeelicious !

(Panoarmour Photography) Mussel cafe chowder lunch marlin serenity smoked Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:47:15 GMT
Serenity Cafe, Whangarei

We decided on lunch at the Serenity Cafe, which is the building with the green awning - the clock museum is to the left.

(Panoarmour Photography) Cafe Serenity Whangarei's basin lunch town Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:43:05 GMT
Claphams Clock Museum, Whangarei

Didn't have time to go in here but loved the building and sundial at the front.

(Panoarmour Photography) Claphams Whangarei clock dial museum sun Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:40:48 GMT
Whangarei Town Basin

En route to Paihai in the Bay of Islands (Northland) we stopped for lunch in Whangarei's Town Basin, which is located alongside the wharf. Nice place for a stroll and plenty of cafe/restaurants to chose from.

(Panoarmour Photography) Bay Islands Whangarei's basin lunch of town wharf Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:38:32 GMT
Castle Spencer on Byron, Takapuna

The plan had been on leaving Rotorua to drive to Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove on the Cormandel Peninsula and stay overnight somewhere outside Auckland to break up the long drive to the Bay of Islands. Unfortunately the weather closed right in so there was no point in sticking to the plan. Instead we drove to Takapuna which is an Auckland northern urban beach resort and we stayed in a one bedroom suite (ran out of studio apartments) at the Castle Spencer on Byron. That'll do nicely thank you.

(Panoarmour Photography) Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:33:32 GMT
Maori Stage Performance, Tamaki Village

This was the end of the staged performance. We then had a 'hangi' cooked food - this is the traditional Maori way of cooking food in baskets below ground on pre-heated flat stones. The baskets are covered in matting then earth and left for about 2 - 3 hours. Our feast comprised of lamb, chicken, potatoes, kumara (sweet potatoes), carrots, stuffing and bread followed by steam pudding and kiwi fruit pavlova (not subject of 'hangi' cooking method). 

The evening concluded with a sing song and karaoke on the bus home - each nationality on the bus had to sing a song associated with their country.  We gave a rendition of Flower of Scotland. A great evening was had by all.

(Panoarmour Photography) Maori performance hangi feast Tue, 23 Apr 2013 11:02:11 GMT
Big Man in Haka Pose

A stage performance including singing and traditional Maori dances followed the 'games' and this is part of the haka that was performed by the Big Man and his fellow Maori's.

(Panoarmour Photography) Big Man Maori haka Tue, 23 Apr 2013 10:51:18 GMT
Big Man - Tamaki Village

This Maori had the full paid up equity card and was a big poseur when it came to his photograph being taken.

(Panoarmour Photography) maori big man Tue, 23 Apr 2013 10:45:54 GMT
Haka (or something similar)

Four 'volunteers' were taken through the haka moves including the famous sticking out of the tongue.

(Panoarmour Photography) Haka tongue Tue, 23 Apr 2013 10:39:18 GMT
Maori Dexterity Games, Tamaki Village

'Volunteers' were invited to take part in traditional games that Maori's practiced to improve their dexterity. It was all good fun (even for the volunteers !)

(Panoarmour Photography) Maori dexterity games Tamaki Village Tue, 23 Apr 2013 10:33:08 GMT
Tamaki Maori Village outside Rotorua

We went to a Maori cultural evening at Tamaki Maori Village. Transported to the venue in an old bus along with another 8 nationalities, we were briefed on the 'do's' and 'don'ts' to ensure we respected the Maori culture.  Larry from England volunteered to be the 'chief' of our bus party and he had to perform certain rituals before these warriors before the group entered the Maori Meeting House. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Maori culture Tamaki Village Rotorua warriors chief Tue, 23 Apr 2013 10:27:53 GMT
Time for Golf, Rotorua

Returning home to the golf season so have to keep our hands in. This is the 9 hole Government Gardens course, which is in the vicinity of the Rotorua Museum and borders Lake Rotorua. We ended all square after 18 holes - friendly game (but only because we are on holiday !)

(Panoarmour Photography) golf government gardens Rotorua Tue, 23 Apr 2013 10:09:50 GMT
Chill-axing - Rotorua style

This was the best thing about our accommodation in Rotorua (BKs Motor Lodge): two reclining armchairs. Add to this a flat screen TV and Sky movies, then you've got the perfect 'chill-axin' package after a heavy day sightseeing. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Rotorua reclining armchair BKs motorlodge Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:54:42 GMT
View from roof of Rotorua Museum

Weather permitting you can go to an observation area on the roof of the museum. If it had not been so overcast this viewpoint would have provided good views over the town of Rotorua and Lake Rotorua. The lawns in front of the museum are mainly bowling greens.

(Panoarmour Photography) rotorua museum roof bowling greens viewpoint Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:48:23 GMT
Old Bathtub, Rotorua Museum

This is one of the bathtubs used to provide spa treatments. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Bathtub Rotorua spa treatments Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:42:16 GMT
Entrance, Rotorua Museum

When the building was a nightclub a mezzanine floor had been added in to provide a dance floor. This was removed when the museum was created and the previous atrium restored. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Rotorua museum atrium Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:34:50 GMT
Rotorua Museum, Rotorua

Perfect light made this a very attractive building to photograph. This building was originally a bathhouse opened in the very early 20th century by a British doctor who promoted the use of the local mineral waters to treat skin diseases and arthritis.

After the war convalescing soldiers were treated here. 

Since then the building has gone through a number of transitions. In the 60s it shut down and was re-opened in the 70s as a night club and restaurant. This eventually folded and it shut down again before being converted into a museum, cafe and the original baths and the basement and loft area that housed the water pipes, are now open to the public. More images to follow.

(Panoarmour Photography) Rotorua museum mineral water bath house Mon, 22 Apr 2013 09:03:03 GMT
Waitukei Sculpture (another perspective), Rotorua Museum

The previous image was the postcard shot. This is the arty farty one, where the setting sun and small puffy clouds made for a great abstract of the sculpture.

(Panoarmour Photography) arty farty Waitukei sculpture Rotorua Museum Mon, 22 Apr 2013 08:48:16 GMT
Waitukei Sculpture, grounds of Rotorua Museum

This sculpture is by a local artist. The male and female figures were inspired by the people of Rotorua and the rich melting of the Maori and European cultures. We never actually saw anyone that looked like this in Rotorua so we used our imagination.

(Panoarmour Photography) waitukei sculpture Rotorua museum Mon, 22 Apr 2013 08:44:41 GMT
Gondola Skyline, Rotorua

Not as high as the gondola ride in Queenstown but it has three different luge rides at the top. Done that so not doing it again. The lake in the distance is Lake Rotorua.

(Panoarmour Photography) Rotorua Gondola Skyline luge Mon, 22 Apr 2013 08:35:11 GMT
Mud Pool, Wai-o-Tapu

Outside the main thermal park is a mud pool that spits and plops constantly. Just for looking at mind you not for stepping in as all the warning signs are displayed. There are SPAs where you can go for mud baths and they do a line of Rotorua mud face masks and other related products. Alan said I should skip the mud and go straight for the poly filler ! 

(Panoarmour Photography) Mud pool Wai-o-Tapu Mon, 22 Apr 2013 08:30:57 GMT
Devils Pool, Wai-o-Tapu

This was the final pool in the self-guided tour. It was like a Dulux palette. We decided Dulux would call this 'screaming yellow' !

(Panoarmour Photography) Devils Pool Wai-o-Tapu Dulux screaming yellow Mon, 22 Apr 2013 08:22:12 GMT
Crater, Wai-o-Tapu

The people in the background gives an idea of the size of this crater with boiling water in the base. 

(Panoarmour Photography) crator Wai-o-Tapu Mon, 22 Apr 2013 08:17:16 GMT
Sulphur Cave, Wai-o-Tapu

Another feature in the park.

(Panoarmour Photography) Wai-o-Tapu sulphur cave Mon, 22 Apr 2013 08:13:50 GMT
Forest, Wai-0-Tapu

Strange that next to all the geothermal activity that the forests flourish, however there was a distinct lack of flowers.

(Panoarmour Photography) flowers forest geothermal wai-o-tapu Mon, 22 Apr 2013 08:10:36 GMT
Oyster Pool, Wai-o-Tapu

We were fairly close to this on the walkway but as you can see all the warning signs make sure you don't go any closer.

(Panoarmour Photography) Oyster Pool Wai-o-Tapu Sun, 21 Apr 2013 22:26:57 GMT
Champagne Lake, Wai-o-Tapu

As you will see there are different colours of pools and this is down to the different minerals in that particular location.  No prizes for recognising predominently iron in this pool. Depending on how the wind is blowing you get engulfed in the sulphur steam......good for the skin ? Time will tell !

(Panoarmour Photography) champagne lake Wai-o-Tapu minerals Sun, 21 Apr 2013 22:22:11 GMT
Champagne Lake, Wai-o-Tapu

We wish you could do scratch and sniff on the blog and you would be able to strong smell of sulphur. A wide angled lens was used for quite a few of the following images which brings a different perspective  and adds definition to the clouds.

(Panoarmour Photography) Champagne lake sulphur Wai-o-Tapu wide angled Sun, 21 Apr 2013 22:16:24 GMT
Walkway, Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Valley


Boardwalks take you across some of the features with bubbling water at either side.  Warning signs all over as you can imagine stating keep to the path, don't touch the water as inexcess of 100 degrees.


(Panoarmour Photography) Wai-o-Tapu boardwalk thermal Sun, 21 Apr 2013 22:10:24 GMT
Silver Fern (again)

The ferns are so attractive it is hard not to keep capturing it in photos.  These were in the forrest walk through the Wai-o-Tapu thermal valley.

(Panoarmour Photography) Silver ferns wai-o-tupo Sun, 21 Apr 2013 22:06:16 GMT
Lady Knox Geyser, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Valley


One of several thermal parks just outside Rotorua. This geyser errupts at 1015 am every day. But how can the exact timing be assured ? Well the other big geyser in the photo first of all gives you the geology lesson and history behind the geyser and then he puts this soap powder type mixture down the 'chimney hole' which starts the geyser frothing and then it erupts as the next two images will show. Persil or Daz we never found out which one worked the best !


(Panoarmour Photography) Knox Wai-O-Tapu erupt geyser lady powder soap Sat, 20 Apr 2013 22:01:24 GMT
Aratiatia Dam feeding into the Aratiatia Rapids

Yet another place (further down) where you can go on a jet boat the rapids - it's okay Mum we didn't do this either!

(Panoarmour Photography) Aratiatia Dam Rapids boat jet Sat, 20 Apr 2013 21:54:04 GMT
Aratiatia Dam


The Aratiatia Dam opens up at 1000, 1200, 1400 and 1600 (in summer only) and contributes to NZ hydropower energy source. It is off Highway 5 between Taupo and Rotorua.


(Panoarmour Photography) 5 Aratiatia Dam Rotorua Taupo highway hydropower Sat, 20 Apr 2013 21:50:31 GMT
Rolling Hills en route to Lake Taupo

After a two nights stay we left Napier in the rain to drive to Rotorua, our next stop, via Lake Taupo. Even in the rain and low cloud the rolling hills and farmland was picturesque. 

(Panoarmour Photography) rolling hills farmland Lake Taupo Fri, 19 Apr 2013 12:07:05 GMT
'Spirit of Napier' sculpture or Gilroy Fountain, Napier

This bronze statue is also situated on the marine parade and would have been more impressive against a nice blue sky but alas the rain clouds were rolling in. The statue was erected in 1971 and represents Napier rising from the ashes of the 1931 earthquake. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Spirit of Napier sculpture Gilroy Fountain 1971 1931 bronze statue Fri, 19 Apr 2013 11:56:33 GMT
Art Deco Public Toilets, Napier

Even the public toilets in Napier were decorated in an art deco style.

(Panoarmour Photography) public toilets Napier art deco Fri, 19 Apr 2013 11:45:20 GMT
After the Rain - Sunken Gardens, Napier

While Alan photographs the NZ silver ferns at every opportunity, Fiona is attracted to 'snapping' the flowers, especially the ones that still have raindrops glistening from the previous nights downpour.

(Panoarmour Photography) Flowers sunken gardens Napier Fri, 19 Apr 2013 11:43:38 GMT
Sunken Gardens, Napier


Part of the Napier marine parade/promenade.


(Panoarmour Photography) Gardens Sunken promenade Fri, 19 Apr 2013 11:38:25 GMT
Classic Car Tour, Napier

This is one of two classic cars that can be hired for a guided tour of Napier. The driver is in the full 'Bertie' costume.

(Panoarmour Photography) Classic car tour Napier Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:43:49 GMT
Superman's House, Napier

Now you all thought Superman came from the Planet Krypton when actually he lives in a clapperboard house in Napier. Off to avert another crisis no doubt !

(Panoarmour Photography) Superman Napier Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:40:29 GMT
Masonic Hotel Entrance, Napier

An 'arty farty' one !

(Panoarmour Photography) Masonic Hotel entrance Napier Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:37:00 GMT
Typical Art Deco Building, Napier

Alan loves the art deco style so was snap happy but only a 'small' selection are on the blog. 

(Panoarmour Photography) art deco Napier Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:35:20 GMT
Photographers' Gallery Hawkes Bay, Napier

Napier is located in an area known as Hawkes Bay, which incidentally is another famous wine producing area. This gallery exhibited the work of local photographer's so we had a look at the competition.

(Panoarmour Photography) Photographers' gallery Hawkes Bay Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:32:26 GMT
Napier - 'Art Deco' Capital of New Zealand


Our next stop-off: Napier. In 1932 Napier was destroyed in an earthquake. This gave the town planners an opportunity to redesign the whole town in an 'art deco' style. This form of architecture has remained and is not only popular with tourists but is celebrated by the residents in an art deco festival every February where dressing up in period costumes is the norm. 


(Panoarmour Photography) 1932 Napier art deco earthquake festival Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:22:27 GMT
'Quaintsville' to Shacksville' ?

A wee lick of paint and it’ll look like new

(Panoarmour Photography) Quaintsville Shacksville paint Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:14:53 GMT
Antique Shop, 'Quaintsville'

Another typical shop in Woodville.

(Panoarmour Photography) Antique shop Woodville Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:12:43 GMT
A town called Woodville, Highway 2



Or should we call it ‘Quaintsville’ ? Still enroute to Napier.


(Panoarmour Photography) Quaintsville Woodville Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:10:41 GMT
Tui Employees of the Month

And an interloper (in a dress too) !

(Panoarmour Photography) Tui employees interloper Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:07:51 GMT
Tui Brewery Lunch



Courgette and sweetcorn fritters and a chicken, apricot and camembert toastie. Filled a (big) space.  Fiona couldn’t sample the Tui product because it was her turn to drive (boo hoo !)


(Panoarmour Photography) Tui lunch Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:05:55 GMT
Tui Brewery, Mangatainoka



Back on the road again. En route to Napier on Highway 2 from Wellington we stopped at the Tui Brewery for lunch in the cafe.  The Tui advertising is quite similar to Fosters so very witty and full of attitude.


(Panoarmour Photography) 2 Brewery Highway Tui Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:02:27 GMT
Night Scene Civic Square, Wellington


Quite surprisingly Wellington is very poorly lit at night (or else they are on an efficiency saving drive) making the usual skyline shots of the sky scrapers not really feasible (Alan's all disappointed). Civic Square was the exception (Alan's back smiling cos he can use his tripod again).

(Panoarmour Photography) Night scene civic square Thu, 18 Apr 2013 06:01:44 GMT
Cable Car, Wellington


The cable car was off for scheduled maintenance all weekend but it came back on on Sunday afternoon – thank goodness didn’t fancy the walk back down from the Botanic Gardens after the hike up.

(Panoarmour Photography) Cable Car Wellington Botanic Gardens Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:57:44 GMT
Scottish Meet-up

We met Karin McKenzie, daughter of our friends Alex and Anne from Bishopbriggs, for Sunday brunch in a place called Southern Cross just off Cuba Street (big tick for food). Karin arrived in NZ on Tuesday on a 7 month working visa but plans to do some sightseeing first.  Good seeing you Karin and enjoy your time in NZ – make the best of your time in this wonderful country. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Karin McKenzie Scottish visa Southern Cross Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:56:03 GMT
Paparazzi Again !

At the side of parliament building no. 3 there was a film or TV series  being filmed which involved Nazi soldiers flogging a man tied to a cart. Old cars, period costumes and fake blood (we hope).  Anyway paparazzi Fiona was in there again (more brass neck than Alan !) 

(Panoarmour Photography) TV Film paparazzi Nazi Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:53:06 GMT
Parliament Building No.3, Wellington

]]> (Panoarmour Photography) Parliament Wellington Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:51:08 GMT Parliament Building No.2, Wellington

]]> (Panoarmour Photography) Parliament Building Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:50:14 GMT The 'Pineapple' Building, Wellington


This is actually part of NZ’s Parliament buildings, the following images depict the other two buildings. All three buildings are totally different

(Panoarmour Photography) Pineapple Parliament Wellington Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:48:41 GMT
Old Bailey Pub, Wellington


You’ll not be surprised to learn that Legal House and the Old Bailey Pub are across from the original !

(Panoarmour Photography) Old Bailey pub court Wellington Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:46:51 GMT
Legal House ?????, Wellington


This and the next image is for our friend Annette. How do you fancy a transfer, Annette ?

(Panoarmour Photography) Legal House Wellington Annette Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:45:06 GMT
Old and New, Wellington


There is a combination of old and new buildings in Wellington which not unlike Boston have been sensitively merged.

(Panoarmour Photography) old and new wellington buildings Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:43:18 GMT
Wellington Architecture

]]> (Panoarmour Photography) Wellington architecture Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:41:30 GMT Les Mills Gym, Wellington


This is for all you gym bunnies out there. This is where Les Mills of Body Combat, Body Pump etc etc fame originates from. Couldn’t muster the energy to actually visit the inside of the gym, however.

(Panoarmour Photography) Les Mills Wellington Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:40:22 GMT
Maori Image No. 3, Te Papa Museum, Wellington

]]> (Panoarmour Photography) Te Papa museum maori Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:38:41 GMT Maori Image No. 2, Te Papa Museum, Wellington

]]> (Panoarmour Photography) Te Papa Maori Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:37:46 GMT Maori Image No. 1, Te Papa Museum, Wellington


A large part of the museum is devoted to the heritage and symbolism associated with the Maori culture. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Te Papa Museum Maori culture heritage Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:36:50 GMT
Trolls from Lord of the Rings, Te Papa Museum

Film fans will recognise these three guys.

(Panoarmour Photography) Trolls Lord of Rings Te Papa Museum Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:34:19 GMT
Lobby of Te Papa Museum, Wellington


This perhaps gives the scale of the building. The next few images show some of the exhibits.

(Panoarmour Photography) Te Papa lobby scale Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:32:27 GMT
Te Papa Museum, Welinton


Te Papa is the National Museum of New Zealand – this museum quite rightly gets a reputation as being one of the best in the World and the entry is free (except for special exhibitions). 

(Panoarmour Photography) Te Papa Wellington national museum Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:30:39 GMT
Civic Square, Wellington


The City to Sea bridge connects Civic Square, where the Information Site, Wellington Council and the City Gallery are located, on one side and leads to the Te Papa Museum  on the other side.

(Panoarmour Photography) City to Sea Civic Square Information council gallery Wed, 17 Apr 2013 05:00:28 GMT
Top of the City to Sea Bridge, Wellington

]]> (Panoarmour Photography) City to Sea Bridge Wellington Wed, 17 Apr 2013 04:57:32 GMT City to Sea Bridge, Wellington


In the North Island now (note the cloudy skies) and this bridge was just one example of the interesting pieces of architecture that celebrates NZ’s Maori heritage and the relationship between land and sea.

(Panoarmour Photography) City to Sea bridge Wellington North Island Wed, 17 Apr 2013 04:56:00 GMT
Leaving Picton Harbour & the South Island


Picton's yet another place where you could spend more time especially on a nice sunny day.

(Panoarmour Photography) Picton harbour south island Wed, 17 Apr 2013 04:53:32 GMT
Interislander Ferry - Picton to Wellington


This was the ‘small’ ferry we travelled as foot passengers from the South to the North Island via the Mount Cook Strait. The journey takes @ 3 ½ hours and you pick up another hire car upon arrival at Wellington. We had driven 2,600 kms in 12 days on the South Island so were looking forward to not driving while we were in Wellington. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Interislander ferry car hire Picton Wellington Wed, 17 Apr 2013 04:51:38 GMT
Vines outside Picton


Typical of the neat rows of grapevines in the famous Marlborough Wine Region, which produces about ¾’s of NZ’s wine.  Wine tours with tastings is a popular tourist activity and most of the larger wineries have café/restaurants.

(Panoarmour Photography) Picton Vines Wine tours Wed, 17 Apr 2013 04:48:47 GMT
Old Sneakers Fence on the way to Picton


NZ is rather quirky so nothing surprises you.  We had to stop on the way to Picton when we saw this fence decorated with about 100 old pairs of sneakers. Why was it like this ? Don’t know but it made for a good photograph.

(Panoarmour Photography) Sneakers fence Picton quirky Wed, 17 Apr 2013 04:45:47 GMT
Fire-engine Bridal Vehicle, Mapau


This old fire engine was parked outside the fire station at the wharf where the reception was taking place. Most of the rural fire stations are run by volunteers.  I hope there wasn’t a fire that night.

(Panoarmour Photography) fire engine Mapua wedding Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:48:32 GMT
Mapau Wharf


This small town is about 30 minutes drive from Nelson and the wharf area has some lovely cafes/restaurants and galleries selling the work of predominantly local artists and jewellery makers.

(Panoarmour Photography) Mapau Wharf Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:46:43 GMT
Inside Lambretta's Cafe, Nelson

]]> (Panoarmour Photography) Lambretta Nelson Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:45:37 GMT Street View Labretta's Cafe, Nelson



This is a great quirky café where we had lunch. Highly recommended if visiting Nelson


(Panoarmour Photography) Cafe Lambretta's Nelson quirky Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:44:34 GMT
Butterflies Christ Church Cathedral Gardens



This is for Fiona’s friend Sally


(Panoarmour Photography) Butterflies Church Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:44:20 GMT
Christ Church Cathedral, Nelson

This art deco cathedral overlooks the Nelson City Centre on Church Hill (of course).

(Panoarmour Photography) Christ Church Cathedral Nelson Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:35:26 GMT
Nelson Marina

Nelson is the countries fifth largest town. It is home to a lot of artists which is reflected by the number of art and craft shops and visiting exhibitions.

(Panoarmour Photography) Nelson Marina Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:33:40 GMT
Returned to Kaiteriteri Beach

Back on terra firma and a good view of the beach from an observation point.

(Panoarmour Photography) Kaiteriteri Beach Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:30:40 GMT
Baby Seals Playing on Pinnacle Island

This was as close as we could get with our camera lenses. The baby seals were have great fun in a pool on the island as we cruised by on our way back.

(Panoarmour Photography) Baby seals Pinnacle Island Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:28:52 GMT
Tonga Arches, Abel Tasmin Coastline

These limestone arches are not surprisingly popular for wedding photographs. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Tonga Arches limestone Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:26:03 GMT
Leaving Medlands Bay

A little piece of paradide

(Panoarmour Photography) Medlands Bay paradise Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:23:49 GMT
Taxi for Armour - Medlands Bay

Now how's that for service.....a bit surreal actually. Bright and sunny but a bit cool for sunbathing

(Panoarmour Photography) Taxi Medlands Bay Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:21:18 GMT
Typical Cove Along the Trail

Every so often along the trail you got glimpses of coves through the trees.

(Panoarmour Photography) coves Abel Tasmin Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:19:00 GMT
Glasgow Stream

You very quickly realise when travelling about NZ how many  name places have been 'borrowed' from Scotland. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Glasgow Stream Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:17:12 GMT
Trail through the rainforest

A well defined path lead us through the rainforest that bordered the coast line.

(Panoarmour Photography) Rainforest trail Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:14:36 GMT
Split Apple Rock, Abel Tasmin National Park

We passed this on the way to the beach. It is limestone rock that has split due to a quartz fault line through it. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Split Apple Rock Abel Tasmin Park Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:12:42 GMT
Kaiteriteri Beach, Outside Abel Tasmin National Park


We are now staying in the Nelson area. This is the beach where we picked up the water taxi to take us into Abel Tasmin National Park. The whole Abel Tasmin trail is 52 kms and takes about 5 days. We decided to do small section of about 7.5 kms. The boat dropped us off on the breach at Torrent Bay and organised to pick us up 2 1/2 hours later in Medlands Bay.


(Panoarmour Photography) Abel Bay Beach Kaiteiteri Medway National Nelson Park Tasmin Torrent Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:10:37 GMT
Spot the faces in the Pancake Rocks

Okay here's a test - how many faces, human or animal can you see in the rock outline ? No prizes just a wee brain teaser for you. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Pancake brain face faces in rock teaser test Tue, 16 Apr 2013 00:01:04 GMT
Twinkling water - Tasmin Sea, West Coast

The Tasmin Sea is a beautiful colour but the sun dancing on the water is so appealing that it's a must take photograph.

(Panoarmour Photography) Coast Sea Tasmin West sun twinkling Mon, 15 Apr 2013 23:55:01 GMT
Pancake Rocks -Punakaiki

Another strange rock formation so named because of the appearance of stacks of pancakes.

(Panoarmour Photography) Pancake Punakaiki rocks Mon, 15 Apr 2013 23:51:53 GMT
Flat rock sculpture

Fiona would only go as far as kneeling (no dedication) to take this. The flat rock artists from Lake Tekapo had been here before us.....thanks very much.

(Panoarmour Photography) West Coast flat rock artists Sun, 14 Apr 2013 00:08:49 GMT

You lie on the sand and make sure the tide doesn't come in ! (another pair of trousers for the wash)

(Panoarmour Photography) Lie tide Sun, 14 Apr 2013 00:05:24 GMT
Images of the coastline

Now how do you get pictures like this ? The next image reveals the secret

(Panoarmour Photography) Coastline image Sun, 14 Apr 2013 00:02:36 GMT
West Coast 'Apostles'


We have the lady in Stewart Nimmo gallery in Greymouth to thank for recommending we take the longer coastal route to Nelson via Westport. The coastline was magnificent and made up for the fact that we didn't manage to do the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles' while we were in Melbourne. Give a look - his photographs of South Island NZ were by far the best we have seen.


(Panoarmour Photography) Greymouth Nimmo Stewart apostles coast coastline gallery west Sat, 13 Apr 2013 23:56:13 GMT
Hokitika, West Coast

This is a seaside resort where we stopped for lunch. We had one of the famous NZ pies to do the Greggs comparison test ( market research - someone's got to do it). More choice of fillings, smaller in size but very tasty.....better ? Need to try another couple before coming to a decision.

(Panoarmour Photography) Hokitika pies Greggs west coast Sat, 13 Apr 2013 23:43:07 GMT
Panorama of Mount Cook from jetty at Lake Matheson n: form-data; name=n: form-data; name="file_title"

This is one of the best places in Fox Glacier area  to obtain a reflective view of Mount Cook. Five photos were stitched together to create this panoramic image. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Mount Cook lake Matheson panoramic Sat, 13 Apr 2013 23:36:36 GMT
Cows in the mist - Lake Matheson

This was quite an ethereal vision before the sun burned the mist away.

(Panoarmour Photography) Cows mist lake matheson Sat, 13 Apr 2013 23:31:37 GMT
The Web (no not the 'www')

This was how cold it was in the morning in the area of Lake Matheson just outside Fox Glacier Village

(Panoarmour Photography) web Fox Glacier Village Sat, 13 Apr 2013 21:43:40 GMT
Old Bus, Fox Glacier Village

Our eye was caught by this old bus which had been restored and being used for one of the many tourist activities in this ares

(Panoarmour Photography) Fox Glacier Village old bus Sat, 13 Apr 2013 21:38:44 GMT
Wall of Glacier Ice

Up close and personal with the glacier wall - you can even see the turquoise tinted water in the grooves. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Glacier wall fox glacier Sat, 13 Apr 2013 01:09:42 GMT
Glacier Valley - Fox Glacier

At one point the Glacier filled this valley and there are striation marks are on the rock face where it forced its way through. The meandering stream is the melting glacier water.

(Panoarmour Photography) Fox glacier melted Sat, 13 Apr 2013 01:07:08 GMT
Fox Glacier

Like all the worlds glaciers, Fox Glacier is receding at a fast rate and sections can break off at any time. Hence access to the glacier is strictly controlled and warning signs of rock slides are in abundance due to the the frequent falls of scree from the surrounding mountains. This results in the pathways to view the glacier being frequently re-routed.

(Panoarmour Photography) Fox Glacier pathway Sat, 13 Apr 2013 01:03:34 GMT
Fox Glacier Pathway

Someone - we wish we could remember who - said that you could see Fox Glacier from the car park. Aye, combined with a 30 minute hike up this pretty steep uneven path. But we made it and although the light was fading it was incredible to get as close as 200 metres to the glacier.

(Panoarmour Photography) Fox Glacier path Sat, 13 Apr 2013 00:58:12 GMT
Riverbed stones

This is an example of the moraine that is washed down by the glacier water and sits on the river beds. Like fingerprints we doubt any two stones have the same was also an opportunity for Alan 'arty farty' shot.

(Panoarmour Photography) Moraine glacier stones Sat, 13 Apr 2013 00:53:20 GMT
Roaring Billy Lake

After about a 20 minute forest walk we came out at the river bed and lake where Roaring Billy Waterfall flows into. This is the true colour of the water no photoshop was involved...... 'look at the colour of that water' was an oft said phrase.

(Panoarmour Photography) Roaring billy waterfall water colour Sat, 13 Apr 2013 00:49:15 GMT
Rainforest Haast Pass

The mountain range that goes through the middle of the South Island results in rain forests on the west coast and more typical forests on the other side. The contrast is quite remarkable.

(Panoarmour Photography) Rainforest west coast Sat, 13 Apr 2013 00:43:56 GMT
Thundering Creek Falls

Photos never seem to give you the height, power or sound of waterfalls - as they would have had to have been there.

(Panoarmour Photography) Thundering Creek waterfall Sat, 13 Apr 2013 00:39:33 GMT
Wanaka - give us a hand !


I asked Alan to give me a hand - very funny Alan!

We stopped in Wanaka for lunch and while it is referred to as Queenstown's little cousin, we thought it was a bigger version of Te Anua. Would like to have spent more time there but we had to press on.


(Panoarmour Photography) Wanaka hand Sat, 13 Apr 2013 00:36:17 GMT
Lake Hayes just outside Queenstown

This reflective image was taken near the start of the long drive to the West Coast.

(Panoarmour Photography) Queenstown Lake Hayes West Coast Sat, 13 Apr 2013 00:32:20 GMT
Kevin Heights living

We wondered what Kevin MacLeod would make of this property - it was like something out of Grand Designs. The inshot at the front was to park their boat. It's outlook was the cove in the previous image. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Kelvin Heights Quuenstown Kevin MacLeod Grand Design. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 19:30:39 GMT
Beach at Kelvin Heights

There was a footpath from our hotel along to a place called Kelvin Heights. Judging by the houses this appeared to be a very upmarket part of Queenstown as the following image will show.

(Panoarmour Photography) Kelvin Heights upmarket Thu, 11 Apr 2013 19:26:06 GMT
The Bedroom, Kawarau Hotel

Just pure indulgent luxury !

(Panoarmour Photography) Hotel Kawarau bedroom Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:21:53 GMT
Kawarau Hotel Managed by Hilton


This has been our best accommodation to date. 9km outside of Queenstown in a place called Kawarau Village, which is the location of the Hilton and adjacent 'down market' Kawarau Hotels. One more photo to follow of our boutique room.


(Panoarmour Photography) Hilton Hotel Kawarau Village boutique Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:20:08 GMT
Our Accommodation ?


When we were shown to our accommodation we were not impressed but as the images show it was remarkably roomy inside.


(Panoarmour Photography) Accommodation roomy Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:18:45 GMT
Chinese Settlement, Arrowtown


Small numbers of Chinese miners came over to work in the gold mines at the end of the 19th century. Not initially welcomed they settled in this primitive style of accommodation on the edge of town. 


(Panoarmour Photography) Arrowtown Chinese Settlement Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:18:14 GMT
Fir Cone - Arrowtown


Getting in touch with nature - it's so easy in New Zealand.


(Panoarmour Photography) Arrowtown Fir cone Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:17:40 GMT
Autumn Leaves - Arrowtown


(Panoarmour Photography) Arrowtown Autumn leaves Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:17:09 GMT
Autumn colours, Arrowtown


It probably happens in Britain but we haven't noticed it as much as in NZ where patches of a tree change to autumn colours while the adjacent tree remains unchanged.


(Panoarmour Photography) Arrowtown autumn colours trees Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:16:46 GMT
War Memorial, Arrowtown


Overlooking the town is a war memorial. The surrounding trees were changing to their autumn colours, which against the piercing blue sky made this an even more memorable site. Examples of the autumn colours to follow.


(Panoarmour Photography) Arrowtown autumn colours memorial trees war Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:16:09 GMT
Quaint Church, Arrowtown


There are lots of small picturesque churches in Arrowtown - this one was particularly attractive and was shouting take a picture of me.


(Panoarmour Photography) Arrowtown church quaint Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:15:29 GMT
Oldest Home, Arrowtown


This old house is being rented out as a vacation home (hopefully with 20th century amenities).


(Panoarmour Photography) Arrowtown Old home vacation Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:15:02 GMT
Main Street, Arrowtown


Horses and carts would have been more authentic but you can see the original buildings are being used by restaurants and shops.


(Panoarmour Photography) Arrowtown authentic main street Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:14:25 GMT
Arrowtown, outside Queenstown


A visit to Arrowtown, a mere 25 minute drive from Queenstown, was highly recommended by friends and is a 'must do' in all the travel books. We totally endorse this and stayed on longer in this tastefully preserved gold mining settlement.


(Panoarmour Photography) Arrowtown gold mining recommended. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:13:59 GMT
Jet boating - Shotover Gorge


It's okay Mum we didn't do this although it looked good fun if you don't suffer from motion sickness (that counts out Fiona). The boat does 360 spins and travels very close to obstructions in the water. 


(Panoarmour Photography) Jetboat Shotover gorge Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:13:28 GMT
Shotover Gorge, outside Queentown


Now this water is not very deep yet as the follow image shows you only need a few inches of water to do jet boating, which is very popular all over the Queenstown area.


(Panoarmour Photography) Jet Queenstown Shotover boating Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:12:55 GMT
On Top of the World


Thought it was time you saw one of us together and where better than to be posing at the top of a mountain waiting to go back down on the gondola was freeeeeeeeeezing !

(Panoarmour Photography) Posing gondola of top world Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:12:13 GMT
Not sure about this


Fiona had the same look on her face - something about not sure the brakes would work. What a big woose ! Ok that's enough adrenalin pumping activity.


(Panoarmour Photography) Luge Queenstown Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:10:47 GMT
This is fun


(Panoarmour Photography) Luge Queenstown fun Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:10:25 GMT
The Luge top of Queenstown


Our friend Bob told us about this, although he described it as sitting on a tray on a track that was right at the edge of the mountain. That's not for us we thought until we saw that it wasn't quite as dangerous as he made out. So we has a go and this and the following images show some of our fellow riders having fun (some more than others).


(Panoarmour Photography) Luke Queenstown fun Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:09:52 GMT

The bride and her bridesmaids arrived at the top the gondola station by helicopter followed by the groom in a 2nd helicopter. Fiona snuck between the onlookers to snap this candid shot but she reckons that the paparazzi lifestyle is not for her although we quite fancied being the wedding photographers. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Helicopter. Wedding gondola paparazzi station Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:09:27 GMT
Roads cutting through the mountains, Queenstown

Practically all the roads in the South Island are single carriageways with passing lanes every so often. It has been some feat of engineering to construct these roads which dissect or skirt round the mountains. They are in excellent condition, well signposted with a top speed of 100 kmph. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:08:39 GMT
View over Queenstown Pier

This is the view from the top of the gondola. The sun was going down hence the shadow over the harbour/ pier area.

(Panoarmour Photography) Queenstown gondola view Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:07:21 GMT
Signposting Countries at the top of Queenstown.


This was at the top gondola station served to remind us how far away from home we were and how many other interesting countries we have still to visit.


(Panoarmour Photography) Signposting countries Thu, 11 Apr 2013 11:06:48 GMT
Old Puffer Earnshaw, Queenstown


This is just one of the many cruises you can take across Lake Wakatipu but the steam boat HMS Earnshaw was the oldest by far.


(Panoarmour Photography) Earnshaw Hms Lake Wakatipu boat ruise steam Wed, 10 Apr 2013 22:54:08 GMT
Queenstown, South Island


This is the pier in Queenstown, which sits on Lake Wakatipu. It is like a large alpine village with the town centre at the bottom on the flat and the houses and motels rising up the hillside. It reminded us of Lake Garda and parts of Austria we have visited. Very busy with adrenaline junkies from all over the world who have a choice of about a dozen endorphin surging sports and activities to choose from. 


(Panoarmour Photography) Queenstown adrenaline junkie pier Wed, 10 Apr 2013 22:53:49 GMT
No not again !


Still driving back from Milford Sound and stopped at the traffic lights before the Hummel Tunnel. There's another one of those parakeets Alan......oh no not again ! It leapt onto the car and settled itself on the passenger mirror this time. While it's eying up Alan who by this time is outside the car I snapped away. Now the question is what is attracting the parakeets, the white car or is it something to do with Fiona. She was lining up ducks now it's parakeets! (in joke)


(Panoarmour Photography) Hummel Tunnel parakeet Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:55:28 GMT
New Zealand Symbol

The fern is as you know the symbol of New Zealand and is emblazoned everywhere. We wanted to get a good photograph of it growing in its natural environment.

(Panoarmour Photography) New Zealand symbol fern Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:43:39 GMT
Who's a Cheeky Boy then ?


We stopped at a scenic spot on the way back from Milford Sound called 'The Chasm'. In the carpark were 5 yellow crowned parakeets, which are native to NZ. Oh great opportunity. No sooner had Alan got out the car and armed himself with his camera than the 5 parakeets leaped onto the car bonnet and while his pals progressed onto the roof, this one remained on the bonnet pecking at the windscreen wipers while another was peering over the roof into the passenger window where I'm rigid with fear (well not quite but I'm trying to build on the drama). Anyway it was like a scene out of Hitchcock's 'The Birds'. When they got bored and left I got out the car and said to Alan .....well did you get a good photo for the blog of them on the roof? No he says I was trying to get the colourful feathers under their wings. That's photographers for you....just as well I snapped this 'bare faced parakeet' so I could tell you this story.


(Panoarmour Photography) Yellow chasm crowned parakeet the Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:35:39 GMT
Sleepy Seals - Milford Sound

Last image for Milford Sound are the sleepy seals that blended so well with the rock face that you could nearly miss them.

(Panoarmour Photography) Seals Milford Sound Tue, 09 Apr 2013 13:33:51 GMT
Mini Water Fall - Mini Rainbow Milford Sound

These were everywhere and were so attractive.

(Panoarmour Photography) Mini rainbow Milford Sound Tue, 09 Apr 2013 13:31:48 GMT
Stirling Falls, Milford Sound


It was quite dark on this side of the Sound but you can get a perspective on the size of Stirling Falls from the cruise boat to the right of it.


(Panoarmour Photography) Falls Milford Sound Stirling Tue, 09 Apr 2013 13:29:45 GMT
Bowen Falls, Milford Sound


We have many more images of this waterfall but this perhaps gives the scale of it.  There are only 2 actual waterfalls in the Sound - this one; Bowen Falls and the other is Stirling Falls. The hundreds of other variable sized 'waterfalls' in the fiord result about an hour after it rains.


(Panoarmour Photography) Bowen Falls Milford Sound Waterfall Tue, 09 Apr 2013 13:29:37 GMT
Milford Sound Inhabitants

This was the view from one of the observation windows. The pink fish are a type of perch and the white lacy type plant is actually black coral - it's a big explanation but trust me it is black coral. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Inhabitants Milford Sound Perch black coral Tue, 09 Apr 2013 13:07:55 GMT
Observation/Discovery Centre, Milford Sound ; name=; name="title"

Part of the cruise was visiting this centre which was built in 1996 and is some feat of engineering. Guided kayaking tours were also available from here (no thank you). Spiral stairs take you down to a large observation area where you can view the inhabitants of the fiord who live in the top 40 metres of salt water just below the 1.5 metres of fresh water. It is too dark to survive below the 40 metre mark. It was amazing how much light actually penetrated through the top layer of  water and the variety of fish and plant species that inhabit the fiord.

(Panoarmour Photography) Observation/discovery centre Milford Sound Tue, 09 Apr 2013 13:04:36 GMT
Milford Sound outlet to Tasmin Sea

This is the only day cruises on the Sound that enters into the Tasmin Sea. On turning the boat round to re-enter the Fiord it became very gusty and the temperature dropped considerably causing the majority of passengers to scuttle down below to the warmth.  Not us hardy Scots we stuck our bunnets on and remained on deck snapping away until we were frozen snotters.

(Panoarmour Photography) Fiord Tasmin Sea Milford Sound Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:53:30 GMT
Milford Sound, Steep Fiord


As you can see from this image the sides of the fiord are very steep enabling the cruise ships to get in very close.  The water is 400 metres deep with the top 1.5 metres being fresh water from the @ 7 metres a year rainfall, which results from approx. 200 days of rain. How we managed to get a bright, sunny, crisp day for the cruise we'll never know as we are not known for being lucky with weather - just ask our family and friends ! 


(Panoarmour Photography) Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:46:37 GMT
Cruising on Milford Sound


This was the Southern Discoveries catamaran we were on for our 3 hour cruise and BBQ lunch. 

Milford Sound is a Fiord (note different spelling used in New Zealand and the fact that it is called a 'sound' when it's actually a fiord, which is a valley made from glaciers). This whole area is called Fiordland.


(Panoarmour Photography) Fiord Milford Sound Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:46:20 GMT
Mirror Lake, Road to Milford Sound


This was our second visit to this lake - a major fight between two ducks caused so many ripples the first time that it was anything but a milk pond. Anyway we engaged Elmar Fudd and the mirror effect returned.


(Panoarmour Photography) Lake Milford Mirror Sound Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:46:01 GMT
Eglinton Valley - on the way to Milford Sound


The 2 hour drive from Te Anua to Milford Sound is spectacular so give yourself plenty of time to include photo stops. 


(Panoarmour Photography) Abnua Drive Eglinton Milford Scenic Sound. Te Valley Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:45:43 GMT
Kawarau Gorge & Gold Fields Mining Centre


As you can see from this image the water here is emerald in colour. A bridge takes you over to a tourist attraction which includes jet boating and a tour of the gold fieds in this area with an opportunity to pan for gold. A waterfall called 'Roaring Meg' is also here and 'Roaring Meg' wine is produced nearby (rather nice actually).  Didn't have too much time to stop here but would go back and do the gold field tour. 


(Panoarmour Photography) Fields Gold Gorge Kawarau Meg Roaring emerald water Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:45:08 GMT
Lake at Old Cromwell Town


This was just to show you the pampas grass that grow wild everywhere on the South Island unlike Scotland where you have to plant them in a sunny sheltered spot - aye, like that's easy to find!


(Panoarmour Photography) Cromwell Pampas Town grass lake old Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:44:43 GMT
Old Cromwell Town - vintage


It was just crying out for a photoshop makeover !


(Panoarmour Photography) Cromwell Old Town vintage Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:43:42 GMT
Old Cromwell Town -Street Scene


This is the postcard shot - the next one is showing off on photoshop.


(Panoarmour Photography) Cromwell Island New Old South Town Zealand Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:42:17 GMT
Cromwell, Central Otago, South Island rm-data; name=rm-data; name="file_title"


We've left Twizel and are on our way to Te Anua. On the way we stopped in for lunch at Cromwell and we visted a relatively new tourist attraction which replicates buildings in Old Cromwell town at the end of the 19th Century. It was quite tastefully done although we didn't know they sold pizza's way back then.......always learning !


(Panoarmour Photography) Central Cromwell New Old Otago Town Zealand Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:41:36 GMT
Suspension Bridges - Hooker Valley


There are two suspension bridges to traverse to reach the Hooker Glacier.  The first one was quite solid, the next one was very bouncy and with the wind it was like being on the set of Twister (David you would have hated it). You can see the clay coloured water we were talking about here.


(Panoarmour Photography) Bridge Hooker Suspension Valley Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:41:03 GMT
Hooker Valley - when it stops raining


The water was a milky blue colour at the lower stages and clay coloured nearer the mouth of the glacier.


(Panoarmour Photography) Hooker Valley Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:40:25 GMT
Hooker Valley - Icebergs !


Yes......icebergs that had broken off from a glacier further up the Hooker Valley.  This was the first time we had seen icebergs other than on the telly so the fact that we were cold and wet was forgotten about (momentarily - the drive back to the motel sitting on a plastic bag brought it back), Before you ask.... no there were no polar bears or extras from Happy Feet.


(Panoarmour Photography) Glacier Hooker Valley icebergs Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:37:46 GMT
Mouth of the Hooker Glacier, Mount Cook

Ok Alan this is definately rain and high winds - we couldn't even see the glacier it had closed in so much. At this point we were absolutely drookit but the following sight made it worth it!

(Panoarmour Photography) Hooker Glacier Mount Cook drookit Sat, 06 Apr 2013 23:27:28 GMT
Hooker Valley, Mount Cook National Park

The weather at the Mount Cook village was bright and sunny. Not that much further down on the Hooker Valley trail the weather was not so good - in fact it was dreech (? re spelling but you know what we mean).  Alan says it was low cloud in the glacier valley that was causing the rain, no Alan it was definately rain as the following photographs will show. (this photo has been converted to black & white)

(Panoarmour Photography) Mount Cook National Park Hooker Valley rain Sat, 06 Apr 2013 23:24:14 GMT
View of Mount Cook from Lake Pukaki

An Alan 'special' photograph. We stopped here on the way to our accommodation in Twizel (yes it was called Twizel) because unfortunately Lake Tekapo was full with it being Easter Weekend. Mount Cook is the highest mountain in Australasia at over 3000 metres (don't ask me what that is in ft).

(Panoarmour Photography) Lake Pukaki Mount Cook Twizel Sat, 06 Apr 2013 23:17:52 GMT
Together at Lake Tekapo

It was a lovely 27 degrees C at Lake Tekapo (but this wasn't set to last) so we exposed our pilly wally arms to the sun.

(Panoarmour Photography) Lake Tekapo New Zealand South Island Sat, 06 Apr 2013 23:12:32 GMT
Lake Tekapo - monument

All across the shoreline visitors had stacked flat stones and someone had very artistically created this arched sculpture.

(Panoarmour Photography) Lake Tekapo New Zealand flat stones Sat, 06 Apr 2013 23:09:19 GMT
Low lying cloud - Lake Tekapo

Low lying cloud is typical across the mountain ranges - it almost looks like white candy floss and is very slow moving (the cloud not the candy floss).

(Panoarmour Photography) Lake Tekapo low lying cloud Sat, 06 Apr 2013 23:06:20 GMT
Lake Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand

We had heard about and seen photographs of Lake Tekapo but it was still a wow moment when we turned the corner and were me by this turquoise lake.  Even this photo does not quite capture the colour.

(Panoarmour Photography) Lake Tekapo South island turquoise water New Zealand Sat, 06 Apr 2013 23:04:04 GMT
Arrived in New Zealand

Arrived in Christchurch at 5 am on Easter Monday and that was after adding 2 hours on so we were wabbit ! We just passed through Christchurch, which is still being rebuilt after the earthquake. This was taken in car park of a nice farm shop cafe in Geraldine. This is as vintage as Alan !

(Panoarmour Photography) New Zealand Geraldine vintage Sat, 06 Apr 2013 23:01:14 GMT
Cow in tree, Docklands, Melbourne

The whole docklands area in Melbourne is being transformed into a restaurant and shopping haven and as is typical with Melbourne there are a few street sculptures.  We thought it was appropriate we finished our blog for the Australian part of the trip with this sculpture of a cow in a tree because it made us laugh. It was actually made of bronze and weighed either 2 or 5 tons (can't remember which) - in Glasgow it would be in the scrappies in less than  a day although not sure how they would get in their shopping trolley.  

Good bye Australia - it was fab. New Zealand here we come. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Cow in tree Dockland Melbourne Wed, 03 Apr 2013 10:17:21 GMT
Protest Sculpture, NGV

This is by an Indonesian artist and becomes interactive every 20 minutes or so - quite a spectacle.

(Panoarmour Photography) Indonesian artist NGV Protest sculpture Wed, 03 Apr 2013 10:10:31 GMT
The Thinker - Roddin, NGV

This always reminds me of Alan, especially in black and white !

(Panoarmour Photography) The Thinker Roddin NG Wed, 03 Apr 2013 10:06:39 GMT
National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne

If you hadn't realised by now, Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia and being the culture vultures that we are (what do you mean you hadn't noticed ?) we visited the NGV on Sunday afternoon before heading to the airport.  First of all what a fabulous building and a huge variety of exhibits ranging from 14th century pottery to the biggest collection of English (yes English) glassware to some very modern eclectic pieces. Definitely worth a visit especially since it was free and it was raining !

(Panoarmour Photography) National Gallery of Victoria Mebourne Wed, 03 Apr 2013 10:04:36 GMT
Akachochin Restaurant, South Wharf, Melbourne

These very colourful bikes made this Japanese restaurant very attractive to prospective customers - pity it was closed all Easter weekend.

(Panoarmour Photography) bicycles Japanese restaurant South Wharf Melbourne Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:58:55 GMT
Boats in St Kilda's harbour

Couldn't resist a shot of the harbour as the sun went down, the result was this atmospheric image of  several small craft.

(Panoarmour Photography) St Kilda's harbour Sunset boats. Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:52:37 GMT
The Pier at St Kilda's Beach

No trip to the beach is complete without a visit to the pier and St Kilda's beach had really nice one. The old wooden structure now houses a Tea Room and the pier itself is due to be redeveloped in 2014.

(Panoarmour Photography) St Kilda's Beach pier. Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:45:23 GMT
St Kilda's Beach, Melbourne

This beach is just a 25 minute tram ride from the city center. This sand sculpture is what Fiona thought she would see at Cottesloe Beach in Perth.  The most artistic castle we've seen so far.

(Panoarmour Photography) St Kilda's Beach Melbourne sand sculpture. Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:35:13 GMT
Artisan Stall, Queen Victoria Market

This stall proved that you can turn any item into a clock - there's those old record things, what did they call them LP's and singles (showing our age now).

(Panoarmour Photography) Queen Victoria Market Clocks Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:25:42 GMT
Mussel Van, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne

If only it had been nearer lunchtime Fiona was up for a bowl of mussels from this quirky van

(Panoarmour Photography) Mussels Queen Victoria Market Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:22:23 GMT
Fish Stall, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne

I (Fiona) could have eaten the whole stall !

(Panoarmour Photography) Fish Stall Queen Victoria Market Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:19:55 GMT
Typical Deli Stall, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne

]]> (Panoarmour Photography) Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:17:55 GMT Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne

This is an icon in Melbourne and houses about 1,000 permanent stalls ranging from gourmet deli's, fruit & veg, meat and fish, gifts, artisan crafts, clothes and the usual gifts. It is absolutely fascinating and worth a 1/2 day visit. The following images depict just some of the goods on sale.

(Panoarmour Photography) Queen Victoria Market stalls Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:16:16 GMT
Night Scene - Southbank, Melbourne

Melbourne has a nice city scape at night so it we were drawn to taking night shots.

(Panoarmour Photography) Night Scene Southbank Melbourne Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:11:27 GMT
Night Scene - Flinder Street Train Station

A slow exposure allows you additional 'painting with light' from car lights as they travel through the junction (and you need a tripod !)

(Panoarmour Photography) Night scene Flinder Street Train Station Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:08:13 GMT
Night Scene - Federation Square, Melbourne

The newly acquired light tripod was put to good use.

(Panoarmour Photography) Night scene Federation Square Melbourne Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:04:36 GMT
Lily Pond, Alexandra Park, Melbourne

Aw isn't that nice ?

(Panoarmour Photography) Lily Pond Alexandra Park Melbourne Wed, 03 Apr 2013 09:02:18 GMT
Alexandra Park, Melbourne

This urban park is beautifully maintained and is easily reached from the city centre being just down from Federation Square. This image portrays the very impressive war memorial.   

(Panoarmour Photography) Alexandra Park Melbourne war memorial Wed, 03 Apr 2013 08:55:40 GMT
Meet up with Mary and Graham

For previous visitors to our website you may recognise Mary and Graham as being the bride and groom we photographed at Cameron House, Loch Lomond in January this year. We were delighted to be able to meet up with them in their home area of Melbourne for a meal at Baci in the Southbank area.

(Panoarmour Photography) Melbourne Mary and Graham Baci Tue, 02 Apr 2013 21:42:39 GMT
Melbourne City Centre Lane

The lanes were quite unusual with quirky features as this image shows.

(Panoarmour Photography) Lanes Melbourne Tue, 02 Apr 2013 21:38:52 GMT
City Tram - Federation Square

There is a fantastic free city tram that runs every 10 minutes on a circular route. The trams used are the original 1937 ones whilst more modern trams are used for on extensive network that serve the Melbourne suburbs. Over and above the free city tram there is a free city centre shuttle bus which extends the route taken by the tram. Edinburgh and all UK city centres should take note of a well run and used system that reduces the amount of vehicles in the city centre.

(Panoarmour Photography) Federation Square Melbourne city trams bus shuttle Tue, 02 Apr 2013 21:37:01 GMT
Federation Square and Flinders Train Station

This has been taken from Federation Square - the orange coloured building is Flinders train station. This is also the location of a very good visitors information facility.

(Panoarmour Photography) Flinders Train Station Federation Square visitors information Tue, 02 Apr 2013 10:25:54 GMT
Paparazzi Dogs - Federation Square

Alan had to get in on the act as well. They hadn't heard of Panoarmour Photography.... Alan showed them who was the biggest dog in Erskine !

(Panoarmour Photography) Melbourne Paparazzi Dogs Federation Square Tue, 02 Apr 2013 10:20:32 GMT
Melbourne - Federation Square

Federation Square is a hot bed of activity in the centre of Melbourne. It was very busy when we were there partly due to it being Easter weekend but Melbourne and its suburbs is a cosmopolitan metropolis of 4 million occupants from 170 nationalities (as per the tourist info on the free city trams).

This is a sculpture entitled 'Paparazzi Dogs' which was really popular - if you can't beat them join them !

(Panoarmour Photography) Federation Square Melbourne Paparazzi Dogs cosmopolitan metropolis Tue, 02 Apr 2013 10:15:38 GMT
Scarborough Beach as the sun was going down


Mr Armour's long shot


(Panoarmour Photography) Beach Scarborough sunset Sat, 30 Mar 2013 12:31:11 GMT
Strangers on Scarborough Beach


Mrs Armour's Silhouettes.


(Panoarmour Photography) Beach Scarborough silohettes Sat, 30 Mar 2013 12:30:57 GMT
Waiting for the perfect shot

Patience and planning is the name of the game and the following shots we took were well worth it.

(Panoarmour Photography) Photography patience Sat, 30 Mar 2013 12:21:57 GMT
View from hotel in Scarborough Beach

This was a wow moment ! We booked into the Rendezvous Hotel for our last night in Perth and our balcony looked onto the Indian Ocean. As you can see it is just like Scarborough, UK, only different !

(Panoarmour Photography) Rendezvous Hotel Scarborough Beach Indian Ocean Sat, 30 Mar 2013 12:19:10 GMT
Burns Beach - Sunset Coast


A lovely spot for lunch and an area that is on the up and up judging by the individually architect designed housing developments along this coastline.


(Panoarmour Photography) Beach Burns coastline Sat, 30 Mar 2013 01:32:52 GMT
Cervantes Beach - Coral Coast


After torrential rain overnight, the sky cleared allowing us to take some images on the beach before leaving to drive back towards Perth. 


(Panoarmour Photography) Cervantes beach Sat, 30 Mar 2013 01:28:49 GMT
Hire Car in the Pinnacle Desert


This was our hire car, a Holden Barina, parked on the track running through the desert.


(Panoarmour Photography) car desert hire pinnacle Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:39:26 GMT
Nambung National Park


Now this is a very strange landscape of limestone pinnacle rocks that are spread across a desert area just outside a place called Cervantes. You pay to drive your car round a demarcated route in what is often called the Pinnacle Desert and walk about the pinnacles taking photographs.  We had hoped to get good shots at sunset but the sky was very overcast and rain was threatening. 


(Panoarmour Photography) Cervantes Nambung National Park Pinnacle desert Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:37:43 GMT
Two Craws stood upon a wall


We were both wearing our American 'Life is Good' T-shirts so we set up the remote on the camera and jumped up onto the harbour wall to let you know why.


(Panoarmour Photography) Good Life harbour is wall Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:30:33 GMT
Hilary's Boat Harbour


The red tiled roofs you can see at the back belong to the shops and restaurants in a resort called Hilary's Boat Harbour. Everywhere you looked there were boats, hundreds of them.


(Panoarmour Photography) Boat Harbour Hilary's boats Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:24:32 GMT
North Beach Pier - another perspective


This is Fiona's perspective of the same pier....see this 'pier addiction' is catching.


(Panoarmour Photography) Beach North Pier Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:20:40 GMT
North Beach, Sunset Coast, North of Perth


We picked up a hire car for the last two days in Perth and went 'driveabout'.

You know how Alan likes photographing piers well expect to see more like this when we go to New Zealand.  It was certainly a lot warmer than when he took his famous  photograph of Portencross Pier at West Kilbride.


(Panoarmour Photography) Beach Coast North Sunset pier Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:18:31 GMT
Cicerello's Fish and Chips


We couldn't leave Fremantle without trying out their fish and chips at the no.1 location.  It was certainly very good but whether the fish supper was quite as good as Dominic's beside Renfrew Town Hall, well that is debatable.


(Panoarmour Photography) Cicerello Dominic's Fish and chips Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:13:52 GMT
Silvana and family


James and Luise, Silvana's daughter, who live in Fremantle, along with Silvana. After the golf we had a lovely barbecued lunch at James and Luise's beautiful new home and then they took us on a tour of Fremantle. Thank you again for all your hospitality and our best wishes for the arrival of your baby in July.  


(Panoarmour Photography) Fremantle James Luise Silvana hospitality Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:09:26 GMT
Adelaide Street, Fremantle


A beautifully preserved church in Adelaide Street.


(Panoarmour Photography) Adelaide Fremantle Street church Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:02:08 GMT
A typical street in Fremantle


Fremantle, or Freo to the locals, is a suburb of Perth and is full of character with old style shop fronts, churches, markets and a few well known microbrewery's. We partook of a small refreshment in one such brewery called 'Little Creatures' down at the harbour front.


(Panoarmour Photography) Creatures Fremantle Little Perth markets microbreweries Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:00:00 GMT
Fremantle Public Golf Course


We met up with Silvana from our course in Renfrew and her son-in-law James who she is visiting, to have a round of golf. As you can see we have hired clubs - I think Alan's bag came out of a skip and I was confined to 6 clubs in a pencil bag (me the woman that played with Colin Montgomery !) At A$10 a set to hire, what did we expect.  We all really enjoyed it anyway especially since we heard that it was snowing back in Scotland.


(Panoarmour Photography) Fremantle James Perth Silvana clubs course golf hire Fri, 29 Mar 2013 12:54:58 GMT
Cottesloe Beach Front


Even if there was no sculpture exhibition on, you don't need an excuse to jump on the train and visit Cottesloe Beach !


(Panoarmour Photography) Cottesloe beach sand Fri, 29 Mar 2013 12:48:40 GMT
Skeleton Conductor - Cottesloe Beach


This is one of the quirky sculptures I referred to in our last post.....why not have a skeleton conducting an invisible orchestra on the beach ? 


(Panoarmour Photography) Perth beach conducting cottesloe sand sculpture skeleton Fri, 29 Mar 2013 12:45:47 GMT
Cottesloe Beach, Perth - Sculpture Exhibition


We saw this advertised in the magazine on the plane and thought it looked interesting.  However, it was not as we expected.......we thought sculptures on the beach were super dooper sand castles and other exhibits constructed from sand, whilst in reality it was 70 unique sculptures made from a variety of materials and some were very quirky.  It was a well supported event and it turned out a really good afternoon. 

This is one of the sculptures which was made from tall bamboo canes stuck in a symetrical pattern in the sand. Each cane was topped with a feather and a wooden mechanism which turned in the wind making a tapping noise.  I'm sure the artist would describe it much better than this and what it symbolised but it was really unusual and drew a crowd.


(Panoarmour Photography) bamboo beach cane cottesloe exhibition sand sculptures Fri, 29 Mar 2013 12:45:33 GMT
Kings Park Botanic Gardens


Just one of the many displays of indigenous flowers.


(Panoarmour Photography) Kings Perth botanic flowers gardens indigenous park Fri, 29 Mar 2013 12:45:09 GMT
War Memorial - Kings Park


This was part of the wall of remembrance to commemorate the Australian soldiers that lost their life in both World Wars.


(Panoarmour Photography) Kings Perth memorial park war Fri, 29 Mar 2013 12:44:37 GMT
Perth skyline from Kings Park


What a view of downtown Perth from the elevated position of Kings Park.


(Panoarmour Photography) Kings Perth park viewpoint Fri, 29 Mar 2013 12:44:19 GMT
Kings Park, Perth


An avenue of gum trees leads you into Kings Park, which is a really well maintained 400 hectare park urban park in Perth.


(Panoarmour Photography) Kings Perth gum park trees Fri, 29 Mar 2013 08:00:06 GMT
Perth Skyline


Perth does not have as many high rise structures as most cities but the skyline is nevertheless attractive at night.


(Panoarmour Photography) Perth city skyline Thu, 28 Mar 2013 13:36:24 GMT
Perth Museum of Modern Art


'Picturing New York'  - we were lucky enough to view this exhibition of photographs of New York dating from 1890 to 1990. Alan came away all inspired.


(Panoarmour Photography) Art Modern Museum New Perth Picturing York of Thu, 28 Mar 2013 13:36:09 GMT
Perth City Centre - Forrest Place


A mixture of old and new. 


(Panoarmour Photography) Perth architecture city forrest place Thu, 28 Mar 2013 13:35:52 GMT
Perth, Western Australia Arrived in Perth at 5 am in the morning so after leaving our bags at our hotel we went for a jet lagged wander in what is a very compact and beautiful city. One of the first features we came across was the ultra modern Bell Tower - reputed to be the largest musical instrument in the world - which is down at the Esplanade next to a pub called 'The Lucky Shag' (not part of the 'Wetherspoon' chain we suspect) !

(Panoarmour Photography) Bell Tower Esplanade Perth Thu, 28 Mar 2013 13:35:23 GMT
Madagascar (well Singapore actually)


You've got to move it, move it......


(Panoarmour Photography) Madagascar Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:53:18 GMT
Betty Boop - Universal Studios


A kiss for Isla !


(Panoarmour Photography) Betty Boop Isla Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:52:54 GMT
'Mels Diner' - Universal Studios


An Alan 'arty farty' one.


(Panoarmour Photography) Mels Diner Thunderbird Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:52:39 GMT
Universal Studios Singapore With a 1130 pm flight, what better way to spend a day than at Universal Studios on Sentosa Island, which lies just a short monorail, cable car, bus/car ride away from mainland Singapore. Although smaller than the Orlando and LA Studios it still had enough to keep us entertained and had a few unique rides as well as some old favourites.

The following are a selection of images, starting with the castle in Far, Far Away Land (which hosted the Shrek 4D show) and there is one especially for our niece Isla who is a big fan of a particular cartoon character. 

(Panoarmour Photography) Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:52:17 GMT
Marina Bay Sands Hotel - Singapore


(Panoarmour Photography) MBS Marina Bay Sands Hotel Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:51:59 GMT
Singapore Skyline no. 2


(Panoarmour Photography) Skyline Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:51:31 GMT
Singapore At Night - Skyline no.1 We loved the Singapore skyline. In the absence of a tripod (we've bought one now) we used a variety of walls and flat surfaces and a remote timer to capture these images.

The following image is of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, or MBS to the locals. This is a very impressive 200 metre high luxury hotel and convention centre. You can pay to take the lift to the top floor (or purchase drinks within the bar) where there is an infinity pool and open air bar. This is a recommended spot for taking photos of the skyline but we were pleased with the way the ones turned out from ground level plus our feet were killing us so walking any further was out of the question.

(Panoarmour Photography) skyline Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:51:14 GMT
Orchid No.3


(Panoarmour Photography) Orchid Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:50:54 GMT
Orchid No.2


(Panoarmour Photography) Orchid Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:50:37 GMT
Orchid No.1


(Panoarmour Photography) Orchid Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:50:18 GMT
Singapore National Orchid Gardens The following images are a selection of the beautiful orchids on display within the Singapore National Orchid Gardens.

(Panoarmour Photography) Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:49:55 GMT
Singapore - The Famous Merlion We first visited Singapore 20 years ago but it has changed considerably since then. It is so modern and clean although some describe it as being sterile compared to other parts of Asia. It is called the 'fine' city due to the propensity to be fined for jay walking, disposing of gum on the pavement, litter, however, whatever they are doing to keep their city litter and graffiti free it is working.

We arrived in Singapore minus a suitcase - thanks Terminal 5 Heathrow Airport. Just as well I split up all the clothes so it wasn't as big a disaster as it could have been although we didn't get reunited with our case until the second day in Perth. Thank goodness the fashion police were not in around !

It was very hot and humid when we were there and since we were only there for 2 nights we took a 1/2 day guided city tour on the first morning to get orientated. The iconic Singapore Merlion was the first stop, followed by stops at the Thian Hock Keng Temple in Little China, the Botanic Gardens, Little India and a gem factory (there's always a gem factory...... !).

(Panoarmour Photography) Singapore merlion Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:49:23 GMT