Gore Santa Parade and a Mokoreta Farm Christmas

I was staying with Joel and Kylie, shooting a story about Archery, Photography and Moonshine when Kylie mentioned how her parents celebrate Christmas. I decided I needed to make a Christmas special.

Mokoreta Christmas Barn
Mokoreta Christmas Barn

The Gore Santa Parade was on the next day so I went along to that, then met up with Joel and Kylie and travelled to Mokoreta to meet Kylie’s parents.

So here it is, my 2020 Christmas Special.

Ruapuke Island Bees

Dan Tarrant is a bee keeper in Bluff and his dream is to have bees on Ruapuke Island. Ruapuke island is a small island situated off the southern coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

The island is exposed to extraordinarily harsh conditions, so Dan and his bees have their work cut out for them.

Ruapuke Island Sunset
Ruapuke Island

I’ve always wanted to visit Ruapuke so when Dan suggested I go over with him, I jumped at the opportunity. I feel honoured to have visited such an amazing place and to archive the beginnings of Dan’s journey.

Dusk Ruapuke Island
Dusk Ruapuke Island

Getting the hives set up close to the flowering Manuka and protecting them from the feral cattle, is just the beginning.

This video is day one of an incredible 4 day trip and the beginning of life changing journey for Dan and his family.

I wish Dan and his family the best of luck with this venture, I believe the honey will be extraordinary just like the island itself.

Follow Dan…

At his website https://www.ruapukeuncut.co.nz/

or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ruapuke.uncut/


Scenic Van Trip, Eastern Southland & West Otago

This was a very impromptu trip. I started out visiting Booboo at his whitebait stand on the Mataura River then onto Tapanui via Fortrose.

I had a shot in mind on the Pomahaka River but events took a turn. I got to see a phenomenon called the Blue Mountain Express and caught up with my Uncle in Tapanui.

I visit Eamon in Gore then visit Joel to taste test some moonshine.

Photographically the trip was a bust but I did catch up with friends and Family and I captured some awesome hyper lapse footage of our beautiful countryside.

Enjoy the video…

Kip and Two Rosies

I’ve known Kip for while now and I love his music. I asked him if he would let me record him as I wanted music for my videos. He generously agreed.
We managed to organise a day and time.
I had set up to record Kip when the Ramblin Rosies, Kylie and Renee, came over. I improvised as much as I could to document the interactions and make this video.

So make a cuppa tea and settle into a slice of life and history with Kip and Two Rosies

Kip Tipuna smiles his way through bad times and good with a sincerity not commonly seen anymore. His generosity is humbling but what he gives when performing is genuine and powerful. In my book Kip is a legend and deserves good things…

Check out Kips YouTube Channel

Cheers John

Photographing the Milky Way or Not

Milky Way on frosty morning

Lock down was finally over and I was off. I didn’t have a plan as such but the milky way would be flat on the horizon at around 4:30 am. All I needed was a foreground and a clear sky.
I headed for Wanaka not only because of it’s natural beauty but also to visit my mum.
Just past Roxbourgh a fog layer appeared. It was an inversion layer that ran from Alexandra all the way to Wanaka. It lasted for days.
No sun, moon, no stars, just cold.
I did get to see my mum though and the next time I saw the sky was on the Crown Range over looking Queenstown.

Queenstown from the top of the Crown Range
Queenstown, NZ

Next morning I drove towards Te Anau, the air was so crisp and clear.

A quick stop at the Wilderness Scientific Reserve to get this shot of Mt Titiroa.

Wilderness Scientific Reserve
Mt Titiroa, Fiordland National Park, NZ

I could see the inversion layer was also sitting over Lake Te Anau, I made the decision to head towards Milford Sound.

Lake Fergus
Lake Fergus I think

I finally found my foreground just off a long straight on the way to Milford.

Finally photographing the Milky Way
The Milky Way shot

Man it was cold

Frozen Van after a cold night photographing the Milky Way

Photographing the Milky Way and observing the night sky, in general, may soon be a little easier as people in New Zealand become more aware of the importance of dark sky areas. The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is a great example of what can be done when people work together.

I’ve made a small video of the trip…