Tuesday, 6 January 2015

‘Thank God They’ve Gone’

That’s a standing joke & standard response from Pam & Gerald and Joy & Kevin as they wave off day visitors and short term campers from any of their camping sites. It’s when peace & quiet returns and they can get about doing what they set out to do when they went camping; relaxing, reading a book or fishing. Don’t get them wrong though, they all look forward to sharing time with friends & family and everyone is made more than welcome; fun is this extended family’s middle name. It’s just nice to sometimes have a little me time.

The six of us waved off the last of the camp visitors three days after arriving, “Thank God they’ve gone” we all said in unison and then crashed for the rest of the afternoon. Oh the joy, we had two whole days ahead of us before we were due to leave.

The weather was glorious, near every day a stunner with cloudless blue skies and the hot summer sun beating down. In fact it has been amazing since we arrived in Hawkes Bay, just as I remember the carefree summers of my youth. I can’t recall when I last had a Christmas/New Year holiday with such wonderful weather- (and even now parked up beside Mum & Dads’, every day dawns hot & blue- it seems criminal that we’re not out there enjoying it but we know we’ll be back on the road soon enough and traditionally February/March are when the summer really kicks into gear)

The river was running very low so we were able to easily cross and explore along the other side including a large gravel plain full of blooming wildflowers…

… and tetchy birds at the end of their breeding season and looking at distracting us from their fledglings- from left to right, top to bottom- a pied stilt doing a distraction dance, banded dotterel, pied stilt, black fronted dotterel & paradise shelduck juveniles..

Captures from around Camp Tukituki-

Late one evening (11pm) and with the camp site looking surprisingly tidy considering the evening hi-jinks (what happens in camp, stays in camp), I did some long exposure & light painting shots of the vans. I had two apprentices, Pam & Joy, looking over my shoulder to see how it was done.

Night shot exposed for 30 seconds.

Light painting (explained here) exposed for 25 seconds- not too great a shot as you can see where the torch beam has left it’s trail. I needed a torch with a wider softer beam to sweep over the object.

Pam tried her torch out but it was too bright, this shot looking more like it was taken with the flash, this one was exposed for just 10 seconds.

And one last long exposure shot down the sides of the vans, exposed for 30 seconds again- no torchlight. The solar lights give a nice colour & ambience to the shot. They were changing colours during the exposure time, red, green & blue but only the blue showed up, it must be the stronger light.

Our view up the river….

…and down.

And finally after a fabulous six days it was time to pack up & pull out. Thanks so much guys for the fun, the laughs, the all round madness of camp and sharing the whole bloody lot with us by putting us in the middle!

Thank God we’ve gone!

It took two years but we finally we made it to the Tuki. We had a magic time and one we’ll certainly add to the top of our “Best Camp” file.


  1. Light painting looks interesting,.. will give it a go......tho nature is best at it by far...not to mention your last shot...that Sky..to die for! Must get to Piwakawaka Bay thanks for the reminder!
    Cheers & ciao

    1. Light painting is fun Jimu (and addictive), you just have to find the right subject. I have a light painting project in mind for when we're parked near a country church. I'll have to make sure no one is about though, might scare the living daylights out of them :)


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