Somewhere in Bannockburn

Otago New Zealand April 2017 (11 photos)

This is Part 4 of my New Zealand series of posts.

Over at the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge the theme is Reflecting and that gives me a chance to show some photos I might not otherwise have posted. Otago’s autumn colours reflecting in water are a beautiful sight.

All were taken somewhere in the Otago region of New Zealand, near Queenstown. All are linked by the fact they were not planned shooting locations but rather accidental discoveries along the way, requiring emergency photography stops. That’s life on the road with a camera. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bannockburn is a small historic gold mining town located outside of Cromwell in Central Otago, New Zealand. The area was first made known as a rich alluvial gold field and was mined extensively in the 1860s. Its uniquely warm, dry climate earned it the name ‘The heart of the desert’, as climatic conditions and human activity have combined to strip the area of most of the original native vegetation leaving rocks, sands and soils exposed.

Today, these climate conditions make Bannockburn the home of many vineyards and stonefruit orchards. Mostly Pinot Noir, but I stand to be corrected.

Somewhere in the Kawarau Valley

The Kawarau Valley surrounds the Kawarau River, the set location for the River Anduin in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Somewhere in Cromwell

Cromwell was established by gold miners. However its main treasure is now stone fruit.

I like the way the fallen leaves in this orchard reflect the colour of the leaves yet to fall. I took a lot of photos here and soon collapsed from sensory overload. True to my style, I just laid on the ground and kept photographing. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is part 4 of my New Zealand series of posts.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Dragon tales of Middle Earth: Somewhere in Otago


182 thoughts on “Dragon tales of Middle Earth: Somewhere in Otago

    • Thank you very much, Paula. There was beauty everywhere I looked. Very hard to take a bad photo in this environment. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I suspect that problem will last a while. It did for me. At least you have a solution to the problem for the moment.

  1. Heide says:

    Wow โ€” what gorgeous landscapes! And what beautiful photos you’ve shot to take us there. The reflections are lovely, but I think my favorite frames are your last two shots of the orchards in Cromwell for their symmetry and unexpected compositions. Though that photo of the Kawarau Valley is pretty darned breathtaking too! Great post, Draco!

    • Thanks so much. I took quite a few at the orchard, from different heights and with different focal lengths until I got what I wanted. Even changed lanes a couple of times to repeat the process. Lucky I wan’t on a tour. They’d have left me behind, ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. These are superb shots!! I was there just last year and loved the area. I’ve just posted about reflecting on my love affair with autumn and your shots are music to my soul.

    • It’s not fair they have the lake, mountains, trees and snow. Beauty everywhere you look.

      And so many very nice food offerings in such a small area.

      Thanks for the visit. I already want to go back. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I have really been enjoying your wonderful photographs from New Zealand. The last image in this group is especially striking to me. The ground level perspective is perfectly executed and the trees are so perfect, almost as if they were put thru some Photoshop receding duplication leading line mirroring tool or something…a statement of admiration for the skill of the orchard manager not that I was accusing you of doing something that I know you don’t do. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am always awestruck by the reflections from water surfaces too. Thanks for the New Zealand tour!

    • There were about 10 rows in this orchard with plenty of leaves on the trees, all yellow on both sides. I tried a couple of them to get the best balance of randomness on the ground and the symmetry in the trees. As an afterthought almost, I attached my 18mm wide angle to the camera and laid on the ground as a landscape photographer once taught me. The result is the last photo at f8. I’m very pleased with it. The eye just wanders through to the distance.

      Thank you very much as always, Mic. It is such a beautiful place.

  4. Gorgeous, whether with or without reflections. Those emergency photo stops. ๐Ÿ™‚ What’s terrible is being on an interstate highway here where there’s nowhere safe to stop!


  5. Beautiful photos. I liked specially the two almost abstracts: one with the reflections (just before the bird) and the first one with fallen leaves.

    I thought that the background colour of the page prevented me from enjoying your photos as much as they deserve, but that could just be me.

  6. These are magnificent! As is New Zealand itself. Glorious colours and glorious shots – I can only imagine the feeling you had over there…

  7. What a stunningly beautiful set of reflection photos, Dragon!
    The cloud capture above the Kawarau River is just awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Sorry to have missed your NZ photos – I will go back and have a look – been away and without wifi and also had laptop issues. These photos are dazzling, I feel I need sunglasses to view the screen! And the Kawarau Valley one reminds me a lot of the vineyards in the Western Cape in South Africa. So beautiful. I may be in NZ next February so any must visit places you recommend? Not necessarily the usual tourist spots. I like to be away from the crowds.

    • Thank you, Jude. The intensity of the autumn colours was a sight and that’s pretty much come through in these photos. Very intense in areas.

      I remember you mentioning planning to come to Australia this year. Has that trip been deferred or is a second trip planned? New Zealand in February will be at the end of Summer. I know I would like to see the Marlborough Sounds one day, but beyond that I haven’t particularly researched areas to see in NZ. This trip was to the Queenstown region predominantly and Queenstown is busy with visitors year round because of the adventure tourism industry and the natural location.

  9. I had to come back to this post to see this. It’s so fascinating to me to see how that latitude gets its fall colours in April when the peak in the northern latitudes are during October.

    This is such a special planet.

    • Thanks. Yes, we’re almost exactly opposite to you with regard to the seasons. Christmas here is in the peak of Summer. Something a lot of people find very very strange.

  10. Beautiful photography. Interesting how a place once famous for it’s gold mines is now bloomimg with golden leaves. Truly a golden place. Well done! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Hello Lignum Draco, I would like to inform you that I have just nominated your blog for The Sunshine Blogger Award. Best regards, Amela.

  12. Loved panning through your all your photos. New Zealand is on a list for us. Interesting how much diverse landscape you captured. I loved the orchard photos as much as I think you enjoyed being in them. Great captures. Now I need to go search for that tree.

  13. pepe le moko says:

    I gave you up a few years ago and am cleaning up my email on my new computer. Then I could not resist a look at New Zealand since I threaten to return and everyone questions why. I photographed rock surfaces day after day and couldn’t get enough.
    I found it difficult to drive because around every bend is a new formation and you have to stop the car and take it in. And now these photographs pull me up short reminding me how silly it is to waste time to justify. thank you. Agog is the word!

    • No problem. Thanks for the comment. You should not have to justify to people where you find beauty and what you find interesting. NZ has too much beautiful and varied landscape for its size. I’ve been a couple of times now.

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