I headed out with Kub for the last fish of the season.
We headed up the Burke for a 10 day roar trip, lesson learned? Don’t leave a stag who’s roaring at you to go up another valley with nothing in it…
A wee walk up to an old NZFS hut on a rather wintery summers day.
Lake Green Hut/August
The Hopkins & Huxley/January
A few nights up the Hopkins & Huxley Valleys. The drive in is pretty easy with a decent truck, however crossing the river needs some skill, it has in sections a soft sandy bottom. If you go alone it's worth taking the winch, as we got stuck for a decent 4 hour stint. Huts are all in great condition with lots of animal sign about, and Tahr on the tops, but DOC like to come in and hit the hills up with the chopper so be sure to ring ahead before you go. You could spend weeks up here exploring.
Fishing with Kub and his little princess Tilda.
Old Woman Hut/March
Ahuriri Tahr Hunt/December
The start of the summer was spent with eyes closed in the sun, mainly, and the odd hunt. This valley never stops to impress, along with stunning views along the rugged scree slopes, there is also abundant animals to be had. Dan finally snagged a Tahr for the freezer and let some nice looking bulls appreciate the valley for a few more years. There was nothing better than cooling down in the river after a hard day putting two steps forward and going down four on those bastard screes!
Upper Caples Hunting/May
We recently got a hunting block in the Upper Caples on the famous Greenstone/Caples track. Safe to say we came back empty handed after putting more than the required hard yards in. Still, no a moment is wasted in the hills and it's always a pleasure to be away from insta-likes and snap stories..
"Time wears down trampers, like rivers wear down mountains. While time in the mountains, and rivers, rests the weary."
The Erye mountains are seldom visited, maybe its the location (An hour South of Queenstown) or the lack of tracks. Who knows. But that means more for us, and what a trip. We decided to head straight up and bivy on the tops for a few nights to see what was taking in the views. Nada, nothing! After a rather wet night in the bivy we headed down and across to Ashton hut to grab breakfast before a very wet wade out down the river.
There's nothing better than heading up a new valley mid winter, not knowing whats gonna happen (Beacon always takes 3rd wheel, don't worry..)
After crossing the Macaulay river in full flood, which is stupid, but we do stupid things, it's an easy track up to Red Stag hut (No fire) Heavy snow ensued the first night, making conditions in the hut bloody freezing (-8c) The hut is in a great state and looks to be used mostly by hunters. The valley is wide and the two creeks by the hut hold a decent amount of Tahr, but be sure to bring some crampons and axes.
Heli trip Milford/HeliTours 2016
Jumped in with Paul who owns Heli Tours for a quick trip over to Milford. As always it was stunning, with not a lick of wind. Can't thank Paul and the team enough, so be sure to look them up when you're in town.
Headed up to Top Hut, and you're right, it's at the top of the valley. We cycled up in the dark one night, the first time Dan had used clip in pedals.. Funny as fuck for me, not so much for Dan. 5 hours later and we reached Hagans Hut for the night, cracking place. The next day we headed right to the top and it was a beaut, windy though.
I love this place, I can't explain how much. I always come back to these shots and it evokes good times always.
West is best? Aucklanders are 50/50 on that one, and I sway more to the East myself but boy oh boy, those sunsets are to die for! This is just a collection of this summer on the West, an ode to everything that makes it tick and keeps me smiling.
Well well well, if it isn't the old girl we all have a love/hate relationship with. She isn't Welly, but she is good and these are the photos that are gonna change your mind.
The Boats of Romney Marsh/UK
It isn't always depressing and gloomy in Blighty, but, turns out on this day it was. Romney is known for it's sheep, and it's fishing boats. That's about it..
Winter fly fishing/2016
This place is dreamy, and to get it pumping and with this light is like a dream come true. I'd like to say I'd of planned it and knew the swell was perfect.. but, right place, right time!
Queenstown Airport/4 years past
For the past four years I've had the pleasure of working with some really genuine guys, passionate about the country they live in, proud of who they work for and not defined by the label of their job. I always had a camera to take a shot where need be and couldn't of asked of a more scenic place to call work. It'll be missed, cheers lads!
Huia & Whatipu/Auckland
I was lucky enough to spend my summers growing up around the mountains of North Wales, Snowdonia in particular. They aren't the biggest peaks going, nor the most famous, but they instilled a love for the outdoors in m that has only grown the older I've got. From classic peaks like Tryfan to the famous Snowdon, these peaks swarm with people during the summer months but come winter you'll be stood along a snowy ridge by yourself!
The Royal Australian Hawks made an appearance at War Birds over Wanaka recently, so I grabbed the camera and took a few shots of Maverick & the gang..
Dorset (or Dooorsat as they say) is my adopted home. My parents moved there, and even though I grew up in Wiltshire (about a 3 hour drive from any beach) I've always felt more at home here than my birthplace. A lot of people think the UK can be a bleak place, but sitting on a stone carved bench over looking Chapmans Pool on a windy day is something to behold, it makes you feel alive. And no matter what time of year it is you'll rarely bump into another person at St Aldhelms Chapel, or the Marines war memorial because this little section gets over seen for it's more popular but less attractive sister Durdle Door, and that's fine by me. Now forget everything you've just read..
This has to be the best kept beach in Auckland. Not only is it just 50 minutes away from Ponsonby, it also has it's own infinity pools (You'll have to find those for yourselves..) And home to Keddle House, which has the best views in town and it available for rent! The thing that puts people off is the steep walk down, but hey, don't be such a bloody wuss.
Heli around Lake Wakatipu/July
I've had a busy few months driving between the North & South islands and on the way the camera was well and truly earning it's keep, enjoy!
Top Hut Hunt/August
A easy trip up to Omarama saddle for a couple of nights hunting.
Some great huts up here with easy 4 wheel drive access, but alas, that's it's downfall. The first night we were greeted with some guys spotlighting most of the night, waking up to no sign of animals at all. Still, lots of ground to cover for the future, but as the tops are rolling, wind is always an issue. Top hut was in decent condition and is rather big, great fire too.
12 Mile Delta/August
Even on the darkest of winter nights it's good to get out and smell that fresh mountain air! A quick drive from Queenstown and I met up with Jakub for an evening fish at 12 Mile. Winter fly fishing can be a bit painful, its cold for starters and the fish are few and far between. We managed to stay for a few hours till all but the faintest of pinks had left the sky.
There's an anticipation when you are on your way to a hut. Even more so when you can drive in, because these huts can't be booked, and we as humans are a selfish bunch. The plan was simple, a night away in a nice hut with good friends taking in the silence, in other words no one else. We rocked up to the hut and I'm pretty sure everyone's faced dropped when we saw a car parked there. We got out, duly said hello and got comfy, waiting for a go on the outdoor tub. Skip a few hours and it seemed the oldies didn't like the company of strangers either, alone at last!
The Cook Islands/April
Kia Orana! The Cook Islands lie some 4 hours North West of New Zealand. Known as a tropical honeymoon destination there is more to these islands than cocktails on the beach and glass bottom boats. The Maoris also can trace their ancestors through these islands and on further up into the South Pacific. For those that get off the beaten track you'll find good waves, friendly people and empty white sand beaches.
The Nevis Valley Fly Fishing/March
High up the tops lies this gem of a river. Me & Jakub sent two days here with not another fisherman in sight, true bliss! Although the big trout were near impossible to catch the further up we headed the smaller and more fun the fish became.
Blankenese is a small borough in Western part of Hamburg. It has a long history of being a fishing village but these days is known for it's steep house prices and lack of roads, there being 4,864 steps to make your way around instead. It's also where the widest point of the mighty Elbe river is. The name Blankenese comes from the Low German blanc ness, meaning white promontory in the Elble river.
Isle of Man TT & Lighthouses/June
The Isle of Man TT has to be one of the most famous (and dangerous) motorbike races in the world. Even Rossi said you have to be crazy to ride it. Over the years this road course has taken the lives of many famous riders, and has also made some. The track is a 37 mile course that heads around the tiny island over the famous mountain pass. The Isle of Man is also where the Royal National Lifeboat Institution was founded in 1824 by Sir William Hillary.
Peter-Ording is tucked up on the West coast of Germany, near the danish boarder. Known as a spa town from around 1877 and later in 1953 a sulphur spring was found that further cemented it's beach spa name. The first of the stilt houses was built in 1911 and called itself "Giftbude" because, in the local dialect, "es dort wat gift" - "there's something available there", which, to the local population meant Cognac.