Seven Days of Nature Challenge – Day 7

Finally at the end of the week, Seven Days of Photography Challenge where I was nominated by Desley and Robin. Today I will share an image from my Bucket List.

I am sure many people have taken many images of The Lonely Tree at Lake Wanaka in Southern New Zealand. When I was there there were a few places that were a must; this was one and the most elusive to find. Once we did locate it, it was obvious!

The Tree - Lake Wanaka

The Lonely Tree – Wanaka, New Zealand

Perhaps not the worlds greatest shot (I was barely off auto when I took this), but it is mine 🙂 . I am taking a leave out of our friend Marilyn and I am not going to nominate anyone else………please if you love nature and landscape photography, consider yourself invited!



In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Whoa!.”

If you have read any of today’s post you would know I am having a crappy day! SO I am going to take a step back and visit my happy place…….it is also one of the most surreal experiences I have had for a very long time.


I went with Moth not so long ago……… was beautiful and nostalgic and very, very surreal.

To stand in front of the Gate where Frodo met Gandalf the day of Bilbo’s big party. To stand in front of Bilbo’s house, to walk the paths Sam and Pippin walked and stand next to the big tree, where the party was shot. Thinking back on it now, makes me calmer. The sun of my face, the excitement, even the taste of the cider at the Green Dragon Inn. It was a special place (I guess it still is…’s just that I am not there!), I will always remember it fondly. The wonder of it all, I am not new to movie magic (I guess these days no one really is), but I was awe struck at the detail and thought that went into this place. It was perfect, every single detail; the gardens (all real, including the market gardens), the upkeep, the hobbit holes (cottages), there is nothing amiss. Fires in hearths, washing on lines, fishing poles in lakes, fruit on trees, honey near beehives, the only thing missing were the Hobbits! if you would like to see more pictures, or hear more on Hobbiton, please feel free to visit my earlier post. For now I think I will go make a cuppa…………take a few deep breaths and deal with the rest of my day, a little more calmly!

– Julz

Photo101 – Big & Point of View


I was nicely surpirsed that Today was not Landmark as I was expecting, so today they said go Big, so I went pretty big. The first one is actually a panorama shot of Mirror Lake, on a still day you have the most amazing reflections, then there is a large shot of Auckland Skyline and the third is actually Piha Beach taken from the roadway. I think just looking at all my images lately I am having a ‘Blue’ Period! Everything is so Blue……….sorry I must work on that!

Milford Sound

Mirror Lake Panorama


New Zealand

Auckland Skyline


New Zealand

Piha Beach, NZ

– Julz


Photo101 – Connect

Nothing Connects us like the sense of belonging, the sense of touch. I saw this couple playing in a park, they thought no one was watching, sure I probably should have asked their permission, but that would have ruined the sense of fun and whimsy. You are never too old to have fun and play………….Live, Laugh, Love.

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

This is my Connect Post from last time, still love these guys………….sooo cute

– Julz

TeAnau – Melbourne – Day 14

It was freezing again last night, we woke to more fresh snow on Mount Luxmor and the Dutton ranges. I woke early to catch the sunrise, moon set of the ranges, this time determined to get some photos! It was not quite as good as yesterday, but still breathtakingly beautiful. I stood there drinking in the beauty (freezing!), but not wanting to go home. As I watched the sun come up, I reminisced over the last few weeks and every where we have been and every thing we have seen. It has been the most amazing trip and would love to come back again and see all the sites we missed, especially up North (Bay of Islands) Dunedin and many many more, and spend more time in places like Christchurch and Rotorua. Maybe one day.

Eventually we packed up our things, we had gained a whole new bag?! So many souvenirs and extra gloves, scarves etc we bought to ward off the cold. We bid good bye to TeAnau and our Hosts and drive back to Queenstown to begin the journey back home to Melbourne. We finally arrive home to an empty house (Children both at Work) but some VERY HAPPY animals. Oh it is nice to be home too, but I cannot wait til our next adventure, hopefully I wont have to wait too long!

So I hope you have enjoyed our holiday with us and until next trip, Safe and Happy Travels! Kia Ora!

– Julz

TeAnau – Milford Sound – Day 13

It was very cold again last night, with more fresh snow on the Alps, there was a truly beautiful, amazing sunrise turning them soft pinks and mauve’s! I was so caught up in watching it I forgot to take photos! (OMG Who am I?) We were picked up by Fjordland Tours and driven up through Lake TeAnau, Edington Valley, Mirror Lakes (truly spectacular), Cascade Creek, Gunns Camp (almost meets up with Haast through the mountain pass from days before, but is now a dead end, was once a Department of Roads Camp), Hollyford Valley, Falls Creek, Homer Tunnel, The Chasm, Tutoko Bridge and then finally Milford for a 2 hour cruise around the sound.

We saw Lady Nelson & Stirling Falls, Seal Rock and Mitre Peak. The day had started out very cold but warmed up and stayed crystal clear by the time we hit the Sound, so there were impromptu waterfalls everywhere! Apparently no one had really seen Mitre Peak for over 2 weeks due to the really low clouds (locals kept joking they weren’t sure it was still there!)……we were so lucky it remained crystal clear until just before we cruised back into the bay. We then drove back to TeAnau in reverse order, saw lots of Kea (large Alpine Parrott) very intelligent and are not shy at all. They like to pick rubber and bits off cars and are actually a bit of a nuisance. Cloud cover started coming back in on the return drive, and we lost almost all visibility. At Chasm Falls we saw the remains of a car accident, from a few days before, Milford Road Track is NZ worst road for fatalities and it was amazing no died in this latest one. A reminder to be very careful. When we returned we headed back out to the Lake for a few more photos and then dinner. Early night and our last night in NZ.

– Julz

Queenstown – TeAnau – Day 12

It got really cold last night and the last few days of rain finally brought fresh sprinkle of snow to The Remarkable Ranges in the distance. It was still only just above freezing when we left Queenstown and headed out to Mossburn via Frankton and Kingston. We met our next Guide John who is an ex DOC (Department of Conservation) ranger who worked with Peter Jackson around TeAnau on LOTR. John took us on a 4X4 tour of the Beech Forests and Mavora Lake district, we visited the site of Fanghorn Forest and NenHithoel (Mavora Lakes), it continued to rain pretty much all day, so we were quite cold and damp by the time we finally made our next stop at TeAnau.

Our Guide and Host John also works for Princes Cruises and is the commentator for the Fiordland Areas on the cruise ships, including Milford & Doubtful Sounds, so we advised the best way to get down to Milford Sound and organized everything for us for the next day. The weather cleared after dinner so we wandered around the lake. We went to the Wild Animal Refuge to see Kea and KaKa (Parrots) and White headed Sheel Parrot. These were rescued, damaged and hurt birds placed in care of DOC.

– Julz

Queenstown – Day 11

We awoke to rain again, it had been raining almost all night, I know it’s probably a little silly, but i spent most of the night worried about mudslides, Queenstown sits on a very steep hillside!We had another LOTR Day trip planned, which got cancelled due to the weather, so another free day.We did a few touristy things in town, shopping etc. everything is super expensive here and it is full of 20+ adrenalin junkies! I did however want to see some Bungy Jumpers, so we went out to Kawarau Bridge, over Kawarau River and watched a few people jump the 40+m from the bridge, at NZ$180.00 it’s not cheap and no refunds if you chicken out. There are other Jumps which are much higher (160m!), but the AJ Hackett is the original Bungy Jump and the 40m is more than high enough for my needs.

We then drove back into Arrowtown (via the low roads this time) and had lunch, found Mary McKillops cottage and the Church I had been looking for the day before. The weather had cleared a little by then so we wandered around Arrowtown and did some more shopping. Then wen out to Kawarau Falls – not a waterfall just a dam! A little disappointing, but quite pretty.

We then headed back to our B&B for Happy Hour with some of the other guests and then back into town again for dinner. After dinner we drove back out the road to paradise for some sunset shots and a bit of night time photography (although a little too much light still)

– Julz