My Adventures

Nugget Point Mission

I've been reading a lot lately, something I never ever in a million years would have thought I would do! But lately books have been a huge part of my life (thanks Abi!) and I've been thinking I'd like to write a book or 2 myself one day..

This made me realise I should probably start small and get some practice by writing short stories on my adventures, cause sometimes I get up to some cool stuff every now and again.. So starting with my latest mission to Nugget Point with some good friends of mine, Jeremy and Sina, heres how the weekend went...


AS per usual for me, we left an hour or two later than planned so ended up slightly rushing to make it for sunset! There were road works along the last few km of road to the Nugget Point lighthouse and the road was just large rocks so Jeremy's poor car took a hell of a beating! He was adamant we would make it for sunset though and he didn't fail!

It wasn't a bad sunset so we were pretty stoked! I tried running to the top of a hill to find a good angle and decided a short cut over the long grass was the best option, my shoes paid the price...

We hung around talking, laughing and shooting as the light faded, met a cool couple and had a good chat too! Tried a few shots of these guys but didn't exactly succeed.. Jeremy pulling a pretty sexy face here when I caught him off guard haha

with clear skies we anticipated a good night for some astro and were not disappointed! after getting some cool shots of the Milky Way over the Lighthouse, lady Aurora decided to pay us a visit!

Sea Naa Web.jpg

A quick pano of the Aurora between the lighthouse and cliff we were shooting from;

After a good long time shooting in the cold, we decided we should probably go and find a place to sleep as we only had a couple of hours left before we needed to get up for sunrise.. We ended up finding a nice spot overlooking the ocean to set up our tents for about an hour and a half worth of sleep! I was shattered and never actually got around to setting mine up properly, so just slept on my yoga mat, essentially wrapped in my tent with my head poking out haha it was a truly awe inspiring, sleeping under the Milky Way by the sea, something I'll never forget!


Shortly after finally managing to fall asleep, I awoke to Sina telling me we need to get up.. I raised my head to the amazing view of some great looking cloud beginning to turn orange with the first rays of sunlight peaking out from below the horizon! It took a good few minutes to muster up the strength to get up, but the sky gradually lighting up more and more motivated me to grab my gear and start running! This was the first quick shot I took on the run to the Lighthouse;

I really wish I managed to get up earlier to have captured the best light and had time to pick some more awesome compositions but I ended up getting such a sick shot of the path leading up to the light house towards the end of sunrise anyway, so I shouldn't complain! This was the first decent shot I took as I was rushing up the path;

I really wanted a shot of the nuggets so headed to the viewing platform in front of the lighthouse to get that typical view, but it was super worth it...

This sunrise just kept on giving! The light was different every minute so I managed to get a couple of different shots, heres a hand stitched 2 shot panorama of the light getting under the low cloud and lighting it up nice and red, I decided on a kind of minimal processing style on this one, just adding a slight glow effect, I quite like it..

I decided I should run back up to the cliff to get a shot of the lighthouse and the nuggets but as soon as I got around the lighthouse I fell in love with the view of the path leading up to the lighthouse with the orange glow of sunrise behind it! I stayed here for a while and got a couple of nice shots but this one below was, for me at least, the winning shot of the whole trip! (Also at the top of this post too, I liked it so much I posted it twice lol)

We headed up to the cliff to get that typical view overlooking the point, but there was tonnes of tourists there all over the sketchy track up the hill, so I never really got any good shots.. But I did get this kind of cool silhouette of the lighthouse on the way back;

By this point we were pretty damn shattered! We had spent the best part of the last 11 hours shooting, so we needed some more sleep! We headed back to our camp spot and were loving the view over the ocean with the sun just rising in the sky, so we packed up the tents, chucked the air bed right on the edge of the hill overlooking the sea and the 3 of us fell asleep to a truly epic view! Sadly I never actually got a shot of our bed on the hill, but I did get one of the tent before we pulled it down;

After catching up on a bit of sleep in the sun, we continued on our adventure with a coffee in Kaka Point, then had a huge debate on wether we had enough time to visit Purakaunui Falls or not, which was quite funny having 3 very tired people trying to sort our lives out haha.

We decided that we wouldn't have enough time to make it to the falls as well as make it to Steam Punk HQ in oamaru before it closed, which was one of the main reasons for going on this trip, so we just continued on to Oamaru and had an hour to enjoy the weird attraction..

This place was pretty funky, heaps of weird sculptures made from bits of metal and junk, with a kind of Nazi/demonic feel to it haha got some cool shots around the place;

I quite liked the flare from the light on this Parana thing, it was good fun roaming around in this place, lots of interesting dark scenes to play with! My 6D was really in its element here with its low light capabilities!

The main reason we came to this crazy place was for one certain room they have.. Sina saw a cool photo from this place and was super keen to come check it out! I'll let the photos speak for themselves..

I think Jeremy got the winning shot from this room with some amazing multi-coloured skulls but I can't find the photo.. None the less, it was a pretty epic experience! I imagine a few people on different hallucinogens will have had a great time in this room in the past.. 

After a bit of fun here and staying a good 15 minutes after the place had closed, we headed to Dunedin to get to Tunnel Beach for sunset. I saw an awesome lone tree on a hill on the way and had to pull over to shoot it! Sadly there were a few other trees in the way which made it quite difficult to get a good angle, but I still quite like this shot;

We stopped at a little fish 'n' chip shop in some small town somewhere in some place called something at some time I can't remember, but had a great big feed and had heaps left over so I took my chips with me down to the beach!

I was stoked to finally get to shoot here after seeing a lot of epic shots of this place, I never realised how cool this beach actually was! I went prickle diving to try get to a good angle but didn't have much luck, this was the best shot I got after being stabbed in the legs a few thousand times..

Best seat in the house.. haha

I did get a few nice angles while roaming around, sunset wasn't too bad either;

I hung around in the grass while Jeremy and Sina headed out onto the point, I ended up yelling instructions at them to cuddle for a photo from a few hundred metres away over the sound of the wind and waves, which I'm surprised they managed to figure out what I was saying! Got quite a nice shot of them though..

There was an interesting cloud hanging out in the sky too which kind of looked a bit like a crab, so had to shoot a huge pano of it;

We then headed down a really cool stair case through a tunnel down to the beach which I never knew was there! It was quite a surprise and such an epic spot! The cliffs all around us were beautiful and had some really cool shapes, Jeremy posing to provide a sense of scale;

That pointy cliff hes staring at looks very much like a roman warrior from the side, with that crazy mow-hawk helmet thing and a big bushy beard, don't you think?

After this we were shattered and began our long drive home to Queenstown, as we wanted to be back in our own beds for the night and had a few things to do the next day, but it probably wasn't the best decision to drive 4 hours after so little sleep! I got a few hours of nap time in the car and drove the last stretch through the Kawarau Gorge which I really enjoyed and felt great doing! I always love driving that road.. Arrived home at 1:30am and a warm bed was a very welcome feeling after an intense few days!

To finish off, heres another few shots from the mission;