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Thread: New Zealand

  1. #1
    Bob K.'s Avatar
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    New Zealand

    Looks like I'll be going to New Zealand in February. We'll be staying in Auckland, but hope to get around. Any suggestions? Any camera shops where i can get 120 b&w film?

    thanks,
    bob k.

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    How far around the Auckland area are you thinking of? Day drives or overnight trips? And what sort of things are you interested in?

    It might worth your while to Fed-Ex some film down to where you will be staying.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  3. #3
    Bob K.'s Avatar
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    Most likely day trips. Lanscape, city, people, anything interesting...

    Why Fed-Ex the film?

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    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Fed-X film -- just a way to get a lot of film to where you are going without having it go through Airport x-ray, making sure that you have enough film of the type you work with available (and not be at the mercy of NZ prices and availibility), and not have so much film with you when arriving that the customs folks think you are importing film for retail. Just a suggestion that may not be needed.

    (Long) Day trips --

    Rotorua -- 3hrs drive (235km). Touristy, but good Maori cultural stuff, hot pools, mudpots, etc

    Coromandel Peninsula -- 2.5 hours to Whitianga on the east coast (190 km)

    Bay of Islands -- again touristy, but pretty -- 3 hrs, 245 km A loop can be done -- up the west coast and back the east coast

    The East Cape is great, but to go around the East Cape and back is a full days driving w/o stops.

    Te Urewera National Park -- incredible, but a 4+ hr drive one way -- but you can got thru Rotorua

    Times and distance from Google maps -- won't swear by them!LOL!

    But you can do a lot of work right around Auckland, and perhaps some Kiwis will chime in with more local highlights -- I did not spend too much time around Auckland itself.

    Have fun!
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  5. #5
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    With all due respect to my Kiwi neighbours and your travel plans, I really think Auckland is a poor choice. The first thing you'll experience out of the airport is a teeming, seething mass of humanity in Auckland city that can sometimes resemble Shanghai, but with thousands of cultures colliding head on. It is busy, noisy, fumy, congested and a lot of footwork is required to get from one place to another. It gave me a headache one day, nausea the next (the latter being from food poisoning). Having said that, Aucky is central as a travel base around the north but problems with traffic flow (a lot of it in gridlock) will slow travel down. Find your own space.

    Consider Christchurch on the South Island; hop over to the north on the Picton-Wellington ferry through the Marlborough Sounds.

    Google is misleading: it is not so much the frequency of the HILLS that slow travel down, but their size. Factor in extra time to stop and gawk and definitely I recommend the road trip to Milford Sound — the highest, starkest, boldest and wettest mountains that are utterly confronting in their size and profile. Everything else is just too touristy (including but not limited to Rotorua). Bay of Islands is oh-so-pretty but as in previous posts, it too, has been to the death as a tourist destination.
    “The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
    Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
    the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see."
    ~Edward Weston, 1922.

  6. #6
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Its been 23 years since I have been to Auckland -- my how time flies! And I was on a bicycle, so gridlock was not a problem (other than worrying about getting hit). So I bet things have changed, and probably not for the best, city-wise. I had some real doubts about my planned 6 month bike tour (my first) after putting the derailer thru the spokes 10 feet (3 meters) from the airport.

    Those doubts were removed once I left Auckland and headed north -- just got out of the city and was slowly going up a hill (had my 4x5, backpacking gear, diving mask, and other stuff on the bike!), when a Toyota van came along side and matched my speed. The slider door open up and there were some Maoris in the back with a keg of beer. As I made my way up the hill, they handed me a cup of beer and refreshed it several times by the time I made it to the top. I knew then I had made the right choice!

    For photos in Auckland, I remember Mt Eden being nice, and also up on a hill where there was a great museum.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

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    It is almost impossible to find any film at all in New Zealand, 120 film worst of all. Bring your own film or have it shipped to you.

    I agree with the other posters: Auckland, while a nice place to live, is not very scenic or rich in culture. Get up north where there is more Maori influence, or down south where the scenery is more dramatic.

  8. #8
    Bob K.'s Avatar
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    My step-daughter has been accepted to university in auckland, so I don't really have a choice where we stay.

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    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Its been 23 years since I have been to Auckland -- my how time flies! And I was on a bicycle, so gridlock was not a problem (other than worrying about getting hit). So I bet things have changed, and probably not for the best, city-wise. I had some real doubts about my planned 6 month bike tour (my first) after putting the derailer thru the spokes 10 feet (3 meters) from the airport.

    Those doubts were removed once I left Auckland and headed north -- just got out of the city and was slowly going up a hill (had my 4x5, backpacking gear, diving mask, and other stuff on the bike!), when a Toyota van came along side and matched my speed. The slider door open up and there were some Maoris in the back with a keg of beer. As I made my way up the hill, they handed me a cup of beer and refreshed it several times by the time I made it to the top. I knew then I had made the right choice!

    For photos in Auckland, I remember Mt Eden being nice, and also up on a hill where there was a great museum.


    Yes, I also circumnavigated New Zealand as a bicycle tourist in 1986, hit once near Taupo by a drunk. And had darts thrown at me by hoons at Haast Pass. Ha. I'm still around! Carried a Nikon F3HP and 28mm lens in handlebar bag, low-riders and rear panniers; Kodachrome trannies of this trip exist somewhere and would be well worth a look back to the youthful days before education and a car came along. Whoa! How things have so much changed... You'll see many, many bicycle tourists doing "The Loop" around NZ and they do need a wide berth with large loads, a bit of wobble, sweat and LPG (legs, pedals, gusto).

    BobK, I guess if daughter is at Auckland Uni that's the end of the matter in regards to choices of where you can stay but I cannot hide my disappointment. But I trust you'll get a kick out of the "change of scenery" from your original place of abode in Florida.
    “The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
    Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
    the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see."
    ~Edward Weston, 1922.

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
    Yes, I also circumnavigated New Zealand as a bicycle tourist in 1986...
    I was on the bike in NZ from 10/86 to mid-2/87. I would have been the tall hairy gent on an over-loaded mountain bike! Glad the "hoons" were not around at Haast Pass -- that ride from the coast along the Haast River and over the pass was one of my favorite days of riding.

    I went to uni for a year down near Christchurch (Lincoln College) in 1975 on an exchange program from Humboldt State University. A great experience -- I hope your daughter enjoys her time in New Zealand at least as much as I did! Getting "down" there takes so long and much $$, it is a pity you can't spend more time -- a good reason for another visit later on in the school year! (but beware, in 1975 it snowed at Lincoln College on July 4th -- did not stick, though.) You might consider a return trip after the school year ends (or right before to avoid the summer holiday crowds)!

    Enjoy!!!
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

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