Tag Archives: ink and watercolor sketch

That Wanaka tree

NZ – heading north to Wanaka

Day 12 was a 4+ hour drive going north to Wanaka, in the Otago region on South Island. Along the way, we stopped at Lake Hayes to sketch.  The Māori name is Wai-whaka-ata which translates to “water that reflects”.

Lake Hayes NZ

Lake Hayes

A dizzying series of switchbacks on Crown Range Road brought us to a pull off where we sketched a fantastic view. Quick pencil sketches were all I could manage while I recovered from that ride!

A fun stop in Cardrona, a popular ski town, where Cathy donated to a fence of bras! “Bra-drona” hopes that you will make a donation to the NZ Cancer Society.

Bra-drona in Cardrona

Bra-drona in Cardrona

A famous tourist attraction in Wanaka is #thatwanakatree, growing in the lake.

That Wanaka tree

#thatwanakatree

Nearby, there were several huge Douglas fir trees needing to be sketched. Only took time for one, and as I sketched, I wondered how old these are.

Douglas fir

Douglas fir

ancient forest

NZ – Te Anau & Fiordland National Park

Day 11 – we retrace some of yesterday’s travels.  First order of each day is usually getting lunch and snack food!  Miles Better Pies has a cute statue out front.

Miles Better Pies

Miles Better Pies in Te Anau

Stopped along the way to practice clouds, these are the reason for calling New Zealand “Land of the Long Cloud”. New Zealand clouds

We returned to Mirror Lake, in Fiordland Nat’l. Park, where I may have been the only one in our group who didn’t sketch the calm clear waters.

View at Mirror Lake

View at Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake – I wonder how it got the name? 😉

Here we sat and painted in an ancient beech forest next to Gunn Lake. We saw faces in the trees, while parrots and keas sang above and a New Zealand robin visited us.  He tried to join me by sitting on my water container, which he tipped over.

ancient beech forest

ancient beech forest.

ancient forest

Faces in the ancient trees

A slight interruption in our travels while we waited for them to cross the road –

Sheep crossing

Slight traffic jam

Last stop of the day was in Eglinton River valley with broad horizons to paint.

Eglinton River Valley

Eglinton River Valley

 

Milford Sound

NZ – magnificent Milford Sound (Piopiotahi)

Day 10 – We head to Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park for a boat ride through the fiord with breathtaking scenery. Luck and sunshine was with us (it’s in a rain forest with annual rainfall of 22 feet) as we first stopped at Mirror Lake on the way, before meeting up with a convoy.

Sections of the only road to Milford Sound were one lane following cyclone damage a few weeks earlier.  There was terrible flooding and several hundred people trapped up there.  So only buses and 12+ passenger vehicles were allowed in the convoy. We were one of the first vehicles in line, so we had a bit of a wait until the line was complete and we could start up.

I could have spent several days here, in this place called the pot of gold at the end of the road. My sketches don’t do it justice, but you may be able to infer by the quantity, just how much I was enchanted with this place.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound employee.

Milford Sound  Milford Sound

Milford Sound sketches

Milford Sound sketches 1.

Milford Sound sketches

Milford Sound sketches 2.

Milford Sound sketches

Milford Sound sketches 3

North of Kingston on Lake Wakatipu

NZ – headed to Te Anau

Day 9, we left Queenstown and wandered the shores of Lake Wakatipu along the Devil’s Staircase as we travel to Te Anau.

New Zealand pencil sketches

pencil sketches during the ride

North of Kingston on Lake Wakatipu

North of Kingston on Lake Wakatipu

Sketch at the Oreti River

Sketch at the Oreti River

New Zealand travel on Day 9

New Zealand travel on Day 9 – from Queenstown along the Devil’s Staircase

 

Kiwis

NZ – Arrowtown and Kiwi Park

On day 8, we visited Arrowtown, a preserved gold mining settlement.  Lots of quaint shops with things to see and buy!

Arrowtown hat display

Arrowtown hat display

In the mid 1800s, Chinese workers were invited to work in the Arrowtown mines.  Their homes were very simple huts they built near the river.

Chinese miners huts

Many of the Chinese miners huts have been reconstructed

In the afternoon, we went to the Kiwi Birdlife Park, where we sketched kiwis and saw other birdlife.  The kiwi show had red lighting, which is the only way to view these birds.

Kiwis

Sketching kiwis in the dark. 

After the park, there was a mountain range, the Remarkables, in view to sketch.

View near Kiwi park

View of the Remarkables

 

I really liked the Platinum villas we stayed at, with amazing views from our balconies.

View from Platinum villa in Queenstown

View from Platinum villa in Queenstown, the Remarkables again

Landing in Queenstown

NZ – heading to Queenstown

On day 7, we drove back to Auckland and caught a flight to Queenstown on the south island. I’m sure I’ll be doing a few sketches from my photos, but didn’t have much time on this busy travel day. Here’s my first view of the South Island.

Landing in Queenstown

Landing in Queenstown

And here is a rather quick sketch of nearby mountains at the airport while waiting for our ride. Queenstown airport

black swans

New Zealand – Turangi & Tongariro Natl Park

On to day 6, we leave Rotorua and head toward Tongariro National Park and Mordor, a land of remarkable scenes used in filming Lord of the Rings. Here’s a map with our stops. North Island, New Zealand map

First stop was Tokaanu Bay on Lake Taupo, to see the black swans. black swans

We stopped to enjoy our lunch at an old hydro plant at Beggs Pool, on the Tongariro River. The Tongariro is a famous spot to fish for rainbow trout.  Very lucky to have Phil, our guide, spot a  rare blue duck.

Beggs Pool falls

Beggs Pool falls

Our final sketch spot was with views of Mountains Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. Mount Ruapehu is an active stratovolcano.

Mount Ruapehu

Mount Ruapehu sketched on site  

Mount Ruapehu

Mount Ruapehu done at home

 

New Zealand – Rotorua & Wai-o-tapu

On day 5 of our trip, we headed to Wai-o-tapu Thermal Park, a place of extraordinary geothermal activity.  After getting our tickets and going in, we were told we could catch the geyser show, they do this once a day, where they add soap and cause a crater to look like a volcano. Wouldn’t you know, we “just” missed it, and only caught the tail end.

Lady Knox geyser

Lady Knox geyser

Continuing around the park, we (of course!) stopped at The Artist’s Palette, with such lovely colors, I was unable to do them justice with my paints.

Colors of the Artists Palette

Colors of the Artists Palette

Sketches at Wai-o-tapu Park

Sketches at Wai-o-tapu Park

The Artist’s Palette

The Artist’s Palette

The rock formations and colors were spectacular, again, challenging to capture on paper.

Wai-o-tapu rock formation

Wai-o-tapu rock formation

Got in a quick sketch at Rua  Ōwhanga

Rua Ōwhanga

Rua Ōwhanga

Another pool was Roto Kārikitea, also known as The Devil’s Bath, an eerie bright green phenomenon caused by a toxic mix of sulphur and ferrous salts   combined with minerals from the Champagne Pool.

Roto Kārikitea

Roto Kārikitea

Ending this supernatural visit, we went to a local spa on Lake Rotorua, with geothermal hot springs, with pools of alkaline or acidic baths in varying temperatures. A superb finish for the day!

 

Rafters at Okere Falls

New Zealand – Okere Falls & Maori wood carvers

Before I get too far ahead, on our way to Cathedral Cove, here’s a cute New Zealand quail who walked along with us for a bit. Many NZ birds have little or no fear of humans, and some have even evolved to lose the ability to fly. New Zealand quail

 

We traveled quite a bit on the following day. In the morning, we passed by kiwi and avocado orchards, sustainably harvested tree farms, and stopped to pick up lunch in an old gold mining town, Waihi.

Old pumphouse in Waihi

Old pumphouse in Waihi

From there, we stopped near a river to enjoy our lunch, and then on to Okere Falls.  I had trouble managing the colors and trying to sketch the water, so I did this quick color layout for reference on site. Quick sketch Okere Falls We were lucky to see several rafts pass by, and sketching the rafters was more my speed than water, as you can see here, sketched from my photo. Rafters at Okere Falls

Later we stopped at Tikitapu (Blue Lake), a very serene place to take out our paints. Finally, we went to see two Maori wood carvers, where they work, their tools and how they decide what to carve. We then enjoyed a home cooked dinner with them, very delicious and a great end to a busy day!

Maori wood carving tools

Maori wood carving tools.

Photos of Maori wood carvings

Photos of Maori wood carvings

Maori sketches for wood carvings

Maori sketches for wood carvings