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These are probably the best pictures I’ve ever taken. Not just because they look quite good but because they were taken from the front deck of a small-ish boat, standing up, hanging on desperately with one hand to the back of a seat while the boat heaved up and down in 1m+ waves. So that left me holding my D90 in one hand trying to follow the flight of this albatross as it wheeled about in the skies above the boat.

albatross #1

albatross #2

I have to hand it to the D90. As long as I kept the albatross in the viewfinder, it kept it in focus.

I did suffer for it though, after all that twisting my head about, I got quite seasick on the voyage back – and that was in much calmer seas.

These were all taken on the Monarch Wildlife Cruise just at the entrance to Otago Harbour. A great experience.

Seal pups

Taken near the entrance to Otago Harbour, Dunedin, from the boat of the Monarch Wildlife Cruise. This seal colony included these two pups with their mothers.

seal pups

Very cute.

Sea lion

While in Dunedin, we went on a cruise (with Monarch Wildlife Cruises) which went out to the seal and albatross colonies at the entrance to Otago Harbour. I’ll post a few of the pictures I took on this cruise starting with this chap, a young sea lion sunning himself on the sands.

sea lion


Post title pretty much says it all. Taken on the wharf of Monarch Cruises outside Dunedin. Cruise pics to follow.


Little cropping but no adjustment needed. Love the New Zealand sunshine.

Penguin chicks in nests

These shots show just how close the tunnels at Penguin Place run to the nests. We are told to be extra quiet and the camera shutter noise doesn’t seem to bother the chicks but you could pretty much reach out and touch them. Awesome. I cannot imagine the work involved in constructing these tunnels through sand dunes.

penguin chick in nest #1

penguin chick in nest #2

A little cropping and sharpening on these shots: the pics stand for themselves.

Later edit: couple of shots of the tunnels themselves.

Tunnel #1  Tunnel #2

Penguin emerging

Also from Penguin Place outside Dunedin, we were in a hide down near the beach and were lucky enough to see a penguin coming out of the sea after a fishing trip. It came out a little way then stood sunning itself. The wings are raised to expose as much surface area to the sun as possible. It later headed in to the dunes to its nest and chick.

penguin emerging

and a close crop to show the penguin itself better

penguin close up

Penguin chick

This shot is of a Yellow Eyed Penguin chick, held in the care enclosure while it moults. We went on the tour at Penguin Place, Dunedin and can recommend it. You get to walk around the penguin nesting sites via a series of underground tunnels and hides, brilliantly constructed so as to leave the penguins completely undisturbed. The guides are highly knowledgeable and their first concern is always for the penguins.

penguin chick

St. Paul’s Cathedral, Dunedin: altar cover

The cathedral of St Paul’s in Dunedin, New Zealand, is in the very centre of the city and is a lovely place to visit. It is light and lively, with spots of bright colour among the white stone. The altar cover was especially lovely:

Dunedin Cathedral altar cover

and in context:

Dunedin Cathedral altar

Great mix of the modern with the old.