Location 28

This took some finding!

I only knew there might be a shipwreck here due to a small symbol on a topomap… But even getting to the beach was a mission – it took me a while to find the access road which required 4WD and was bumpy as all hell… From the topomap I had estimated the wreck to be about a kilometre along the beach, so I fired up my drone and went for a fly along the beach, but weirdly the video feed kept cutting out when I was only 200m away… So I shot some stills & some video, wondering WTF the problem was…

I exhausted the first battery without being able to fly more than a few hundred metres away… Second battery was the same, but by the third battery it seemed to come right… so I flew down the beach, on the waters edge and eventually reached the point, almost 2km down the beach – still with video & full control!!

At any point along the way I was expecting to lose video or control and have it ‘fly home’ but it was operating perfectly, so I slowly started returning, scanning the video feed on my iPad for any sign of a wreck…
And sure enough there it was!

I didn’t have time to walk along there & shoot close ups, so this will be a return trip… I’ve had a hankering to buy an offroad motorbike for exactly this purpose – to access locations that are difficult by foot, and not safe by 4WD… Don’t like the idea of towing a trailer so I strongly suspect one of these is in my future!

Location 27

Got a bit wet shooting this location!

When I arrived the tide was fairly high and could only just see the top of it… Came back the next morning when the tide was on its way out, put my gumboots on & waded out…

Double WIN

I left Auckland with a 5 hour drive ahead of me… but really 6 hours as I had a detour to Tauranga to pick up a vintage bass drum I bought on TradeMe (pick up only!)

When I got there & inevitably explained why I wanted it, the guy mentioned he had an old euphonium he was meaning to get rid of…

how much?



When he dug it out, in its wooden case, it was indeed fairly beaten up…
I can’t play brass at all… but I managed to get a note out of it
(or something involving notes… & tortured elephants maybe?)

As I handed him the extra cash, I had one thought on my mind….

Location 26

Caught a water taxi to Islington bay on Rangitoto, which cut the hike to Wreck Bay aka Boulder Bay down from 2 hours ex the usual ferry drop off point, to 45 minutes and very glad we did – it was very hot & humid walking across that volcanic landscape!

Totally different feel at this site – I mainly shot long exposures, using my Lee Super Stopper for the first time with my 5D3 – 15 stop ND!

Off to location 27 tomorrow

Great day!

An early start (after a 3am finish) to get up to Sandspit to meet water taxi to get us out to Moturekareka Island, shipwreck location #25… after shooting heaps of stills with my 5D and chewing through first drone battery, a yacht turned up which at first I cursed… But then realised it provided scale and proceeded to include it….

After exploring beaches up north, and lunch at the always great Leigh Sawmill we headed back to Auckland with a stop at a great urbex location!


My last morning in Taranaki woke to misty rain… but didn’t let that stop me! I drove to Rapanui and walked out to the beach thinking it was too wet to fly my drone, so shot some photos with my 5D but soon discovered that even though it was low tide, it was not low enough for me to be able to walk around the coast to the rock formations I had been told about… But I also noticed the mist & rain was very patchy and I could probably get a flight in between clouds…
Challenge accepted!

Flying further along to this one I was at the limit – mainly due to the drone being up & over/behind the first big rock outcrop… drone briefly disconnected a few times, but managed to shoot some stills & video… Just got back to the car as the rain arrived & really set in…

Magic locations – will be revisiting here in future sometime…

3 Sisters

Sounds a bit like the name of a craft beer…. but its a well known tourist stop not far from Mokau, which you can only reach at low tide… So twice I called past at low tide and there were so many tourists milling around I just couldn’t do it… So this afternoon I went back at high tide & flew there!

My DJI app said my drone was 700m away – I could still see it with my naked eye (as required by NZ drone laws) but I wasn’t keen to go any further… Especially due to this one pesky seagull that kept straffing me!

To get an idea of where I was, check the red dot (I carry that big red dot with me, cos I’m a pro)

A couple of times I have pushed my drone past its limits – first on my brothers farm, I flew about 1.2km away & still had full control… but another time, when following the little train in to the cave location (not inside the cave) deep in bush in Charleston, I got to the point where the drone disconnected and began its auto routine of flying back to its launch site… But of course as soon as it got back in range, I regained control & could carry on shooting…

But in both cases, had it landed where it lost signal I still could have retrieved it… But not so over the ocean, hence being a little conservative…

This is from same location looking North

And as always, local knowledge is invaluable. The beach house I am renting is owned by the neighbours and I had noticed all the great photos on the walls, so when we caught up for a chat this evening she tipped me off to an even better location than the 3 sisters, which I have driven past 3 or 4 times now without knowing about it!

Low tide tomorrow morning – bring it on!