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Far North | Dec 2015

Rural New Zealand - Far North region

I‘ve written about where I grew up several times in the past few years. I’ve described the rural Far North of New Zealand in terms of my family home (Journey north), in terms of the region I identify as home (Where I’m from) and in terms of my national identity (My home is green and gold).

These posts represent several attempts to remember, understand and pay tribute to my roots from my current perspective as an ex-pat living “across the ditch” (i.e. the Tasman Sea, which separates New Zealand from Australia). I don’t really have anything new to add to what I’ve already said. These days I’m aware that the feeling of displacement is gradually sinking into the background of my day-to-day life. It’s been nearly five years and I’m comfortable here, it’s true. Yet it only takes one deep lungful of sweet kiwi air to remind me of where I am supposed to be.

At home, I am less likely to take photos that I’m unhappy with – I’m not sure why. Maybe my camera works better in the softer light. Maybe my memories fill in the imperfections. Maybe it’s just so achingly beautiful that all I need to do is frame and shoot. One morning when we were home for Christmas last December I struggled out of bed early (still a bit jet-lagged) and wandered about with my camera. The dawn was clear and golden. The river moved slowly. The air was still and the animals were curious. No one else was up. It was a perfect hour and mine alone.

Early morning sun floods the paddock with a golden haze

Mum's garden, overlooking the river and paddock

Hand-reared cows looking for some company, Far North New Zealand

Grass by the road side

Far North New Zealand December 2015

Ruby and emerald plants by the river, Far North New Zealand

Far North New Zealand December 2015

River weed lining the swimming hole, Far North New Zealand

Gone to seed, onions and parsley, Far North New Zealand

Scarlet runner beans in Mum's garden, Far North New Zealand


  1. Michele

    Ah, that perfect moment that is yours alone. One of the joys of rising early. Or perhaps the only advantage of the dreaded jet lag. Your gorgeous photos reflect your love of home, and that very early morning softness of light. You do indeed have wonderful roots to return to. Albeit for now, just for holidays.

    • I really need to get out of bed early more often! It’s not hard to take a pretty picture when the light flatters everything. Being in a beautiful place provided great motivation, and to be honest, the jet-lag wasn’t that bad, it’s only a three hour time difference! It probably had more to do with finally relaxing after a busy year.

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