Hawke's Bay

Blessed with fertile soils and a warm temperate climate, Hawke's Bay is known for its sun, wine and food.  It is also home to beautiful scenery and nature, and provides plenty of opportunities for landscape photographers.

I have called Hawke's Bay home for over 10 years and below are some of my favourite photos.

Te Mata Peak

One of the iconic places to visit in Hawke's Bay is Te Mata Peak accessible from Havelock North.  I live about a 10-minute drive away from its top, and you can often find me there at sunrise and sunset.

Te Mata Peak Sunburst Panorama

I forget how many times I have seen the sun rise from Te Mata Peak. It always feels good to have made the climb up and the view is usually majestic. And because it's Hawke's Bay the sun usually shows itself.

This is one of the first photos I took with the Canon EOS R5, and I was (and still am!) very impressed with its dynamic range and the sharpness of the RF lens. And the resolution is great for supersize prints...

Morning fog climbing up the Peak

The view from Te Mata Peak usually features the Tukituki river flowing towards the bay. On the day this photo was taken, the morning fog was obscuring the river. In fact, a few minutes before this photo was taken, even the peak wasn't visible.

Peak Hour

Sometimes persistence pays off. I had been going up Te Mata Peak for a number of weeks with this shot in mind. But whenever I went, the sunset was never that great and the shot turned out quite average. Finally, a few weeks ago I got what I was hoping for; a fantastic sunset. Luckily, I wasn't the only one wanting to admire the sunset from the peak, so it was quite busy with cars going up and down the narrow road. Ideal for light trails.

This photo is a blend of shots taken within a 20 minute time span. The scenery with Mount Erin in the background is a panorama that combines a series of bracketed shots to capture the dynamic range. The light trails were captured last using a 20 second long exposure to capture vehicles driving from the bottom of the frame to the top.

Pekapeka Wetlands

Pekapeka Wetlands is a wetland reserve located 12 kilometres by road south of Hastings in the Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.  A good place to photograph throughout the year, at sunrise and sunset.

Pekapeka Boardwalk Sunrise

This photo was taken in the early morning as the sun was just below the horizon. It was one of the first photos I took with the Canon EOS R5 and the RF24-105mm F4 IS USM lens.

The magenta sky was creating beautiful reflections in the water and the light brown reeds took on the sky colour. I decided on a long exposure to create a smooth surface with a sheen of light on the water.

Golden Tree Reflection

I took this photo of a couple of trees catching the first light of the day from the Pekapeka Wetlands boardwalk. It was a clear, cold winter’s morning and the frost in the hollow around the trees combined with the warm glow of the early sunlight adds a little extra to the mood. I like the natural symmetry of the scene, and I definitely broke the rule of thirds in this composition.

Other great Hawke's Bay spots

Kareaara Stream Rapids

The Kareaara stream in the beautiful Tangoio Scenic Reserve creates some mesmerising rapids as it winds itself through native forest and moss-covered rocks. This is one of the first photos I took with the Canon EOS R5 and I was (and I still am!) so impressed with the dynamic range of the camera and the sharpness of the RF lens, it definitely motivated me to focus even more on photography.

Trees and Green Hills

and a few sheep because we're in NZ.

Maraetotara Falls

The Maraetotara Falls is one of the most accessible waterfalls in the Hawke's Bay. It's an easy drive from the main centres and a short walk along a picturesque river.

This waterfall is very popular among the locals in summer time with people jumping from the top of the falls into the water below.

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