I tagged along with Alan for a work trip to Auckland a few years ago. I’m always interested to visit new places, but really had no interest in Auckland until I researched it a little. I quickly discovered that there was an amazing little island called Waiheke 17.7km off the coast from Auckland and just a 30 minute ferry ride.
According to Wikipedia “it is the most populated, with nearly 8,730 permanent residents plus another estimated 3,400 who have second or holiday homes on the island.” We booked a tour guide, expecting a full mini bus – but were fortunate enough to be the only tourists! Our guide drove us around the entire island, which was a fantastic way to see how diverse the landscape was. There were cute little private coves, lush farmland, and over two dozen wineries – which has helped it developed the nickname ‘Island of wine’. I’d always been fans of New Zealand whites (notably the Marlborough region), but this really cemented by love of NZ reds – particularly Syrah.
As with most of my overseas trips I always try and meet with a local photographer. I was fortunate enough to have a fellow Polaroid lover and all round awesome gal Teresa showed me around Auckland. She picked us up from our hotel in the city and we made our way towards the western beaches. I had no expectations, and really had done no research. I’m really not great with car travel, and it didn’t take me long to get car sickness from the 45 minute windy drive towards the coast, but my gosh was it worth it! First we arrived at Karekare and explored one of the waterfalls. Being late in the afternoon, and not being too good at taking shots in low light conditions – none of my photographs really turned out. We then decided to try and catch the setting sun.
Being from the east coast of Australia, sunsets over water aren’t all that common an occurrence to witness. So this was a pretty special moment to witness the sun setting over the water. My first surprise was actually the colour of the sand. I am use to growing up near some of the whitest sand in the world, so to come across a dark volcanic grey sand really made me feel a long way from home! But the light was absolutely incredible. The sand just glistered in the late afternoon sun… If the moment wasn’t magical enough, as soon as I peeled the first shot of 669 film I was just blown away. The way my Polaroid 180 camera picked up the light was amazing, and in true 669 style, the colours were incredible.