Saturday night saw a strong southerly blowing through the lower North Island. The wind was mostly gone by Sunday and the afternoon was cool but clear with a uninterrupted views to the western horizon. I’ve been waiting a day like this and as sunset neared I drove north to the viewpoint on the Paekakariki Hill Road to check out the evening panorama. A few years ago I saw some photos taken from the viewpoint of Mount Ruapehu rising on the horizon above Paraparaumu and I’ve been wanting to give it a go. Arriving I was greeted by a clear 180 degree horizon and to the north the snow capped Mount Ruapehu was clearly visible while more westward the cone of Mount Taranaki poked above the horizon and the silhouette of Kapiti Island. Continuing west and south the South Island was also showing well.

Lovely light on the hills above the Paekakariki Hill Road

Lovely light on the hills above the Paekakariki Hill Road

Evening light over the coast

Evening light over the coast

Mount Ruapehu rising above the northern horizon just after sunset.

Mount Ruapehu rising above the northern horizon just after sunset.

I spent the next hour taking photos of the views, slowly losing feeling in my hands as the sun disappeared. I eventually returned to the car and got gloves. As the glow on the western horizon faded the next treat appeared, a sickle moon next to a brightly shining Venus and then directly below the lesser light of Jupiter. If I’d waited a bit longer I probably could have found the comet Panstarrs (C/2015 Q1) above the horizon as well but I needed to get home to assist with dinner and daughter wrangling.

The moon, Venus to the left and Jupiter below.

The moon, Venus to the left and Jupiter below.

Kapiti Island silhouette with Mount Taranaki peeking over the southern end (left hand side)

Kapiti Island silhouette with Mount Taranaki peeking over the southern end (left hand side)

Dusk on the Kapiti Coast

Dusk on the Kapiti Coast

Next time I’ll have to try for photos closer to home. I’ve seen shots of Mount Taranaki taken from Baxter’s Knob near our house so that will be the next viewpoint target.


5 Comments

Catherine Doran

Catherine Doran · July 20, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Nice!! Such great sky :)

Helen Hall

Helen Hall · July 20, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Fantastic photos Brendon.

Julian Bruce-Miller

Julian Bruce-Miller · July 20, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Love the photos Brendon – especially the main one – you can see our house! :)

Steve Cosgrove

Steve Cosgrove · July 21, 2015 at 9:29 pm

Spot the interesting wave pattern too. We went up the coast on Sunday. The very strong southerly swell, coupled with no wind, meant for some very high waves all the way out to Kapiti. Interesting!

Patty · July 24, 2015 at 12:41 am

Proper amazing. Mt Ruapehu, and the planets, very cool.

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