Sinclair Head seals

Sunday seemed like a good day to go for a hike. We’ve got a holiday coming up soon with lots of walking planned so we’ve been wanting to get out a bit more and have Alayna get used to longer treks. With a decent looking weather forecast we set our sights on the New Zealand fur seal haul-out at Sinclair Head past Red Rocks on the Wellington south coast. We also invited some friends and family to share the adventure and we all met up at the Te Kopahou Visitor Centre carpark ready to go.

Out for a walk

Out for a walk

Climbing rocks

Climbing rocks with Arlo

Walking with Aunty Patty

Walking with Aunty Patty

It’s around 8km return and with a few young children it was never going to be a quick journey but even with stops for rock climbing it still only took just over an hour and a half to reach the rock feature called Devil’s Gate and the seals. Curiously there were also a lot of bumblebees around as well, often landing on clothing or in Keryn’s case on her hand and using their antennae to push around looking for what we think was either water or salt, no stings at least. There were dozens if not hundreds of lazy male fur seals relaxing in the sun at the haul-out, obviously enjoying the good weather. For the most part they ignored the watching people, only moving occasionally to get more comfortable or to cough. There was one fur seal that went for a swim and then got growled at when it came back on shore to find a siesta spot.

We found the fur seals!

We found the fur seals!

Arguing over resting spots

Arguing over resting spots

On the lookout

Alayna and Clara on the lookout

All up we had a good time. Perhaps my shoulders were a bit sore from carrying Alayna a lot of the way back but she did well for the most part. Lunch afterwards at the Blue bell cafe in Island Bay was certainly well deserved :).

Just So Festival

A festival aimed at families where we get to camp in the beautiful Kaitoke Regional park and take part in all sorts of events including a madcap tribal tournament? Sounds great! The inaugural New Zealand edition of the Just So Festival took place over the last weekend of February and we had a blast :)

We had left work early so we would have time to put up our tent and get settled before the festivities started at 5pm on the friday night. There were no queues and plenty of parking and from the car it was a short walk over to find our friends and pitch our tent. Once we had somewhere to sleep and everyone was ready it was time to head over to the festival site.

That evening and over the next couple of days we danced, crafted, paraded, rested, ate, marvelled, collected golden stones, played, talked, sang, dressed up, roasted marshmallows, chased bubbles, went inside bubbles, pillow fought and smiled. Hopefully you’ll see below some of the enjoyment and wonder that we experienced. We can’t wait for the next one!

Puppet dinosaur feeding

Puppet dinosaur feeding with String Bean Puppets

Learning some circus skills

Learning some circus skills

Campfire tales

Campfire tales

Kakapo shenanigans

Kakapo shenanigans

Misty morning camping

Misty morning camping

Conga line!

Conga line!

Dress up fun

Dress up fun

Festival buddies

Festival buddies

The lantern parade

The lantern parade

Campfire marshmallows

Campfire marshmallows

Fire dancing

Fire dancing

Inside camp curious

Inside Camp Curious

Inside a bubble

Inside a bubble

Checking out the aliens

Checking out the aliens

Knocked over by Fraser Hooper

Knocked over by Fraser Hooper

The penguin tribe leader

The penguin tribe leader

Pillow fight time!

Pillow fight time!

Let the feathers fly

Let the feathers fly

Tribal tournament

Tribal tournament

Lets go to Newtown!

The Newtown Festival came around again so we had an afternoon walking around the stalls and checking out the sights and sounds. We parked up near Catherine and Paul’s (amazingly finding a park quite quickly) and went for a quick visit to say hi and because Alayna likes visiting her Aunty and Uncle.

Checking out the cats tail

Checking out the cats tail

Later on at the fair Alayna was interested in many different things including every dog that walked by, any stalls with toys, all the other children and babies and balloons. She also wanted to take a ride on the first thing we saw at the fair, the giant inflatable slide (or the big! big! slide! as Alayna described it).

The Newtown Fair

The Newtown Fair

We returned to the slide as our last fair activity and Alayna eagerly took off her shoes and with a quick boost up was heading up the stairs. Turns out the stairs were a little bit long for Alayna to comfortably reached so it was nice that another girl on her way up slowed down to help. Once at the top Alayna got a big grin on her face and launched herself down the slide…only to find it was a lot steeper and faster than she was expecting and she tumbled down to end up in heap at the bottom. She was a little unhappy but shook it off quickly and after a bit of a snuggle was almost ready for another go. Deciding that it possibly wasn’t the best idea we instead headed back to New World for an ice cream treat to help cool down.

Balcony party

Balcony party

Back to the quiet of Catherine and Paul’s and we were treated to pikelets and a relaxing sit down. It was nice to have a quiet break before the drive home.

Mum’s birthday and driving north

Our final day in Timaru and the main reason we’d come down, Mum’s birthday. The morning was spent preparing food and getting everything ready for brunch as a bevy of family arrived. There were copious pancakes and croissants, fruit and Christmas mince pies. And then it was time for a birthday cake to be presented.

Time for cake

Time for cake

Blow out the candles

Blow out the candles

As is traditional there were a number of family photos taken. Frances and Helen were excellent photographers standing in my Richard and myself.

Uncle Richard

Uncle Richard

Siblings

Siblings (Alayna standing in for Patricia )

Family photo

Family photo

Alayna and the birthday girl

Alayna and the birthday girl

Early afternoon saw as saying our goodbyes and taking to the road once more. We were splitting up our journey with our Ferry not sailing until the following evening and we would be spending the night in Cheviot. Getting there we somehow managed to avoid most of the thunderstorms and hail that was threatening, only getting hailed on just north of Christchurch for a few minutes though it was loud enough to wake Alayna and concern her a little.

Stormy skies

Stormy skies south of Christchurch

We arrived in Cheviot and our accommodation at the Cheviot Motels and Holiday Park in good time. There was a trampoline, guinea fowl, rabbits, chickens, geese, horses, a donkey and a friendly cat so Alayna was set. I could see the heavy weather coming our way so dashed up to the next door Church as the front same in and got some photos of moody clouds before the wind kicked in, shortly followed by heavy rain. It blew through quickly thankfully, much to the relief of the cyclist who had just set up his little pup-tent.

The storm comes over

The storm comes over St. Johns at Cheviot

Here comes the rain

Here comes the rain

Morning rainbow

Morning rainbow

Strawberry Fare

Our trip down south coincided with the Waimate Strawberry Fare, a celebration of the local crop that has become a well known event. We parked at the home of Waimate legendary teacher Mary Firth (also fantastic Aunty) and headed inside for a chat. Mary produced a suitcase full of interesting things for Alayna to play with including a small tea set that got some good use in the time before we headed out. Bridget was also there having stayed overnight after a drip down to Dunedin to wow the audiences with talks on the importance of transport and design in keeping people connected (amongst other things).

Ready to walk to Strawberry Fare

Ready to walk to Strawberry Fare (Bridget explaining to Alayna the importance of transport and design in keeping people & teddy bears connected)

House from the garden

Looking to Mary’s house from the lovely garden

Rose in bloom

Rose in bloom

It was a pleasant walk to the Fare and we took a path through the nearby Victoria Park and checked out the birds. We were all impressed by a peacock in full display mode as it tried to get the attention of a frankly disinterested female. We caught up with Mary and Bridget just past the old Empress Flour Mill and then crossed the road to enter the Fare which was spread over Boland Park and Seddon Square.

Old silo

Old silo

There were many many stalls selling everything from handmade crafts to radio controlled helicopters, a variety of food and drink including plenty of strawberries and live entertainment. The raffle reminded me of those that took place (and probably still take place) at the Rangitata Huts every new years, the board rattling around as tickets were sold. Alayna wanted to look at and touch everything and loved some of the toys on display. She climbed into a comfy seat (also for sale) and would have been quite content to stay put if we’d given her food and a hand-knitted doll to play with. We watched a pipe band walk by and I considered talking to some extravagantly dressed steampunk aficionados about a photo but in the end didn’t manage to make up my mind in time.

Raffle

Raffle

Comfy

Comfy

Playing a tune

Playing a tune

We bought lunch and some more shoes for Alayna and then it was time to head back to Timaru and for Alayna to have a sleep. In the afternoon Keryn made a cake for the following days birthday celebration and Alayna got to have more cousin time. As well as Mum’s birthday the next day we’d also be driving north on the first part of our journey home so some preparation for that was also required.

Time for a story

Time for a story

Timaru for a few days

From Hanmer Springs we continued on towards Timaru with a couple of stops in Christchurch, one to pick up some duplo we’d bid for on TradeMe and a second stop at Riccarton Mall to stretch the legs. We were looking for some new shoes for Alayna and found a pair on big discount at Rebel Sport that did the trick, even if they were a bit more bling than we’d normally buy. Alayna loved for sparkle shoes so that’s the main thing I guess (and they were a good fit and were made well of course).

We arrived in Timaru in the evening and it was good to see Mum and Dad. Not so good was Dad being hospitalised later that evening with what turned out to be food poisoning. This meant in the end that Dad missed being at home fro Mum’s birthday but there was a silver lining of sorts with some planned tests for other complaints being brought forward because of being in hospital already but it was a long week for Dad to be in an isolation room. Thankfully there was plenty of family around so we were all visiting every day, dutifully putting on out gloves and plastic aprons each time before sitting down for a chat. Dad’s much better now which is good.

Alayna loves new places and toys which are different to those we have at home so she was kept interested by the things available at my parents place. Exploring was also on the agenda and Alayna liked looking around and finding things to look at, touch and feel.

Alayna at play

Alayna at play

Checking out cobwebs

Checking out cobwebs

We had a look around the Timaru shops and spend a morning down at the Caroline Bay playground and then playing around at the Timaru aquatic centre where we managed to get the childrens areas mostly to ourselves.

Around and around

Around and around

Horse riding

Horse riding

Drive time

Drive time

My brother’s family is down the road from my parents place and we had a few afternoons there as well and Alayna loved to play with her cousins. Again there was an array of new-to-Alayna toys to check out and play with. There was also a trampoline so it was perfect really.

Keira and Alayna

Keira and Alayna

One night there was a chance of Aurora activity so I ended up picking up my brother and he showed me a good local spot for photography out on Adair Road. While we didn’t get to see or photograph an Aurora it was a beautiful night with plenty of stars which reflected nicely in the hood of the car. We did attract the attention of one curious local who drove past us at least three times, turning around and coming back slower each time while presumably trying to figure out what we were doing.

Star reflections

Star reflections

The kiwifruit incident

We left St Arnaud in the morning with a plan to do a morning walk before lunch. This worked out quite well other than a couple of incidents, one during the walk and one afterwards. Lake Rotoroa was the first stop and we had lovely views from the pier and got to watch a swan family on the grassy area next to the carpark. The fluffy grey signets were very cute. We also came across Fergus again with his pax. Alayna obliged with some cuddles for her doll while I took a few photos and then it was a short drive to the start of the Braeburn Walk, followed closely by Fergus and his passengers. We parked off the road and I thought it odd that the ground was hissing underneath one of the rear tyres but I figured it was just air from the wet ground, I made a mental note to check it on our return.

Cuddles at Lake Rotoroa

Cuddles at Lake Rotoroa

The Braeburn Walk started with a wide path, once an access road, that wended its way through groves of tree fuscia before heading uphill through more beech forest. It was again very attractive in the dappled light, moss and ferns covering the ground between decaying fallen trucks and tall trees. The ground was covered in leaves which came in useful later on.

There was an optional branch in the track which took us up to a tall waterfall and we stopped for a snack while I clambered down the steep slope to try and get a decent photograph. Fergus and his two passengers turned up as well and Fergus adroitly navigated his way to the stream bed, something I didn’t manage with my tripod in hand and camera gear weighing me down. Keryn and Alayna were eating while seated on a convenient tree root and when Keryn got up she knocked over the lunchbox tipping out a couple of kiwifruit. One did a cartoon bounce and tumble done the slope, narrowly avoiding being caught by Fergus before landing in the stream and floating away. All thoughts of the previous days alarm were temporarily forgotten as Alayna contemplated the new disaster and as we walked out of the forest there were constant queries about the missing kiwifruit; would it be coming back? where was it now? could we find it? Sad to say we never say that kiwifruit again.

Playing with leaves

Playing with leaves

We stopped for a while and played with the fallen leaves on the track, piling them up and then throwing them into the air over Alayna. This was great fun and I’m sure Alayna would have happily played the game all day.

Walking the forest

Walking the forest

Glen and grove

Glen and grove

Once back at the car I had a look at the tyre again and it looked a little soft but the wet ground made it look OK. Once we were driving I quickly realised it wasn’t OK and we had an unscheduled stop for lunch back at the lake carpark while I changed the tyre. Other than the attendant sandflies taking a few bites this happened without fuss.

Fixing the flat

Fixing the flat

With a good tyre in place we were back on the road and heading towards Hanmer Springs through the Lewis Pass. We stopped a few times, once so I could photograph an interesting sign and another at Maruia Falls.

No Shooting

No Shooting

Maruia Falls

Maruia Falls

As we climbed Lewis Pass the temperature dropped and snow was visible on the taller peaks, rain falling and threatening to become sleet. Perfect timing for a walk. We stopped at the St James Carpark and had a look at the small tarn and walked a short way along the Alpine Nature Walk. The rain stopped and we got some sunshine but it was still very cold with a stiff breeze ripping along.

Top of the pass

Top of the pass

Family photo time

Family photo time

Cute as a button

Cute as a button

From the top of the pass it was plain sailing down the other side and on to Hanmer. We were staying at the Alpine Adventure Holiday Park and Alayna was once again entertained by a set of bunk beds. They also had a good playground and Alayna got to enjoy a trampoline all to herself. In the future travel accommodation may be booked on the availability of a trampoline I think (if Alayna was deciding).

Out the other side

Out the other side

St Arnaud, Lake Rotoiti, Mount Robert and a fire alarm

Day two of our holiday and more walking in store. We again took the Black Valley walk and had a look around the lake shore. This morning’s destination was the Brunner Peninsula Nature Walk and as we neared the start point we could see a group of people congregated at the lake side taking in the view. They were setting up for a group photo and I was quickly identified as someone who looked like they could take a photo so was chosen to take theirs. I ended up with three or four cameras and took lots of photos. The group was on tour and they were all from Israel and having a great time seeing the sights. We let them start the walk before us and they were soon just the odd voices in the distance ahead.

Flying korimako

Flying korimako

Lake Rotoiti pier

Lake Rotoiti pier

Alayna was again singing songs, things like “Where have all the people gone? I can’t see them!” with verses made up by us all. Alayna seemed less inclined to walk today but still managed to spend some time touching moss and leaves. We sat at a bench in a secluded little bay and had some snacks while we watched a swimmer stroke past, a couple of boats heading back and forth on the lake and the changing cloud covering the distant ridges. Alayna also got some more throwing-rocks-into-the-lake practice.

Touching the moss

Touching the moss

The track we were following eventually branched away from the lake and headed uphill in the direction of the town. We came to a road and followed it back towards the DOC info centre, stopping to watch korimako and tui flying around. At the info centre Alayna enjoyed watching a brief video of some eels in the lake and playing with the toys for sale in the shop.

Tui on a wire

Tui on a wire

In the afternoon we drove up to the Mount Robert carpark where Alayna decided to (finally) fall asleep so Keryn kept an eye on sleeping beauty while I hoped out and took a few photos of the wonderful view. We also stopped on the way back and I had a short walk along Angler’s Walk from the mouth of the Buller River downstream. The forest floor track-side was a thick bed of moss, the water a rich green and it was like walking through a fairytale at times and very easy to imagine a hobbit or two walking by.

Lake Rotoiti from the Mount Robert carpark

Lake Rotoiti from the Mount Robert carpark

Anglers Walk

Anglers Walk

The Buller River

The Buller River

Alayna woke up as we got back to St Arnaud so we made our way to the lakeside again so Alayna could play on the little playground. Before that we watched a duck family wander around and as we sat on a bench the ducklings were happy to wander beneath the seat and around our feet, jumping up to snatch at sandflies. There was a tour guide named Fergus who we’d seen the day before and he was showing his pax the ducks, getting down to greet the duck family. We would bump into him again the next day as well (we must have been heading to all the popular spots).

There was more stone throwing from Alayna and badly attempted skimming from Mum and Dad. Alayna also checked out the kayaks lined up on the shore, once she’s older I think we’ll need to do some paddling somewhere.

Throwing stones

Throwing stones

Trying out a kayak

Trying out a kayak

That evening back at the hostel we were reading stories to Alayna in bed when a fire alarm went off. It was very loud in the room so we wrapped up Alayna and evacuated. It was odd to see everyone else in the hostel staying where there were (their rooms, the kitchen and dining room) rather than head outside. There was a cold wind and the odd spit of rain so we found shelter while the alarm was dealt with. Once the alarm was off a search was done by the staff and a helpful neighbour checking the sensors in each room. It seemed that the girls in the room opposite us may have been cooking something or smoking in their room. Alayna would talk about the loud noise for days to come, always with a very serious expression.

A big boat, driving and a forest walk

Our December family holiday saw us take an early morning ferry from Wellington heading to the South Island. Earlier in the year I had won a return sailing with Bluebridge and our first journey across Cook Strait was taken on the Strait Feronia. We spent a lot of time in the family room which we had nearly to ourselves and Alayna enjoyed climbing over the ride on toys and the furniture.

Climbing into a window

Climbing into a window

Once we entered the Marlborough Sounds it was outside to soak up some sun and wander the many decks. On the top deck there was a large open area that was perfect for running around and jumping. We also had a look around at the different sights and sounds both on the ship and in the Sounds.

Jump!

Jump!

Run around

Run around

Trucks

Trucks

No Entry

No Entry

Marlborough Sounds skyline

Marlborough Sounds skyline

Arriving at Picton we were going to stop to get some supplies but Alayna quickly fell asleep so we just drive onward to Blenheim and did our shopping there instead, Alayna continuing to snooze. Then we were back on the road and heading inland towards the Nelson Lakes region and our destination for the next few nights St Arnaud.

We stayed at Travers-Sabine Lodge which is a tidy hostel. There were not many other people staying which helped keep the place quiet as well. This also meant we could take up a decent amount of shared fridge space without upsetting anyone. We had a private room containing three bunk beds and Alayna had a great time climbing ladders and mucking around on the top bunks. SO while Alayna played we unpacked the car and got ready for a walk.

Heading out the back of the lodge we had direct access to the Black Valley walkway which ran alongside the Black Valley stream towards its source at Lake Rotoiti. Our first wildlife encounter happened soon after we started walking upstream and watched an adult weka walk across the stream closely followed by three juveniles. All four weka seemed none too concerned by us as we watched them wander by.

Lake Rotoiti views

Lake Rotoiti views

After taking in the view down the lake we chose to walk the Honeydew Walk which took us from the lake shore into Rotoiti Nature Recovery Area. A pleasant time was had slowly walking through verdant beech forest listening to the constant chime of bellbirds and marveling at Alayna’s singing from her perch in the backpack.

Lancewood

Lancewood

Out for a walk

Out for a walk

Inspecting the path

Inspecting the path

Trees and sky

Trees and sky

Alayna was walking a lot of the time and enjoying her cruskits and other snacks. We’ve been encouraging her to listen to the sounds of the forest, touch the trees and plants and look at any wildlife we find. One insect that made its presence felt, especially near the lake, was the sandfly. We soon remembered that insect repellent is a must in this area.

Alayna portrait

Alayna portrait

Looking down the path

Looking down the path

Ridgeline

Ridgeline

The rusty gate

The rusty gate

As the evening came one we were on our way back to the lodge, stopping a few times for photos and to check out interesting things like the wee orchids growing next to the track or the lovely old gate that guarded a path leading into a dark grove of trees. Then it was the normal routine of dinner and the “put Alayna to bed” game (I’m sure Alayna thinks its a game anyway).

A photowalk and Bird of the Year

With longer days and the promise of warmer weather we’ve been getting out and about making the most of the opportunities outdoors. Earlier this month was the latest Scott Kelby worldwide photowalk and the Wellington event took place in Petone. This was the first time Keryn and Alayna have joined in and we set off from the Petone wharf as a family.

It quickly became apparent that walking with Alayna meant I would be working any photography around what Alayna wanted to do. Fair enough, as a 2 year old Alayna has a lot of impulses so if Dad wants to take a photograph over there and Alayna would prefer to be doing something elsewhere then Dad needs to adjust. So adjust I did and in the end we adjusted the planned walk around Alayna’s desire to first play in the sand and then play on the playground later on.

Alayna and the sand

Alayna and the sand

Lets all walk on the beach

Lets all walk on the beach

At the playground

At the playground

Taking a seat

Taking a seat

We were never going to make it around the whole walk as planned so we turned back after the playground and made our way back to the end point which was the Sprig & Fern on Jackson Street. There we had a drink or two and ate chips and pizza. Alayna ate chips, lots of chips. Alayna would like everyone to know she likes chips. We caught up with a few friends form the walk and also said hello to Janice and Mike Hay who just happened to turn up as well.

We’ve also been to Zealandia and managed to show Alayna a few interesting animals. First up was a nesting kereru that had chosen a nest site very close to the main track and was easily visible. There was a small group of people having a look and we got to also have a good look and show Alayna the kereru calmly sitting on the nest.

Nesting kereru

Nesting kereru

Moving on we found a chilled out tuatara sunning itself at Tui Terrace. We could get quite close without disturbing the tuatara though Alayna declared she was scared so we made sure to stay at a distance that was comfortable for both wildlife and daughter.

Checking out the tuatara

Checking out the tuatara

More walking took us to bridges that Alayna liked to stomp over and lots of plants and flowers to feel and smell. We saw more birds including a couple of obviously well feed kereru feeding in a small kowhai tree.

Feeding kereru

Feeding kereru

Kowhai in flower

Kowhai in flower

We were running out of time so made sure we were on our way back to the main gate before it closed for the day. Alayna and Keryn checked out the gecko enclosure while I wandered nearby to check out some calling tieke. I was lucky enough to see a pair jumping and flying in-between a couple of trees and ignoring me as they investigated nooks and crannies for bugs.

Looking for food

Looking for food

Tieke calling

Tieke calling

Which leads to the last point, its Bird of the Year time again. Forest and Bird have for a number of years now run a light hearted popularity contest where the public can vote on which New Zealand native bird deserves to be bird of the year. Zealandia has thrown its might behind the kaka this year and currently its a respectable second behind the bar tailed godwit. If you want to see the contestants and perhaps learn a little about our native birds head to the Bird of the Year website and choose a favourite, you’ve got until 5pm on Sunday October 25th to vote.

And now 2

Alayna is now 2 years old which meant a party and lots of celebrating. Alayna recieved lots of cool presents including loads of clothes, many great books and games (the fishing game from Aunty Bridget and the clan Burdett is fantastic). There were a number of gifts that were made rather than bought such as the wonderful rocking horse from Phil and Elaine and the sandpit that I made with a design adapted by Keryn from free plans found on the Internet. Keryn also made a lot of things such as a doll that she’ll detail at some point. In the meantime here are some of Alayna’s new things.

The rocking horse made by Grandad Bainbridge

The rocking horse made by Grandad Bainbridge

Doll outfit 2 - front

The doll Keryn made (including the clothes)

Earl photobombs

Earl photobombs

Happy with her new sandpit

Happy with her new sandpit

With the arrival of spring we’ve had a few lovely weekend days and we’ve been spending some more time outdoors. The weekend just gone saw the annual tulip day at the Wellington Botanical Gardens and we went along to check out the events. Unfortunately (for me anyway) I took my camera but left the memory card at home. So instead of photos from the day we’ll have to make do with photos from the previous weekend visit where Alayna had a grand old time at the gardens playground.

Playground portrait

Playground portrait

Climbing

Climbing

Looking up

Looking up

Sliding

Sliding down

Springtime sniffing

Springtime sniffing

Fun with petals

Fun with petals

Running around at the Botanical Gardens sound shell

Running around at the Botanical Gardens sound shell

Re:Lux

We’ve now visited the Lux festival three times this week. On Wednesday evening there was some rain about so I headed into the city to try and get some photos of lights and reflections. Unfortunately (for me anyway) the rain was light and didn’t hang around so there wasn’t much in the way of pools of water or wet surfaces. Mid week and quite late there were not a lot of people around so I had plenty of time and space to play with.

Rube

Rube by Ian Hammond, Johann Nortje and BMD

Rube was worth spending some time watching. The artwork painted on the wall was given a storytelling element through the use of projected light and sound with different parts of the art lit up and animated. Even on a quiet night there was a small crowd staring up and watching.

Laces

The Laces by Jamie Roberts and Peter Fraser (WCC Urban Design Team)

Probably my favourite lightwork this year is the Tree labelled The Feast of Lights. As intentioned it is first seen framed by a building down a long laneway. Up close it appears like some otherworldly free grabbed from a James Cameron movie. It’s strange and while alone with it I just stood and watched it, slowly moving around and looking at the interaction with the industrial structure surrounding it.

A lack of water

A lack of water

As mentioned I’d hoped for water to allow for reflections. Above is what I ended up with. Better luck next year maybe?

There was an increased interactive element to many of this years lightworks. Circular Ruins looked like a basic henge or simple pillars of light. With movement from the viewer the pillars became a circular geometric enclosure of light. Trying to capture it on camera involved a lot of experimentation and spinning on the spot.

Pulse

Pulse by Daniel K. Brown and Mark K. Johnson

The photo above is only one side of the Pulse installation. I hope if future years more is done with the underside of the wharfs. On a still night the lights on the water were eerie, especially when combined with a stirring piece of music.

The lightwork Vessels of Light reminded me a miniature Weather Project. I think it’d be good to see in a larger space but the small room made out of shipping containers was intimate and interesting to explore.

Tension

Tension by Angus Muir Design and AJ Design Co.

VS 300

VS 300 by Visual System and Thomas Vaquié

More interaction with the little suns that populated this wall. Playing with light was a popular pastime for the passing crowd.

Aura

Aura by Philips Design

Aura was still a lot of fun and there was much experimentation trying to change the sound and light. The sense that people were creating something new and interesting drew in an audience and everyone wanted to have a turn.

Another night and we decided to visit again with Alayna. While Keryn waited in a queue for food I wheeled Alayna around in her pram. We checked out the glowing night time incarnation of Carrello del Gelato with the added bonus of getting away from the light but cool breeze. By the time we decided we actually wanted to sample some incandescent gelato the queues were long enough that the thought of waiting in the cool wasn’t worth it. Thankfully the souvlaki from the Greek Food Truck was excellent.

Glowing icecream

Glowing icecream

Souvlaki anyone?

Souvlaki anyone?

First facepainting

First face-painting

We took the opportunity to see if Alayna would be interested in face painting. Alayna was a little shy but let the woman paint a small flower on her cheek after first watching Keryn receive her own little artwork. We needed a mirror so Alayna could inspect the flower, instead Alayna was happy to play with the chalk and glowing blocks.

Happy at play

Happy at play

Lets go boating!

Lets go boating!

We came across the wandering Light Swan a few times. It was a challenge to get a decent photo and I was rather obsessed at times, something that didn’t help Keryn or Alayna as they had to stay nearby and pretty much just get cold. I need to learn to be faster :)

Playing with chalk

Playing with chalk

Alayna got to spend some time playing with more glowing chalk and she enjoyed crawling over the boards. She also enjoyed watching the nearby incandescent twister, though I think she mainly wanted to just spin the arrow.

Jelly Bloom

Jelly Bloom by Cameron Brodie, Dylan Cole, Ollie Orme-Dudman, Dani Cunningham, and Sam Bazalo

Inspecting one of many suns

Inspecting one of many little suns

And finally there were the mysterious cats. Aloof and constantly on the move I thought we’d missed a good photo opportunity but then as we were nearly back at the car they appeared walking towards us. Alayna was quite taken with the glowing felines, for their part they glanced our way and continued on their way.

Mysterious cats

Mysterious cats

A glowing profile

A glowing profile