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

TPOTY shortlist & Travis visits for the weekend

Got a nice email the other day to make up for Photo5 disappointment. One of my entries for the UK based Travel Photographer of the Year competition has been short listed (i.e. down to the final 25 entries). This is a big international competition and even if I don’t get any further at least it shows I’m doing something right. I’m short listed in the TPOTY New Talent Category and these are the photos that make up the portfolio:

Traveller's Tale: Flat tyre, flat landscapePhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Flat tyre, flat landscape.

Traveller's Tale: Camping in PatagoniaPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Camping in Patagonia.

Traveller's Tale: Campfire under the moonPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Campfire under the moon.

Traveller's Tale: A new dayPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

A new day.

The weekend just gone saw Travis fly down from Auckland for a short two day visit. This coincided nicely with the All Whites “One shot for glory” match vs. Bahrain, so that sorted out Saturday night. After picking Travis up at the airport we drove out to Island Bay and found somewhere for some brunch. We ended up at a seaside place called The Bach and had some good food while watching the waves crashing. It was a windy day that just got windier, our post-brunch walk along Owhiro Bay watching sets of waves swell up and crash against the rocks.

Owhiro Bay WavesPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Owhiro Bay Waves

Heading home to Epuni we had lunch and played on the Wii. We had been thinking of getting the train in for the football but a review of the timetable (unhelpful not changed from a normal Saturday evening) and the thought of waiting a hour for a train after the match quickly changed our transport from train to car. So we drove in and parked by Catherine’s place, turning up early for our pizza dinner with Catherine, Paul, Keston, Jon and Greg. Once the pizza was eaten we (being Catherine, Jon, Travis, Keryn and myself) wrapped up and headed out to join the crowds walking to the stadium. There was quite a buzz and while it was cold and windy no one seemed to mind, the mood buoyant. Many people were dressed in white, a surprising number in boiler suits or coveralls.

Keryn and I had not been to an event in the Stadium before (the home show held in the concourse doesn’t count) and it was nice to see how minimal the fuss was getting past the gates and inside to our seats. We had good seats facing east pretty much in line with the 18 yard box for the home end in the first half. The good crowd mood continued inside the ground and the yellow seats of the stadium were soon enough almost gone behind a sea of white (with the occasional black) clothed people.

Westpac StadiumPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Westpac Stadium packed for the World Cup qualifier

The game itself was great, the crowd really getting into the spirit of things with chanting and the obligatory ohs and ahs whenever the ball went near a goal. Bahrain started the better team in both halves but after weathering the storm the All Whites came back into the game more assured and looking the more dangerous. The crowd quickly cottoned on to the Bahrain play acting; the first foul resulting in a Bahrain player writhing around on the ground only to spring up and race away as soon as the free kick was awarded.

The All Whites goal came after a period of pressure on the opposition goal, a number of corners coming across and finally the perfect ball meeting the rising head of Rory Fallon and flying into the net. The crowd went nuts and with only a few minutes until half time the atmosphere was perfect at the break.

Fallon gets to the ballPhoto by Brendon & Keryn

Rory powers the ball home

There were anxious moments in the second half, especially when the All Whites conceded a penalty. Thankfully Mark Paston was up to saving the admittedly weak shot, another massive roar from the crowd and despair for the Bahrain team. The kiwis held on, near the end almost scoring again, and the referee called full time to send the All Whites on their way to the World Cup next year.

We Won!Photo by Brendon & Keryn

White is the new Black?

Sunday morning we took Travis out to Kaitoke for a short walk. The weather wasn’t the best but thankfully the rain stopped as we started walking. We had the track to ourselves (most people were probably drinking at Toast Martinborough) and the sun even came out a couple of times. At the end of the walk we went own to the river and watched some ducks and a solitary duckling searching for food at the waters edge, all very peaceful.

IMG 6735Photo by Brendon & Keryn

The Rivendell set for the Lord of the Rings movies was built around the bend of this river

IMG 6741Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Ducks of Kaitoke

Heading back towards Wellington we had some lunch at a bakery in Upper Hutt and then relaxed at home before heading into Wellington to meet Amanda and Jocelyn at the Parade Cafe. Jocelyn is getting married next year and Amanda had suggested I be considered as the photographer so we talked about requirements and also about Amanda’s forthcoming move up to Auckland.

With time to kill before Travis flew out we drove around Miramar and took photos at Hallswell Point and Seatoun with a flying visit to the Weta Cave (which I didn’t think would be open, but was) in between.

IMG 6798Photo by Brendon & Keryn

The Hallswell Point Lighthouse

IMG 6806Photo by Brendon & Keryn

The Seatoun Marine parade Wharf

Travis was dropped off and flew out safely and we went home to again relax and watch a movie. Another busy weekend completed in windy Wellington.

Kaitoke

Saturday evening we went for a drive and ended up at the entrance to Kaitoke Regional Park, north of Upper Hutt. The plan had been to go for a walk but we left it too late so we had revised to checking out the place in preparation for a visit Sunday morning. The park turned out to be closed anyway and on the other side of the road barrier there was a car with four woman inside, stuck on the wrong side of the barrier and apparently locked in. Keryn got out and established the barrier was locked with a padlock while I parked the car. When I checked the padlock I found it unlocked so it was a simple matter to unhitch the barrier and let the stuck people out. Good deed for the day I guess.

Keryn did some baking Saturday night and the trail slice was iced before we set out Sunday morning. The weather wasn’t the best, a misty rain coming down and cooling the already not warm air. Still, a walk would soon warm us up. We were only heading on a short walk anyway, and hour and half or so.

We started walking the Swingbridge Track but it was only a couple of minutes before we diverted to have a look at the spot where Rivendell was filmed in the Lord of the Rings movies. There were a few signs explaining what was here during filming and a platform set up for people to stand on and recreate the Legolas hero shot (see an example about a third of the way down on this page). The glade looked nice for a picnic but the passing of LOTR tourists was obviously having an effect as parts of the path were fenced off so the ground and plants could recover.

Back on the main path we walked a short way further before taking another diversion down to the river. We took a few photos at the riverside and by the track on the way back to the main path.

IMG 0916Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Beside the Hutt River

IMG 0924Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Greenery

We took more photos, well I did and Keryn had to retire her camera as it has started playing up with the screen covered in purple lines that also appear on the shots. The path took us past an old water filtration building, over a tall concrete bridge and then back towards the car park following the river again.

IMG 0931Photo by Brendon & Keryn

The Hutt River enters a gorge

IMG 0934Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Fungi beside the path

We finished at the swing bridge, crossing over past a group of woman making very tentative steps as the bridge moved. We’ll definitely be back for longer walks and this will be a good place for picnics as well when the weather improves.

IMG 0942Photo by Brendon & Keryn

Keryn on the swing bridge