Aotearoa: “land of the long white cloud”

North Island high country. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot on iPhone4, edited with Pxlr Express.

North Island high country. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot on iPhone4, edited with Pxlr Express.

In the language of New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people, our country is called Aotearoa.

The original derivation of Aotearoa is not known for certain. The word can be broken up as: ao = cloud, dawn, daytime or world, tea = white, clear or bright and roa = long. It can also be broken up as Aotea = the name of one of the migratory waka that travelled to New Zealand, or the great Magellenic Cloud and roa = long. The common translation is “the land of the long white cloud”. Alternative translations are ‘long bright world’ or ‘land of abiding day’ referring to the length and quality of the New Zealand daylight (when compared to the shorter days found further north in Polynesia). [Wikipedia]

I particularly like the alternative “long bright world” translation. Living in Auckland — NZ’s largest city — I tend to forget how many different landscapes the country contains just a few hour’s drive from home. My recent trip “down country” to visit my dad was a lovely reminder of how much of this land is still vast open space.

Mt Ruapehu, central North Island. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4 and edited with Pixlr Express.

Mt Ruapehu, central North Island. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4 and edited with Pixlr Express.

wanganui high country2

Late afternoon in the high country, central North Island. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

I’ve been home now for almost a month and feel the busyness of the city oppressing me. I can’t escape again yet, so in the meantime will have to be happy with a few stolen early morning moments at the estuary a few minutes from my home.

Early morning at Greenhithe Wharf. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

Early morning at Greenhithe Wharf. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

Sally, at Lens and Pens by Sally, poses weekly Photo Challenges.  This week’s theme is black and white, so I’ve tried to capture some of the contrasts in light in my landscape.

Here are some other blogger’s take on the theme that I’ve enjoyed:

http://pictograf.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white/

http://streetsofsfphotos.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/dog-walk-in-the-park/

http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white-mixed-subjects/

http://completelydisappear.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/the-twinkling-roof/

http://helpalongthepath.com/2014/05/19/reflection-time-phoneography-and-non-slr-devices-photo-challenge/

http://firebonnet.com/2014/05/19/phoneography-an-ancient-cathedral/

http://walktheselftalk.com/2014/05/19/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white/

http://crazedpotatoes.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/the-twilight-zone-phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white/

http://angelinem.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/phoneography-challenge-in-black-and-white/

http://nwframeofmind.com/2014/05/19/iphoneography-monday-5-19-14/

http://wisnuwidiarta.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/phoneography-and-non-slr-digital-devices-photo-challenge-black-and-white-the-bird/

http://artifactsandfictions.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/rocks-and-sea/

http://allkindsaeverything.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/phoneography-and-non-slr-challenge-black-and-white/

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Aotearoa: “land of the long white cloud”

    • Thanks Sally. I found myself stopping by the roadside time and time again on that trip. It was late afternoon and the light on those jagged hills was magical. 🙂

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  1. Pingback: Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Black and White (Following the Sun to the West and Then to the East) | Lens and Pens by Sally

  2. A beautiful country! The black and white make the photos stunning. I really do love that last photo at the estuary; the peacefulness there can be felt through the photo.
    Thanks for the pingback too.

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    • Thank you. I’m not very good at appreciating what’s “in my backyard” so it helps me to go out with my camera now and then and just walk the ‘hood 🙂

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  3. Great pictures! That’s what I loved the most when I visited NZ last year: the many different landscapes and the vast open space. It’s incredible that Germany is approximately as big as NZ but there live 20 times as many residents here than in NZ. Therefore it was just an amazing experience for me to explore your country. I hope that I’ll come back soon because there are so many places I haven’t seen yet. 🙂

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    • Thank you Anja. I’m glad you enjoyed New Zealand and hope you are able to come back. I’ve lived here most of my life and still haven’t explored the whole country (though I think that happens to all of us, we take where we live for granted). 🙂

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  4. Su, the first and last ones catch my eye as they’re both beautiful in tranquil but very different ways. I find them all exciting as we think about our trip (over a year away, but in our minds often). We just went to an outdoor place having a big sale and picked up some things we’ll want to have broken in by the time we visit. Ahhh, dreams!

    janet

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    • Hi Janet. The first was taken in quite a remote part of the North Island – a bit off the tourist trail I think, but (because it’s NZ, and we’re a small country), only an hour from Ohakune, which is a tourist destination. The last was literally taken a few hundred metres from my backyard. Auckland is surrounded by water and there are dozens of places like this around. Haven’t forgotten we’re going to have a conversation about NZ travel. Talk soon.

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