No visitors today — or any day soon

The Bath House, home of Rotorua Museum, closed until further notice. Image: Su Leslie 2019

The 2016 earthquake centred around Kaikoura in the South Island, left its mark on many other parts of New Zealand.

Seven hundred kilometres away, the much-loved (and much-photographed) 1908 Bath House in Government Gardens, Rotorua, was deemed unsafe for use and closed for earthquake strengthening.

North Wing, The Bath House, Rotorua. Image: Su Leslie 2019

The processes of working out how strengthening can be done, how long it will take — and how much it will cost — are underway.

Meanwhile, there are no visitor voices in the rather lovely galleries, and no footsteps on the parquet floors.

Posted to Silent Sunday



Sunset, Oamaru Harbour, New Zealand. Su Leslie 2018

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. — Martin Buber

I’ve never been particularly into the “here we are at the Eiffel Tower” type of travel photos, and as my choice of travel destination has become less and less “tourist hotspot”, my photos focus more and more on the small, the quirky and most of all — the natural landscape.

Looking at images from recent trips, I realise the thread that runs most strongly through them is water — and especially bodies of water during the “golden hours.”

Evening, South Beach, Whanganui, New Zealand. Su Leslie 2018

So perhaps, in Buber’s words, my “secret destination” is a beach at sunset. And it’s true that no mater where I am in the world, if I can end my day watching the sun go down over water, I will feel at peace.

Burke Street Wharf, Thames, New Zealand. Su Leslie 2017.

Mahurangi Harbour, Mahurangi East, New Zealand. Su Leslie 2018.

Posted to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge | travels

Is it too soon for another holiday?


Morning walk, Waiake beach, Auckland. Su Leslie 2018

This time last week I was beginning my last day exploring Sydney; calculating how many galleries I could visit before heading to the airport.

I’m still buzzing from all the art exhibitions and the general noise and buzz of a big city — and longing for a quiet place to collect my thoughts.

I don’t think I’ll be going too far from home any time soon —  but an early morning walk on the beach might be enough.

Posted to Ragtag Daily Prompt | holiday

Postcards from Sydney #4

This is my last night at the quirky and frankly brilliant Collectionist Hotel, so it’s fitting I begin by showing you some of the things that make this place so nice.

I’ve just left “happy hour” — a three hour evening ritual, where the staff put on complimentary drinks and nibbles for guests. I’m normally too introverted for anything like this, but I as arrived home, the lovely young man who has organised my late check-out offered me a drink, and it would have been rude to refuse. It’s a very nice beer (above) for anyone who’s interested.

In general I’m not a fan of Nespresso machines — or of any device that relies on single-use consumables. But, I have to admit, having one in my room has been brilliant. The coffee is really very good. And the little cup — which looks like a disposable — is ceramic.

Even better though is the presence of a jar of loose tea and a pot to make it in!! So much nicer than teabags.

My day has involved lots of art, lots of walking, and too much food (including some breakfast banana bread also provided by the hotel).

I’ve been to the Modern Art Museum and to the NSW Art Gallery. As with any gallery, there is much to love and a lot that I just don’t connect with.

I’ve realised from my photos on this trip, that I am more and more interested in three-dimensional art that works with the human form. My Bondi photos show this, and it was reinforced at the NSW Art Gallery tonight.

Walking, Wei Wang: seen at Sculpture by the Sea, Bipondi.

Shifting Horizons, April Pine. Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi.

The English Channel, Michael Parakowhai. NSW Art Gallery

Veiled Female Bust, Agathon Leonard, NSW Art Gallery

I like Sydney. It is in a beautiful location. There are so many places to eat. Public transport is frequent, reliable and seems affordable. People are really friendly, and everywhere you go there are directional signs with destinations and distances — for pedestrians and cyclists.

But: it is a city that seems to be “under construction.” Everywhere I look there are building sites and cranes and people in hard-hats. That means it is also very, very noisy. More than the traffic and the planes overhead, the sounds of construction are relentless.

Snapshot of development: the view from Pyrmont Bridge.

I have totally loved my time here, but I am looking forward to going home tomorrow.