Weekend Wanderings: Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium

I can’t recall how often I drove past Kelly Tarlton’s ever since I moved to Auckland. Last week I finally went inside the Aquarium for the very first time. Now I can’t recall what took me so long; what a lovely little place!

OK, it’s not the most convenient place for photographers. It’s much easier to capture the sea in the sun instead of moving animals in low light. I actually had to up the ISO to 6,400 for most of the photos below. Yikes.

And I reached a moment when I completely gave up the happy snapping. Me in low light on a conveyor belt leading through the shark tunnel full of moving fish…you get the idea.

A few fun facts: Kelly Tarlton’s aquarium…

  • …is the only in the world where you can see spiny sea horses
  • …is home to New Zealand’s only colony of Antarctic penguins
  • …has been build into former sewage storage tanks of the city

For more fun facts and information about each of the photographed animals please click on the images and read their captions.

If you wonder about the name: Kelly Tarlton was a New Zealand marine archeologist and diver who wanted to make the wonders of the under water world more accessible to the public. Tragically he died only 2 months after the aquarium opened in 1985.

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ANZAC: Fields Of Remembrance

100 years ago, New Zealand went to war. The nation was still young, its population rather small, and the war wasn’t fought on their grounds. 103,000 New Zealand soldiers (10% of the population) served in Europe during World War One (1914-1918).

18,200 didn’t return home.

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Auckland’s Field of Remembrance in front of the town’s War Memorial Museum, which lit up in red and served as screen for images from WW1 (“Illuminate 2014: Duty and Adventure” by Gaylene Preston).

To remember these soldiers, New Zealand commemorates ANZAC Day each year on the 25th of April. This year, centenary commemorations started throughout the nation, and they will continue till 2018.

As the centenary commemorations will progress during the coming 4 years, the objective for all communities throughout New Zealand is to create Fields of Remembrance with personalised white crosses to honour those in their community who served the nation overseas during World War One.

100 white crosses have been installed already in Auckland Domain. More will be placed soon. (Please click on the images to see them bigger and in better quality.)

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Field of Remembrance in Auckland Domain.

More Event Photography!
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Auckland In Rainbow Colours

Over the past week several locations in Auckland City lit up in rainbow colours for the Pride Festival 2014. I figured there wouldn’t be any better timing than the very last day of the Sochi Winter Olympics to present you some of my photo impressions. Nod if you agree. Cheers!

While it was easier to capture the Auckland War Memorial Museum and The Gantry at Silo Par, the Sky Tower turned out to be a challenge. The landmark kept changing colours twice per second; exposing longer than 1 second would have made the top of the tower white. Thanks to an aperture of f1.8 and a nearly noiseless ISO 1000 I captured Roy G. Biv for a collage of seven frames.

I quite enjoyed this colour parade. Congrats New Zealand for being broad-minded!

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2014: The Year Of The Horse – Auckland Celebrates

It was that time of the year again! Auckland lit up in red and gold while commemorating Chinese New Year in a spectacular way over the past 4 days.

The first Auckland Lantern Festival was held in 2000. Over the past 14 years, many new lanterns have been added and each year more and more non-Asian visitors are eagerly anticipating the event on the first full moon of the lunar year.

For the Year of the Horse festival last weekend, Albert Park was ablaze with light from 800 lanterns. Tens of thousands of visitors gathered and celebrated the festival that has been described as the “largest expression of friendship” between Auckland and the Chinese community, which by the way makes almost 10% of the city’s inhabitants (according to the 2013 Census results more than 112,000 Aucklanders are of Chinese heritage).

What to expect from the Year of the Horse?

Apparently it’s going to be wild! The horse is an extremely energetic zodiac sign. Even if you weren’t born in a year of the horse you can profit; we’ve been told that if we plan big changes in our lives, 2014 is the year to turn plans into reality.

Dang! We are curious now :-)

If you like this article you will also like 2013: The Year Of The Snake – Auckland Celebrates