It’s been a while since I have travelled south, that is, across the ditch and into the South Island of New Zealand – in fact almost 20 years, and I’m so glad I did. A holiday this time – for pleasure, not work. But as my wife always complains, we are never alone as the trusty camera is never far away (about arm’s length) – so much so that she has given it a name, Susan! So this is a short tale of me and Susan heading south.

The south seems to have a different feel to that of the north – it’s subtle, but as I write this, I realise that the people are seemingly more relaxed, friendly and definitely more ‘rural’. That doesn’t mean to say that life isn’t hard. You only have to look around to see small communities struggling to survive and maintain their identity and integrity. So many places seem to rely on the travelling dollar – tourists and travellers in transit from one fantastic vista to another. But that isn’t what the South is all about. It is what, and cynically so, it has been forced to become.

Here are a few of the 1,800 photos I shot in the week we were there.

Chevrolet Car at Garage Museum, Burkes Pass

Taramakau joint Road & Rail Bridge

Free Public Library, Hokitika Museum

Disused Shop_20 Palmeston Street_Westport

Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry Crossing_Saris in Wind

131226_Rocks in evening, Kaikoura Harbour_South Island_9472

131228_Look North from Punakaiki, SH6_South Island_9633

131228_West Coast beach at Cobden, Greymouth_South Island_9719

131229_Lake Ianthe Matahi_West Coast_South Island_9857

131229_Our Lady of the River Community Church, Jacobs River_West Coast_South Island_9948

131229_Red Rocks_Glacier Valley, Franz Josef_West Coast_South Island_

131230_Ben Ohau Range_Lake Pukaki_Southern Alps_-1

131230_Lake Pukaki and Gamack & Liegig Ranges_Southern Alps_0120

131230_Tree at Omarama to Barrier Range_Otago_South Island_0059

131231_Dawn clouds over Ben Ohau Range_Lake Pukaki_Southern Alps_0272