A Beautiful Summer Day Strolling Through "Peace Park" in Queenstown, New Zealand


"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."

~John Burroughs

The day before I was supposed to start Trey Ratcliff's New Zealand Photography Adventure,  I was feeling a little anxious about meeting a group of new people the next day so I went for a beautiful  and relaxing stroll through Peace Park in Queenstown, New Zealand.  Peace Park surrounds Lake Wakatipu and is right across from where I stayed at the Queenstown, Hilton hotel.  It was a beautiful day in February which is summer in New Zealand.   People were out enjoying the beach, walking their dogs, and taking in the gorgeous scenery.   As you can see everyone seems very happy and it is indeed very peaceful in Peace Park.  There are no natural predators in New Zealand.  It is also a very safe place to live as far as crime is concerned.

Here is a lovely neighborhood I walked through to get there:



Peace (1 of 1)

Now I'm in Peace ParkPeace4-1-9

Almost everyone had a furry family member with them

 A lot of boats were out on this beautiful day


 The water never gets extremely warm in Lake Wakatipu, but it was an unusally warm day with temperatures in the 80's that day so a lot of people were swimming and so were the dogs :)

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Peace3 (1 of 1)




Here are a few photos of the Hilton in Queenstown.  I stayed in a few places in Queenstown including the pricey five star  Rees Hotel and I highly recommend the Hilton for their prices, the service, the rooms. and the location.



Thanks so much for stopping by.  Have a wonderful week my friends. Please feel free to leave a question or comment and remember your e-mail address will never be published.

 ~ Michelle


Visiting "The Hills" Golf Course in Arrowtown, New Zealand

"It is almost impossible to remember how tragic a place this world is when one is playing golf." ~Robert Lynd

During my New Zealand Photo Adventure I had the wonderful opportunity to visit  

"The Hills" Golf Course  which opened in Arrowtown, New Zealand in 2007 by Sir Michael Hill.  The course hosted The New Zealand Open in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2014.  It is famous for the beautiful flora, views, and especially the sculptures.  Sir Michael Hill has always loved the arts and wants young people in New Zealand to be exposed to the arts the same way they are in Europe.  "The Wolves are Coming" exhibit is on the 18th fairway and was designed by a Chinese sculptor named Liu Ruowang.  Sir Michael was originally only going to purchase 5 of the pieces, but ended up purchasing the entire 111 piece set.  The horse exhibit on the 7th tee titled "The Frolic and the Fancy" was designed by Max Patte in 2013.  Max is based in Wellington, New Zealand.  Each of the horses weigh about 1.5 tons and are about 9 feet (2.7 meters) tall.

 My photos don't do this fabulous golf course and beautiful sculptures justice, but what a wonderful place to practice one's photography skills!



"The Wolves are Coming" reminded me of several scences in the "Twilight" movie series.Golf2

Wolf attack!Golf6

Me in the morning before coffee ;)Golf4

 I loved the landscaping throughout the course!




Here is "The Frolic and the Fancy"exhibit:







 Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful week.  Please let me know if you have any questions remember that your e-mail address will never be published if you leave a comment.  Take care my friends!



My Epic New Zealand Photo Adventure with Trey Ratcliff - Part 2

Along with learning a TON and working with some great teachers and an amazingly nice group, we stayed in 5 star accommodations at the Hilton Queenstown Resort and Spa with delicious gourmet food and snacks served all day.  This was definitely a luxury photo workshop/trip!  We went out every morning around 6:00 AM for sunrise to at least one amazing spot.  We edited our photos with Trey Ratcliff helping us in the middle of the day and  always went on another fun excursion at sunset.  I will be posting more photos of these amazing places Trey took us to over the next few weeks.  I don't want to overload you with photos - but this list is only a fraction of the places we visited.

In case you missed Part 1 of my account of this amazing experience:   


When we arrived Trey gave us a very nice jade necklace as a welcome gift.  He was so grateful that we trusted and amired him enough to travel to New Zealand to work with him.


 Queenstown Park


 Minus 5 Icebar



The Hills Golf Course in Queenstown


Coronet Peak




Tour/hike in Arrowtown


Bendemeer Estates


 Ruins in Queenstown


 Bobs Cove

Dayafter-170Million Dollar View


Queenstown Beach


 PLEASE bear in mind that I am a very amateur or beginner photographer.  Although I learned a plethora of information on this photo adventure, I still have so much to learn and apply the skills I learned.  I just want to do this workshop justice.  For example, Einstein couldn't teach a first grade math student calculus in a week :)  Also if you don't like the photos I shared, I have many, many more that I will share in the coming weeks.

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful week.  Please let me know if you have any questions remember that your email address will never be published if you leave a comment.  Take care my friends!






My New Zealand Photo Adventure With Trey Ratcliff

During my three week stay in New Zealand I made the very wise decision to participate in Trey Ratcliff's,  New Zealand Photo Adventure .  Trey Ratcliff pioneered the field of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.  Over the past year I've become very interested in HDR photography and trying to learn it myself.  There is so much I want to share rearding this experience I will write more than one post about it.

I read a lot about Trey Ratcliff's philosophys and watched many of his videos to make sure this was a teacher I could learn from.  Participating in this workshop was one of the best decisions I've ever made, some of the most fun I've ever had, and a great learning experience not to mention worth every penny and then some!  I really couldn't have hoped for more!  To learn more about these adventures please visit:  


I must admit that I was very intimidated to join this photo workshop.  I travel a great deal and decided to explore the world of photography more to enhance my many adventures and it definitely has! I started using a DSLR camera less than a year ago and had no idea what how to use it at all until about 6 months ago so I was very worried that I might feel uncomfortable, I did NOT at all, AND I've always believed that one should:  

 "Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new."

 ~Brian Tracy

The older I get, the more I realize that I am actually most comfortable out of my comfort zone!

 I am only going to share a few photos in this post.  The HDR process is very new to me, as is photography in general.  However, I do understand it now and will continue working on improving and enjoying it!  Here are just a few of my very first attempts at creating HDR photos so I'm hoping you will see improvement over time :)

Here is what's called the million dollar view.  I don't think I need to explain why!


 The following two photos were taken at a beautiful area called Bendemeer Estates at sunrise:


 Loved the balloons!Balloons12

Here is a photo taken in a lovely town named Arrowtown:


 The following two photos were taken at a very picturesque area called Bob's Cove:



Here are a couple of photos taken near Glenorchy:



 "I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk."

~Tony Robbins

Thanks so much for stopping by. I will be writing more about this incredible experience soon!  Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.  Take care my friends!



Riding To the Top of the World On the Skyline Gondola in Queenstown, New Zealand

OK so riding the Skyline Gondola in Queenstown, New Zealand is not the top of the world - that would be Mount Everest, but I felt like I was on top of the world.  For me, this was such a beautiful and exhilarating experience!  People are always and I mean ALWAYS irritating  asking me why I like to travel so much and this quote explains my answer perfectly:
"Travel brings power and love back into your life.” 
~ Rumi
 The tree pictured above looks like a palm tree and a little out of place but it's actually called a cabbage tree and only grow in the very South Pacific
 The water in the lakes truly is as blue as my photos show!  I've been told by the people who live here that it's more blue or aqua than usual due to the glacial feed to the lakes.  I've also been told that it's usually OK to drink it too which I thought was pretty unusual and great for camping.  HOWEVER, I would not recommend anyone drink it unless they knew for certain.




 There is a very nice restaurant and some cool gift shops where you get off the gondola.  It was a hot day and I couldn't resist this three berry frozen fruit drink:Gondolaa-4

I loved this sign at the top.  I think they should have A LOT more of these around the world ;)Gondola-102

  I have a little bit of a fear of heights, but wasn't afraid on the gondola.  I thought the chair lift you can ride up even higher on the mountain was a little scarier...I didn't dare take my hands off the arm bar to take any photos.




Gondola-92 Gondola-99I love these touristy photos they take of you on these rides.  I thought the $15 they charge was a little steep, but who knows when I'll get back here!
GondolaaI let the kids enjoy the luge ride down the mountain since I'm not a great driver :)

The A frame building in the photo below is the restaurant

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I love to read your comments or questions and and reading other people's blogs as well.  Your e-mail address will never be published.  Until next time, take care my friends!