Sunrise at Lang’s Beach, Bream Bay, Northland

Lang’s Beach, on Northland’s east coast not far south of Whangarei, is one of the more popular beaches north of Auckland. With a broad sweep of white sand backed by numerous majestic Pohutukawa trees, Lang’s Beach is a classic amongst Northland’s many picturesque bays and coves. The Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) flowers just before Christmas, and Lang’s Beach is a truly magnificent sight at this time of year when these trees are fully laden with their bright red flowers.

Both ends of Lang’s Beach are marked by pohutukawa-festooned cliffs, and there are also a number of rock outcrops along the beach itself. Offshore, the Hen and Chicken Islands, named as such Captain Cook in 1769, are formed from the remains of former rhyolitic volcanoes. Dominated by Taranga Island (the “Hen”), these steep-sided islands are now a wildlife sanctuary, well-known for the spectacular snorkelling and diving opportunities that can be had in the clear waters that surround them.

It was a late summer’s morning when I took this photograph on Lang’s Beach, looking out towards Taranga Island on the horizon at sunrise. In the low light of dawn I had the opportunity to get a relatively long exposure (15 seconds), which I took just as a wave broke and washed over the rocks in front of me to give the soft silky texture that can be seen in the resulting image.

Westerly storm, Muriwai gannet colony

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula

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Sunrise at Castlepoint, Wairarapa

Beach face, Spirits Bay

Surf, Pukehina Beach

View from Lion Rock, Piha Beach

Matai Bay, Northland

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Breaking wave, Tongaporutu

Sunrise, Lang's Beach, Northland

Shore platform, Mahia Peninsula

Otama Beach, Coromandel Peninsula

Shore platform, Whakataki Beach

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"Three Sisters", Tongaporutu