Early summer sunrise at Castlepoint, Wairarapa

The lighthouse at Castlepoint is a welcome landmark for gale-weary seafarers seeking refuge from one of the many storms that sweep across this exposed part of the Wairarapa coast. The rocky reef, a mass of limestone that has been thrust up along an active faultline, shelters the aptly-named Deliverance Cove where fishing boats, parked on trailers, lie in wait for an opportunity to go to sea.

Late spring and early summer can bring some of the most severe storms to Castlepoint, when northwesterly winds pouring off the Tararua Range to the west often reach hurricane force as they cross the coast and roar out to sea. The night before this photograph was taken saw one such storm in which I had great difficulty trying to stay on my feet, let alone walk, on the tops of the reef near the lighthouse. Fortunately conditions had eased by sunrise, allowing me a brief hour or so to savour one of Castlepoint’s more benign moods (and get this early morning photograph) before the howling winds returned.

Westerly storm, Muriwai gannet colony

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula

Te Werahi Beach, Cape Reinga

Sunrise at Castlepoint, Wairarapa

Beach face, Spirits Bay

Surf, Pukehina Beach

View from Lion Rock, Piha Beach

Matai Bay, Northland

Young Nick's Head, Gisborne

Whale Bay, Tutukaka Coast

Breaking wave, Tongaporutu

Sunrise, Lang's Beach, Northland

Shore platform, Mahia Peninsula

Otama Beach, Coromandel Peninsula

Shore platform, Whakataki Beach

Pingao on dunes, 90 Mile Beach

"Three Sisters", Tongaporutu