Wither Hills Farm Park

Images from our recent visit to New Zealand

This 1,100 hectare reserve is located on the southern boundary of Blenheim, New Zealand and provides extensive walking, running and biking opportunities. One thing that sets this apart from more common hiking destinations is the lack of trees. It is a soil conservation project and working farm complete with grazing cows and sheep (watch your step). Except for the lower portion of a few ravines it is mainly treeless.

Here is the beginning of one trail. A short but nice stretch of trees and birds.

Soon you emerge from the trees and the grasslands begin.

I never thought hiking in open grasslands would be much fun but the scenes are very photogenic. Perfect subject matter for minimalistic photography.

The trek from low to high ground is gradual so it wasn’t too bad on my old bones. As you gain elevation the views become increasingly better.

For you photographers, be sure to bring your widest angle lens. The panoramas are impressive.

Curious onlookers as we pass by.

This view is from the top of one ridge.

Heading back down we encounter brief periods of wind and light rain.

We spent about 4 hours rambling through this interesting landscape and probably didn’t cover half the trails. For the most part the trails are clearly marked although we had some trouble at one intersection where several trails converged. Another nice feature is the separation of walking and biking trails, making it easier for all concerned.

If you find yourself in the north section of the South Island I can recommend this excellent park to hikers and photographers alike.

All images with Lumix GX8 and 14-140 lens.