Wharariki Beach Sunset

Wharariki Beach sunset and sunrise

Wharariki Beach would have to be my favourite beach in New Zealand. Being at the tip of the South Island, near Farewell Spit in Golden Bay, it is a long drive to get here, but completely worth the effort. The beach is around a twenty minute walk from the carpark, over farmland and sand dunes. I have heard rumours of wild pigs in the bush, which has always freaked me out when walking there in the dark before sunrise, but quite possibly an urban legend! Wharariki Beach is wide and windswept, and frequently deserted when I have visited. The almost constant wind makes for some amazing patterns on the sand dunes, but the real stars of the beach are the Archway Islands. These two sea stacks stand not too far off the beach in the ever pounding surf. During mid-tide, the sand reflections on the beach are beautiful. Photography at the beach is lovely at both sunrise and sunset, definitely worth staying the night if you have made the effort to visit. 

On this particular trip, my photography buddy Meghan and myself were delayed by a day, after a cancelled flight out of Wellington and an extra long trip going via Auckland to Nelson! When we finally arrived at the beach, with our Aussie friend Reuven, we were greeted with clear skies and wind. Although sunset could have been a bit of a dud, some cloud formed on the horizon and the golden light was momentarily perfect. I framed up the Islands with the tussock covered dunes, and this has ended up being one of my favourite shots from this location.