I have exhibited Fine Art photographs made at Okarito. I work as a photojournalist for 'The Press', and over the years 'The Press' has published many photographs and stories about Okarito and the local area I have gathered. Some of my photographs of Okarito have appeared in magazines and journals as well.
My wife and I own a holiday home on The Strand which I bought a little over 14 years ago. The gold of our wedding rings comes from sand on the beach we see from our holiday home. I am now a constant traveller to my escape place from pressures, which is a spiritual base to contemplate life, fish, whitebait, walk, fly kites, take trips on the lagoon, be creative and catch up with friends.
For me it is the unmodified environment of Okarito that makes this place so special, walks on the beach with wondrous 'sea sculptures' of driftwood, eroded rock and boulders. The forested hills behind the township, buildings which have slowly grown in number but not imposed themselves on the landscape, the snow clad peaks speak volumes of our land of contrasts. It is a town rich in history, once a Maori settlement, later a bustling gold town, a resting place at times of my favourite pioneer, one time bank clerk, dry witted explorer, Charlie Douglas. An old description of Okarito goes... Okarito with it’s bush fringed lagoon, haunt of the White Heron sacred to the Maori and backdrop of the towering peaks of the Southern Alps, no other gold town rivalled it in beauty save perhaps Queenstown.
Change is inevitable, however Okarito has that special charm of being a place that through many changes appears unchanged, it is what draws us most.