Hong Kong Through My GoPro

On our way from France to Australia earlier this year, we did a one-week stopover in Hong Kong — a great way to make the huge time difference more tolerable for kids.

My weather app had optimistic news and predicted 4 sunny days that week. Check out below how that turned out…

I couldn’t be bothered though. I admit I was impressed by what I saw. Growing up in European cities with architectural height restrictions, Hong Kong was both overwhelming and a brand new photo playground for me. Due to the tall buildings I admittedly couldn’t let go off my GoPro and I took most photos during this one-week trip with it.

So did my 2.5 year old daughter (see second gallery in this article). For some reason she loved getting into photography in Hong Kong and I gave her my GoPro with a lanyard around her neck to secure my precious tool 📷.

And here are my daughter’s takes on Hong Kong:

While I clearly enjoyed photographing Hong Kong with my GoPro Hero 6, I came across a few situations when I preferred using my regular DSLR, especially for views over vast landscapes, night shots and close-ups. Who would have guessed?

Here are some of my favorite Canon 60D photos to complete the Hong Kong gallery above.

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Dancing Butterflies In Tasmania

Sometimes, the simplest things are the most beautiful, like thousands of butterflies fluttering across the meadows of Riana, Tasmania in a unique choreography as soon as the morning sun had warmed up their tiny wings.

They might be mating…

mating butterflies Tasmania

…or wandering.

brown butterfly Tasmania

I’m not entirely sure why these butterflies did what they did, but the owner of this Tassie farm told me that the phenomenon of the dancing butterflies only happens for 1 to 2 weeks each year and he has rarely seen as many as in February this year. 🦋🦋🦋

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Backyard Kiwi Release In Parua Bay

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Meeting a kiwi up close is a wonderful moment for kids

If I was to recommend one New Zealand location for kiwi watching it would be the region around Whangarei in Northland. Already a few years ago, I was lucky enough to meet Sparky here. In March 2018, I made acquaintance with Ross and 3 of his friends. The 4 kiwi birds have been released into the wild at Parua Bay (Whangarei Heads), after settling over from the stoat free Limestone Island.

Since more than 15 years, Backyard Kiwi (WHLF) is monitoring wild kiwi in the area and capturing chicks shortly after they have been hatching. The birds then get transported to the predator free Limestone Island off the Whangarei Heads coast where they can grow and get strong enough to stand a chance of survival against all kinds of mammals populating New Zealand’s mainland.

Once strong enough (after 6 months or more), the kiwi are recaptured and brought back to Whangarei Heads to introduce wider genetic variety into the area. This might sound like a lenghty procedure, which still does not guarantee the kiwi’s survival once it’s back on the mainland. Still, the success rate speaks for itself: from previously 80 kiwi birds in the region (2001), the number went up to 800+ kiwi (2018). Their movements are tracked and regularly updated in this map, proving that the Whangarei Heads community can truly claim to have kiwi in their backyard.

Backyard Kiwi is organizing regular kiwi releases. If you would like to use the occasion to meet these nocturnal birds up close, keep an eye on their website or Facebook page, where they announce their release dates ahead of time.

kiwi release parua bay

Lots of audience for 4 little kiwi birds

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Backyard Kiwi staff has been sharing valuable information, like the fact that uncontrolled dogs are a major threat to kiwi

kiwi release whangarei heads

Before releasing the kiwi birds into the wild again, locals and all other visitors had a great chance to see the kiwi live and ask questions

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What a star. Photo. Click. Photo. Click.

kiwi release nothland

This one got a bit upset by all the people and the lack of sleep

kiwi release nothland

Whereas this one didn’t mind and fell asleep again

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Ross was the one who got released first

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On the way to Ross’ new home in Parua Bay

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Home sweet home! This is where the kiwi got released. After catching up some sleep it probably went out to search for food. The kiwi birds can move around freely and aren’t forced to stay at their release place. Some of them have been tracked over a distance of 10 kilometres.

Here is a short bonus video from the moment when the kiwi got placed into his new home in Parua Bay. Good luck little fellow!

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Photo Essay: El Hierro

After visiting El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, I have been approached several times by people asking us how much time to spend there. Obviously, it all depends on your holiday style. If you love spending quiet days at the beach you can stay there forever. But if you are interested in visiting all the popular corners recommended in travel guides, I’d say 1 week is perfect, especially if you travel with kids and don’t want to (read can’t) go at a crazy speed.

Here are my personal highlights from our week in El Hierro. Please click through the gallery to read the captions for more details…

And here is a short bonus video of some crabs in La Caleta, fighting against the strong waves of the sea. I filmed this on our way out from the public pools in La Caleta. Who’s up for a bath?

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Sun(🌇=’set’, 🌅=’rise’) Time On The Canary Islands

Sunset Lanzarote

The blue hour is not only my happy hour :)

Before moving to the Canary Islands for 3 months, I had read in several travel guides that the Spanish archipelago is a perfect location to capture stunning sunrises and sunsets above the mountains and the sea. As you can see, I was not disappointed!

Here is my personal list of the best places on the Canary Islands to catch amazing, colorful and inspiring sunrises and sunsets. Happy shooting!
💛🧡❤💜💙

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I Did It: Tandem Paragliding In Tenerife

paragliding tenerife sunset

Paragliding has been something that I wanted to do since ages. #BucketList

After watching heaps of curageous people with a parachute landing at the beach in front of our apartment in Puertito de Güimar for two months, it was time to book a seat for myself. #DailyTemptation

Because I simply love looking at things from above and I show no signs of vertigo. #LuckyMe

So all I had to do, was to run 5 steps down a volcano, hold the GoPro, lean back and enjoy. #AnytimeAgain

Tandem Paragliding Tenerife

Final preparations in Teide National Park

Tandem Paragliding Tenerife

Go go go!

Tandem Paragliding Tenerife

Flying above Teide National Park

Tandem Paragliding Tenerife

Flying above Puerto de la Cruz

Tandem Paragliding Tenerife

It’s a small world!

Tandem Paragliding Tenerife

A little “hello” for the family waiting at the beach

Tandem Paragliding Tenerife

#Happiness

The End Of Year Season On The Canary Islands

Now that most municipalities here are starting to take down their Christmas decorations, I feel it’s time to wrap up my end of year impressions from the Canary Islands.

Admittedly, I was really hoping to explore new Christmas markets.
I got disappointed.
There weren’t any.

But while I was looking for opportunities to spoil my palate with Quarkbällchen and Glühwein, I came across many colorful Christmas light decorations — even in the tiniest village you can imagine. Wherever you go end of December, beginning of January on the Canary Islands, a bright Feliz Navidad or Felices Fiestas will hit your eye, while small LEDs in star and ribbon shapes serve to illuminate the streets and popular promenades.

After New Year’s Day, Christmas usually seems faaar away for me. But not this year!

I was thrilled to finally discover something new in January. Christmas themed sand sculptures and La Cabalgata de Reyes Magos, the parade of the Three Kings that actually bring the presents. Not Santa!

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