Motukiekie Beach and Rocks – Photography Heaven


Motukiekie Beach and Rocks seems to be becoming world-renowned.  It used to be a little secret only known by dedicated West Coasters and their friends – and maybe their family, and maybe some of their friends – and maybe some of their family…… you see where I’m heading with this.  Word is out!

Ziggy and Dean at Motukiekie beach out on the rocks

Stephen headed down recently with a photographer friend of ours.  Tides were perfect and Dean hadn’t been down on sunset before to see what all the fuss was about.

starfish on the rocks at Motukiekie beach Great Coast Road

rocky shoreline and cliffs motukiekie beach

Well there is a lot of fuss.  The Motukiekie Beach has to be one of the premiere spots to catch the sunset.  Made famous internationally thanks to an award-winning photo in National Geographic, everyone and anyone now seems to want to head on down and chance their arm at getting that very same photo.  Personally I don’t understand the concept of wanting the same photo when there is so much opportunity to capture your own unique take on the scenery.  It’s not like the light is going to be exactly the same or the sun in exactly the same spot or the tide be out exactly the same distance – is it, or is that just me……

photographers at Motukiekie beach on sunset

Anyway I digress as I often tend to do.  This latest excursion for Stephen was no exception regarding the number of people down on the beach.  Here on the West Coast we are more used to having either the beach to ourselves or just sharing with the odd couple.  Not Motukiekie though, not in the busy tourist season anyway.

photographers out on the rocks at sunset motukiekie beach

In all fairness it is nice to see people enjoying our beautiful West Coast scenery and wanting to capture it and not just take selfies – oh what’s with that phenomenon?!!

photographers photographing photographer at motukiekie beach and rocks on sunset

The majority of the visitors on the beach seemed to be from Asia and they were having a ball.  Most of all though I think they enjoyed watching Stephen and Dean.  They seemed to find what they were doing most fascinating.  Stephen got many a photo of them all taking their beach and sunset photos but also the odd photo or two of them taking photos of Stephen and Dean – very humorous.

motukiekie beach on sunsetMotukiekie beach and rocks as the tide comes in

Once the sun went down the beach was soon deserted again.  Every one seems to know  the “golden hour”  of the sunset but the same can’t be said of the “blue hour” – the hour after the sun has actually gone down.  That can be when you can get your best photos and tonight was no exception.  It was worth staying on and waiting it out.  The boys were well rewarded – but then did have to make a run for it with the incoming tide.  All in all though a successful couple of hours at the Motukiekie beach for sunset.

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the Great Coast Road north of Greymouth.  A paradise for photographers Breakers is a great place to spend a few days and make the most of the location.

 

 

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About coastingnz

Jan and Stephen live on the Punakaiki coastline, north of Greymouth on the West Coast, NZ and run Breakers Boutique Accommodation. They both enjoy the outdoors and are passionate about things to see and do on the West Coast and would like to share their experiences with you.
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15 Responses to Motukiekie Beach and Rocks – Photography Heaven

  1. Pat says:

    This would be a great place to be whether you were taking pictures or not. Gorgeous! And I love your orange sea stars. I’ve noticed them in Stephen’s photos before. They are a wonderful contrast on the dark rock.

  2. Pam says:

    I’ve always known about the ‘golden hour’ but the ‘blue hour’ is a new one to me. Guess you’d have to have Stephen’s photographic skills to do justice to those. Good to hear about the hidden and not-so-hidden treasures on the beautiful West Coast..

    • coastingnz says:

      We’ll take you out next visit Pam for the “blue hour” – amazing how the colour stays in the skies after sunset. I suspect you’ll be very talented at capturing some great shots for yourself 😉

  3. Mama says:

    Absolutely stunning !! as always. Narration and photoghraphy. 😉

  4. Beautiful as always! And I am agree. Take photographs of what fascinates you. But maybe you can learn by taking similar photographs to what the pros (including Stephen) have taken and comparing your efforts. –Curt

    • coastingnz says:

      I know what you mean re comparing but I don’t know that that is actually what they are doing. Seems a shame too to be so focused on that particular photo and missing out on the rest of what is happening around you.

      • I didn’t carry a camera for years because I didn’t want to detract from my wilderness experience. Now I do, and it does. 🙂 But afterwards I have the memories. They always used to fade away. So there are trade offs. And I agree, looking around and finding what excites you has to be much more rewarding than trying to copy something that someone else has done. –Curt

  5. susanpblog says:

    I have friends visiting from Canada – after reading about this beach I would love to take them there as one is a keen photographer. Is there easy access to the beach and do you mind pointing me in the right direction? Please and thank you, Susan

    • coastingnz says:

      Hi Susan. It is a beautiful beach and your photography friend will love it for sure. To make the most of it you want to access from the 12 mile. At the bottom of the 12 mile hill find somewhere to park where you can access the beach and then start walking back to the south. You’ll walk along the beach past the section of “12 mile beach houses” and just keep going. You need to get the tides right as you need time to get to the rock formations and back again. Worth walking from 12 mile though as if clear-ish skies you’ll be looking back to the south right at Mt Cook and that makes for some stunning views with the Tasman sea, great rock formations and the mountains. The rocky outcrops on route to the Motuieikie rocks are fantastic too – heaps of rock pools and star fish. You’ll struggle to drag your friends back off the beach but nice for you to see yourself. Enjoy.

      • susanpblog says:

        Is it hard to access the beach as I was concerned about the ‘ladders and stuff’ I read about on other blogs? Can you give me more specific directions on where to park and walk please, is there a sign? Thanks so much, Susan

      • coastingnz says:

        We’ve never done the ladders/ropes option – personally I wouldn’t do that one. No sign as such. Just head down the big hill to the flat again, park and walk. Basically after the last house at the bottom of the hill – about another 200 metres or so along the road there’ll be a layby, and then walk back along the beach. The ladder/rope option is closer to the picnic area at the top of the 10 mile and then you’ll be walking to the north. For a photographer I’d be doing it where I’ve said so you get the rock pools and starfish as well and the views with the outcrops in the distance and you walk to the outcrops. No matter what you need low tide and a couple of hours of either side of it.

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