These sunrise and sunset photos will take you from the Australia bush, to the beaches of New Zealand and up an active volcano in Bali. Buckle up and get ready to see a few sunrises and sunsets through my lens as nature showed the natural rise and fall to the day.
Up early with the chickens and en route to Barraba, I may not have fully appreciated the beauty of Australia while I was there. I’ll admit I was moderately overwhelmed by the grand scale of the country. Now I understand how overwhelming it can be to travel in a country comparable in size to the USA.
Travel has a way of bringing people together and when you’re lucky, it happens more than once. I visited my friend Francis in Australia, whom I met while walking across Spain on the Camino de Santiago in 2013. We traveled to visit his family over Easter weekend in Barraba, which was quite the drive through the Australian bush as kangaroos hopped about.
Francis was an A+ host. This was the end to the day we went looking for koalas. Although unsuccessful we found plenty of wallabies! The sunset was a beauty that evening. We went to visit his friends who recently had a baby. This is the view from their home in rural New South Wales Australia near Nimbin.
One thing I had to do in Australia was snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, as it’s been on my bucket list for awhile. I’m happy to report snorkeling the Great Barrier lived up to any and all expectations. This was taken during my walk to the ship terminal in Cairns in the early morning. Snorkeling was great, I saw a few sea turtles and even made a new friend named Taib from Brooklyn, New York in the process!
Just because you travel alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. After making a friend on the snorkeling trip in Carins we determined the dates lined up perfectly for a Sydney meet-up. Taib and I went to an Aussie Rules Football game at Sydney Cricket Ground and had a ball.
After traveling in Australia for 6 weeks, I landed in Auckland. Lucky for me I had a friend to visit in New Zealand which made for an excellent excuse to hop a plane. I spent about 10 days in Auckland and this photo was taken from One Tree Hill Domain, a park I enjoyed running in.
This morning run was a good reminder to wake up with the sun. This was on Mother’s Day morning when the world was quiet. I was just about to start my 2-week road trip around the South Island of New Zealand. I remember being moderately homesick ,but also very pleased I was running as dawn was breaking.
I’ll admit it, I was pretty uneasy about driving on the left side of the road in New Zealand. It ended up being so much easier than I expected. Here is my view from the first morning I woke up in the campervan after my first night camping.
The temps were starting to drop in May while I traveled in New Zealand. This was the first morning when I thought “I might want to get a few more layers!”, which ended up being a useful thought. ‘Twas a crisp and chilly autumn morning in May.
I never quite understood the whole “beach thing” until I went to Australia. Being from Oregon the coast is typically a damp and windy place, in which you don’t spend that much time. Australia changed that for me so by the time I got to New Zealand I couldn’t wait for the sandy beaches. I truly enjoyed beachside camping.
This by far could have been one of the most beautiful campsites I camped at in New Zealand. Gorgeous beaches in one direction and snowcapped mountians in the other. When I woke up on this beach it was my last day in the van. I tried to soak up every moment as the sun rose.
I woke up at 1:30 AM to hike an active volcano by the name of Mt. Batur. After a quick breakfast and the car ride from Ubud, we started hiking around 4 AM. s the sun was about to come up our vantage point was socked in by clouds. Just before I took this shot the clouds cleared.
Hiking in the morning is a winning combo for me, as I’m a self-described morning person. I’m learning to become more of a night-owl, but I feel my best in the wee morning hours when the world is just waking up. I can’t wait to get up at the crack of dawn for more hikes in the future.
Bali has been an invitation and my first real peek at SE Asia. As someone who has never traveled in Asia I’ve been mesmerized the last few weeks. The people, the food, and the scenery make for quite the trifecta. There’s been numerous “pinch me” moments in Bali as this land is strikingly beautiful to me.
Taking the time to sit and be with the sunrise and the sunset was a good experience for me. It forced me to slow down when I was on the road. Sunrises and sunsets remind me of snowflakes in that no rise or set is ever the same. Nature has created the perfect bookends to the start and end to the day.
Written in: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Photography note: Photos were taken with a Nikon D3200 HDSLR camera with AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm lens or an iPhone5. Some cropping and edits were made with Nik Collection.