Home Bound

Wood Carving river

Its been an amazing two and a half months filming from India, through New Zealand down to the Sub Antarctic Islands on its southern tip, and now I'm sat in an airport on my home to the family, cant wait, its been a long time. I just need to remember how to be a dad and husband again.

Ive filmed Macaques, Langurs, Holi festival, Albatross, Tuatara (reptile, bit like a lizard), Giant Weta, Maori Wood carving, a sheep muster on some of the steepest mountains I've seen for a while, and finally Sooty shearwaters, its been a blast. We used every mode of transport i can reasonable think of other than a train, but cars, helicopters, planes of almost every size.

Sheep Muster


Sheep Mustering as it turns out down here, happens just before winter sets in, the farm we filmed at has some of the most amazing scenery I've been in and Kate and her shepherds get dropped by helicopter to the top of one of the more impressive mountain ranges and over two days navigate their way through this landscape trying to bring down 7000 sheep from the steep summer grazing. All while wearing shorts !!!!! It was too cold for me to think about doing that.


But the final part of the shoot was spent on a small boat in a large stormy ocean, trying to find the elusive Sooty shearwater before this amazing little bird starts it migration from the sub antarctic tip of New Zealand all the way to the California coast, a journey that means it covers roughly 47,000miles a year. The chicks spend all of there time in the nesting burrow until their parents leave without them and then embark on this amazing journey.  We only had a few days to film them and spent the first day clinging onto the boat in incredibly rough seas, but Ive never seen the number of Albatross we had like that before, well over a hundred, Buller Albatross, White Cap and the occasional Southern Royal and all within touching distance.

The trees are full of penguins

This is a first Blog for me, and im currently in an airport on my way home from New Zealand where i've been filming for a new 3 part series for the BBC Natural History Unit, New Zealand: Earth's Mythical Islands.

It’s a country i've always wanted to work in, with some truly stunning scenery.

Its been an interesting trip so far, Island hopping between the North and South Islands. Filming on Rangitoto Island (a volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf) opposite Auckland and Tiri Tiri.

Its true what the Crowded House song says about new Zealand, Four seasons in a day, I've never been anywere where the weather is so changeable, it can go from very cold and torrential rain to bright sunshine in the course of an hour.

But the main part of the filming adventure, was a trip to Snare’s Island on the TiriTiri Yaught skippered and crewed by Henk Haazen and Steve Parsons, a fantastic ship.  Snares is a small island lying about 200 km south of New Zealand's South Island and home to the Snares penguin, the star of our sequence.

Snares is down in the Sub Antartic and I had prepared myself for weather reflecting its location but we got lucky, the sun came out and turned it into a magical place. 

The Snares penguin is one of the only to nest in a woodland and it was our job to capture it journey from sea through forest to its nesting colonies. 

There were two main landing sites on the island, station cove and penguin slope. Station cove was truly the easier of the two and those penguins that were nesting near there had the easier time. Penguin slope however was a 200m slippery near verticle slope, which provided one of the more spectacular journeys ive seen.  Ill miss the little guys as they were full of character and it’s a trip and place ill never forget.