New Zealand was landscape wise one of the best places I have seen in the last year. But it was also the place where the worst case scenario for any photographer happened to me:

As you may know our car got broken into while we were visiting the museum in Auckland. That was one day before we returned it and one day before I wanted to send my backup drive back home. Two of the reasons why everything was already packed in my two backpacks. It was also the first time that I let my camera bag inside the car. Long story short. The thieves took everything that wasn’t attached to my body. All my clothes, my lenses, my filters, my laptop and my backup drives. I didn’t even have one pair of spare boxer-shorts left. Only the clothes I wore, my camera and the 24-70mm which was attached to it remained. It would have sucked if they took my camera as well but not as much as the fact that all my pictures of the last 4 months (Thailand, Malaysia, Australia and 5 weeks of New Zealand) were gone FOR EVER. 30.000+ images. Gigapixel panoramas, time-lapses, et cetera… Four months of work lost. Some of the best landscape panoramas I ever took. Incredible sunset shots with burning skies mirroring in lakes and the ocean. Gone.

At first there was despair, followed by self-reproaches and finally just grief and hate. Hate against myself for leaving my bags in the car and against those bastards who stole them. It was not until I hit my head really hard in a completely dark lava cave on Rangitoto Island that I realized something… My head bleeding and hurting I finally faced the truth:
It could be worse! I am healthy. I am alive. And most of all: Life goes on. I love New Zealand. Having lost those pictures is just another reason to go back there… :)

So, here is a (small) selection of minor resolution images I recovered from various sources like mails, Facebook, etc. Unfortunately the best pictures of the North Island are completely missing. Enjoy!

PS: Thanks to all the lovely people we met along the way. Special thanks to Rob, Heath & Sue, Peter, Sadie, Jimmy, Paul, Jessica & Thom, … who gave us shelter along the way. Without you our journey through NZ would have been half the fun!

PPS: I also have to thank my insurance company Aktivas for being such a great help. If you need an insurance for your photographic gear, check them out!