Great trip to the Nihotupu Dam courtesy of Watercare New Zealand's Rainforest Express. Easy to find just out of Titirangi along Scenic Drive. I was hoping to try some HDR shots, but it was rather windy which makes alignment of shots awkward later - especially if you take 5 or more shots! The shot above is a five shot hdr taken looking over the Upper Nihotupu Dam. The light was quite diffused, but there was significant contrast between water, trees, and sky. On a less windy day I suspect you'd get some great shots.
The trip in the train was very enjoyable, but I think I'd like to walk the track one day. Apparently there's an annual event organised between Oxfam and Watercare when no trains run. I suspect on these days you'd see a lot more. The next image is of the lower Nihotupu Dam taken on the way home. This has been modified slightly with Lightroom to enhance the sky and lighten the foreground a little. You're looking south in this image with the Manukau Harbour just visible near the horizon.
Looking at the image I could help but be struck by the number of shades of green. I've spoken to blind people who have since gained sight and they have remarked specifically on the colour of grass. Without being able to see they assumed all grass was the same colour. When they could see they were amazed with the range of shades in a lawn. The Lower Nihotupu Dam shot has a huge range of greens. Quite wonderful don't you think?