Jürgen Freund is a  photographer based in the Atherton Tablelands, Tropical North Queensland, Australia. Together with his wife Stella he specializes in marine and terrestrial photography from the Australia Pacific and Asian Region and beyond.



Far Out – Far North, a timelapse journey

Although the title sounds like some Arctic cold place, it is in fact from a very tropical Australian region. Sandwiched between two World Heritage Sites of the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics, Stella and I have been living in Far North Queensland for more than 10 years now. This part of the world has some of the most beautiful places on Earth. On the eastern side of the beach is the Pacific Ocean, hosting the largest coral reef system on the planet. On the land side is the world’s oldest rainforest with the Daintree National Park. Then heading west […]

By |September 30th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

WILDLIFE Under the Waves

With great excitement, we would like to present our latest book by New Holland Publishing – WILDLIFE Under the Waves. This book has a collection of stunning images that showcase the full diversity of marine life — from mighty whales and graceful turtles through to huge shimmering shoals of fish and riotously coloured corals, anemones, crustaceans and sponges. The book contains 120 superb images taken in various locations around the world, and with strong representation from favoured areas such as the Asia/Pacific’s Coral Triangle, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef & Rowley Shoals and Fiji’s Great Sea Reef. Foreword is written by our good friends Sue Churchill and […]

Fruit Bats!

Yogi and I have been visiting the Tolga Bat Hospital in the Atherton Tablelands, Tropical North Queensland for many many years, working and becoming fast friends with a wonderful woman named Jenny Maclean.

Jenny owns and runs the Tolga Bat Hospital. She has selflessly dedicated her entire time, home and really, her life to take care of these wonderful winged mammals called flying foxes or fruit bats.

Her equally admirable and steady-as-a-rock volunteer Ashleigh Johnson has had to suffer Yogi’s barrage of clicks and in-her-face photography over the years.

Ashleigh can be seen in practically every nature magazine worldwide which has featured our story of […]

Finalist – 50th Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Now in its 50th year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition provides a global showcase of the very best nature photography. The competition is co-owned by two UK institutions that pride themselves on revealing and championing the diversity of life on Earth – the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide.

There is a major exhibition at the Natural History Museum that tours worldwide throughout the year. The winning images appear on this website, in BBC Wildlife Magazine and publications worldwide. As a result, the photographs are now seen by millions.

Jürgen Freund, Germany / Australia

Finalist 2014  Invertebrates

Firefly fiesta

Returning to the Bicol Region of the […]

Life in the Great Barrier Reef

Onboard the MY Golden Shadow, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is circumnavigating the globe to survey some of the most remote reefs on the planet.  I recently joined their Global Reef Expedition, as a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers iLCP. My job was to take images as the science team surveyed the Great Barrier Reef – the most well known reef in the world.

I noticed quite a curious, but not unexpected, difference in how reef creatures behave when swimming among divers from a tourist dive boat versus the scientists from the M/Y Golden Shadow. Tourist vessels […]

Photographing Great Barrier Reef Mission of the Global Reef Expedition

In 2003, my wife and I immigrated to Far North Queensland, Australia – gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Throughout the years, we take every opportunity to hop on a dive live-aboard or join scientific expeditions to spend as many hours underwater as possible in this great world heritage area.

Joining the Living Oceans Foundation’s Great Barrier Reef mission was a wonderful opportunity to revisit and photograph remote and hardly visited coral reefs very few are lucky to see. For two weeks, as the representing Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, I photographically documented the Great Barrier Reef and […]

Dwarf Minke Whales in the Great Barrier Reef

It’s been a while since I was out diving and snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef. This time I went with the superb liveaboard “Spoilsport” of the Mike Ball Dive Expeditions during the best time of the year to see minke whales underwater. The weather was amazing with only 10-15 knot winds and about 20-30 whales around the boat mainly at Lighthouse Bommie. Water visibility was a bit challenging for photography but workable. It’s a wonderful experience being back on the minke line and I can’t recommend it enough to everyone to try it even once in their life.

While hanging on the […]

Asia Pacific Reefs and Rainforests – A Photo Exhibition in April

Asia Pacific Reefs and Rainforests – A Photo Exhibition this April

The Tablelands Regional Gallery in collaboration with the 5th Queensland Festival of Photography is proud to present Jürgen Freund in a solo photo exhibition.

With the support of the Regional Arts Development Fund and the Worldwide Fund for Nature, this month-long exhibition showcases Jürgen’s stunning images of reefs and rainforests from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Fiji and our very own World Heritage Sites—the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics.

Tablelands Regional Gallery 16 Robert Street, Atherton QLD (in the library complex) Opening Night: Friday, 4 April 2014 […]

The Great Sea Reef of Fiji from the AIR

16 December 2013 – Great Sea Reef

Before our Great Sea Reef expedition started, we were asked by Patricia Mallam of WWF South Pacific what we wanted to photograph. #1 on our list was the most complicated, and I thought, better blurt it out now and hope for the best. I told Patricia we wanted to do aerials. In fact, I told her we must do aerials to be able to see what the Southern Hemisphere’s third longest barrier reef looks like. That was in March 2013. Fast forward to December 2013 – aerial funding secured, we were back in Fiji.

Having just […]

The Coral Triangle featured in GEO Magazine

A little late but nonetheless always relevant! Our big photo story on The Coral Triangle came out in German GEO Magazine last August 2013 and correspondingly, an iPad app with this slideshow below. With so many stories to choose from, our writer Dr. Andreas Weber wrote mainly about the Tubbataha Rangers and the amazing work they do monitoring and protecting the Philippine’s World Heritage Site Tubbataha Reef, a coral atoll in the middle of the Sulu Sea.  

News Alert! JCU Nature Photography Masterclass 2013

A Funeral to Remember – Goodbye Paramount Chief Ratu Aisea Katonivere

25 – 27 April 2013 – Naduri, Vanua Levu, Fiji

We started our journey to Macuata Province first and foremost with a traditional sevusevu in Naduri with the Macuata Province Paramount Chief Tui Macuata Ratu Aisea Katonivere on the 28th of March. It was our very first traditional sevusevu, the first of many to come. After hearing what our noble intentions were, the big man of the province gave us his blessings to photograph his land and islands. For the whole month of April, we had an incredible journey in Macuata Province from one island to another and another, going from village to village, experiencing […]

Sea Cucumber Hunters of Fiji in the GSR

April 2013 – Kavewa Island, Nukusa Village, Yadua Island

Sea cucumber is a high value, high demand Chinese delicacy that is sought after by Chinese traders buying dried sea cucumbers from all over the world especially in Asia and the Pacific. Sea cucumbers are flexible, elongated echinoderms belonging to the class Holothuroidea.  They live on the sea floor in reefs, lagoons and coastal shallows with some species living in deeper waters. They move about slowly over the sea bottom like scavengers, feeding on debris found in the sand and sediment. Some species bury themselves in sandy mud while others are perched on coral or rock crevices.

They are collected from the […]

Yadua Turtle Monitoring and Irris

20 April 2013

Patricia Mallam WWF South Pacific Communications Manager brought her lovely 9 year old daughter Irris to rendezvous with us on Yadua Island – we, coming from Macuata Province and they, coming from Suva. They were joined by Pita Qarau, Turtle Monitor from Yadua Village in Suva and they all took the ferry from Viti Levu to Vanua Levu and onwards to Yadua Island – first by land transport and then a long, wet and bumpy ride on an open boat in open seas to reach the island. It was an early, far and wild journey for young Irris and Pat, but one […]

Yadua Island and Cyclone Evan

19 – 22 April 2013

The 17th of December 2012 will forever be etched in the minds and hearts of Fijians and the memory is unfortunately not a good one. With a maximum wind speed of 270km/hour, Cyclone Evan devastated many villages from northeast Vanua Levu all the way to northwest Viti Levu with more than 8,000 people taking refuge in evacuation centres.

The only village in Yadua, a tiny remote island towards the west end of Vanua Levu in the Bua Province, was one of the most damaged that we saw during this expedition (and we saw some quite intense cyclone […]

WWF and University of South Pacific at work in the Great Sea Reef

April 2013

Our visits to the Fijian villages and the one resort in Macuata Province were made the richer when we were able to document the fieldwork of WWF South Pacific Marine Species Coordinator Laitia Tamata, WWF Labasa staff Koli Musudroka and University of South Pacific Laisiasa Cavakiqali. They were visiting 5 sites in the target reef systems in FIME, the Fiji Islands Marine Ecoregion (two sites in Kavewa Island, one off Kia Island and two sites in Yadua Island) where a study is conducted using underwater temperature loggers (Hobo Underwater Temperature Pro V2 Data Logger) to monitor real time sea temperatures which could clarify links between sea […]

Nukubati Island – the Only Resort in Macuata Province’s Great Sea Reef

14 – 18 April 2013

Getting a WWF assignment to document the world’s third largest barrier reef, we needed to make sure we saw the Great Sea Reef from underwater. Nukubati Island Resort is the only resort in the Macuata Province of the GSR who offered diving as well as many other water related activities. Our trusty WWF South Pacific gang made sure we got to Nukubati Island, to dive and see what it was tourists experienced of the Great Sea Reef.

A most amiable welcome greeted us as we stepped onto the white sands of Nukubati. Happy Fijian staff and our now dear […]

Kia – The Remote Island Paradise of the Great Sea Reef

10 – 14 April 2013

It was a long 4 hour boat ride from Nukusa Village to Labasa Town where we stayed overnight before heading to Kia Island. We armed ourselves for the next stretch of island village living, quickly shopping for a million little things like Milo, laundry detergent, more mosquito repellent, mosquito coils, junk food and most important – getting new pairs of glasses made, all in one rainy morning before heading to the island nearest the GSR!

In Udu Point, while he went snorkelling, Yogi’s glasses shattered in the supposedly safe Pelican case. Very old spare glasses made Yogi see poorly, […]

Udu Point – Freediving the Great Sea Reef

7 – 9 April 2013

The first time we saw the village of Nukusa from the boat, I thought how wonderfully situated it was. It is not a beachside village like the usual but one that is about 10 metres elevated from the sea. And then on second thought, I looked at all our luggage and gear and the thought of us lugging our gear up the hill drained me of all my energy. As we arrived, after much calling for someone to notice us and help, 4 strong young men walked down to our boat and effortlessly carried all our […]

Udu Point – First Sunday at the Farthest End of the Great Sea Reef

7 April 2013

Nukusa Village is the 4th to the last village from the tip of Vanua Levu. It is so remote that the villagers need to use up to 40 gallons of fuel for their fiberglass boat to get to the town of Labasa at Fiji$13/litre, spending more than F$400 one way. So most of them simply stay put and rely on subsistence farming and fishing to survive. And in Nukusa Village, they seem to be totally fine living this way with a certain community order and a disciplined way of life. The village is beautiful and looks impeccably clean […]

Kavewa Island – Mangrove Reforestation and the Reefs

4 – 6 April 2013

A charming activity took the children of Kavewa by storm one overcast Saturday morning. All the school children from Kavewa Village had just come back home for the weekend from their boarding school in Drua Drua (another nearby island) when they were assigned to go pick as much propagules in the mangrove forest as they could for some mangrove replanting session. Like wound up toys, they disappeared like a lightning flash and came out of the mangroves an hour later with red mangrove propagules in their arms. They were so excited!

Mangroves are plants that serve as natural buffers […]

Kavewa Island – Turtle Monitor

4 – 6 April 2013

Emosi Time, son of Kavewa Village chief is known as a Dau ni Vonu or Turtle Monitor. Emosi used to be a turtle hunter, catching turtles for turtle meat offered in traditional Fijian celebrations. Since 2011, Emosi has turned from the dark side and is now a guardian of turtles. Lifting text from the WWF South Pacific website: “The Dau ni Vonu, or Turtle Monitors, are members of 10 local community field sites where turtles are under threat, often remote islands. It was not so long ago in Fiji that eating turtle meat was commonplace; many people grew up […]

Village Life in Kavewa Island

4 – 6 April 2013

We departed Mali Island soon after our last amazing crab lunch to make it to Kavewa Island with the incoming tide, so we could dock right in front of the village beach. When we reached Kavewa by mid afternoon, a welcome meke started as we reached the beach (which we presumptuously thought was performed in our honour) and we exclaimed “Oh how wonderful that they waited for us to arrive to have a special meke welcome!” Apparently and begrudgingly we realised, it was the Fijian Ministry of Information’s activity and initiative to document all current tradition of dance […]

Mali Island – Diving, Spearfishing and Sea Snakes

2 – 3 April 2013

We had a grand opportunity of checking out the Great Sea Reef underwater while in Mali Island. Our Ligaulevu Village host Leone Vokai operates a brand new dive shop called the Great Sea Reef Divers and he invited us to go diving with him. It had been raining non-stop for like the past 6 weeks in the northern part of Fiji and when we got to Mali Island, the rain blessedly stopped. It was time to see the GSR underwater so off we went in Leone’s fiberglass boat with John Robinson as our skipper.

We departed Ligaulevu Village early […]

Mali Island – Mangroves and Crabs

30 March – 2 April 2013

When we first received our shot list from Patricia Mallam of WWF South Pacific on what to document in the Great Sea Reef, one line jumped out like it was in ALL CAPS and in BOLD LETTERS. MUD CRABS! 

I simply adore eating mud crabs. To go to a village or villages harvesting mud crabs from their mangroves, I might as well be in heaven. On Mali Island, thick mangrove forests cover substantial parts of the island’s coastlines. This got me really excited seeing pure mud crab habitat in the thick mangrove forests! I was not shy in telling […]

Days with the Chiefs – Mali Island (Nakawaqa Village, Vorovoro Island and Ligaulevu)

30 March – 2 April 2013

Mali Island

The nearest island to Labasa Town is Mali Island, comprised of 3 villages on the island (Nakawaqa, Ligaulevu & Vesi) and 1 (Matailabasa) on mainland Vanua Levu. We visited 2 villages and experienced real Fijian life head on.

Our first stop was Nakawaqa Village (pronounced Nakawangka) where Macuata Province’s only surviving authentic bure (Fijian bungalow) is still in use by Village Head Ratu Jovilisi Nagatalevu. It was Easter Sunday and Ratu Jovilisi was reading his Bible inside his beautiful Fijian bure hut, traditionally made with tall forest wood posts with straw roof and walls. These […]

Life in Navakasobu Village with Kava, Weaving and Fishing

30 March 2013

Navakasobu Village, Vanua Levu, Fiji

Our wonderful guide and companion Koli Musudroka, WWF Field Officer for Labasa invited us to his village on Black Saturday. He had been telling us about the women in his village weaving a special kind of mat and traditional Fijian wedding costumes made of a reed locally called kuta. So we made a trip to Navakasobu and did a traditional sevusevu with the village elders.

Upon our arrival, we were treated to a community hall with women weaving beautifully fine mats that were all around us. Our intentions were made clear by Koli to his village chief who was his uncle and to […]

Happy Holi!

29 March 2013

Korowiri Village, Labasa, Fiji

While the world I’m familiar with conducts solemn Good Friday activities celebrating the passion of Christ in quiet contemplation, another world celebrates a new year the Hindi way, with the festival of colours! Happy Holi!

We had a free day on Good Friday (which in Fiji is called Easter Friday) as the staff of WWF all went back to their villages to be with their families and loved ones to have a quiet prayerful non-working day. The streets were empty and thought hmm, what should we do today. We asked our hotel security guard, Satish Chand, if he had […]

First Day – Labasa, Fiji’s Northern Division

28 March 2013

Labasa Town, Northern Division, Fiji

The incredibly efficient and fired up WWF South Pacific team in Fiji has given us a packed itinerary for our five weeks stay to document the entire length of the Great Sea Reefs of Fiji. Locally known as Cakaulevu, the Great Sea Reefs is the world’s third longest continuous barrier reef system. It runs for over 200km from the Northern Division’s north eastern tip of Udu point in Vanua Levu to Bua at the north west edge of Vanua Levu, across the Vatuira passage, veering off along the way to hug the coastlines of Ra and Ba provinces in Viti Levu and into […]

Whale Sharks of Cenderawasih Bay, Province of Papua, Indonesia

23 March 2013

I really believe in saying “it’s better late than never”. Well, this post is almost a year late but nonetheless, the experience is still fresh in my mind like it happened yesterday.  As we get ready to leave tomorrow for our next brand new expedition to Fiji, I thought it best to finish 1 back-log entry and start fresh for the Great Sea Reefs of Fiji – and today being Earth Hour to boot!

In mid April 2012, we were finally able to return to Indonesia and accomplish our last unfinished business for WWF – that of making the long […]