New Zealand's South Island in autumn Photo Tours

  Autumn photography tours to New Zealand's South Island
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New Zealand Autumn Photography Tour


This photography tour is not currently scheduled, but we can offer you a similar alternative here

  Dates To Be Determined: Late March and Early April

  12 nights/13 inclusive days  |  Maximum of 8 participants, and a minimum of 3 participants

  $ [To Be Determined] USD per person  |  Single Supplement: 14% of the base cost of the trip

  The deposit for this photography tour is $300. Pay a deposit, or your full trip balance here

  Explore our discounts for client loyalty, early enrollment, 2 trips in 12 months, referrals and more

  Do you have a question? Ask us via email: Click here
  Gateway airport: Queenstown, New Zealand [ZQN]
  Arrival window: For a variety of travel related reasons, arriving one day early is recommended
  Search fares at Air New Zealand, Kayak, or Vayama
  New Zealand Spring Photo Gallery
  Map of overnight locations
  Client responses to our photo tours
  The tour cost, fine details, and enrollment are here

This photo tour will run with one or more participants. Please note that our group limit is not a requirement!  7 places are available at this time
  Updated: Wednesday the 16th of January, 2019

This photo tour will run with one or more participants. Please note that our group limit is not a requirement!  This trip requires the minimum number of participants as indicated on line two above
This photo tour has sufficient enrollments, and is a 'go'. However, do please consult with us prior to arranging your travel for the trip!  Indicates that we have sufficient enrollments and the trip is a 'go'


Photo tours of New Zealand


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Photography Tour Overview: New Zealand has long been the land of the 'Long White Cloud' and now 'Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings' scenes. This ‘Middle Earth’ is 'Aotearoa' to the Maori, and you’ll find South Island to be quite photographically charming with waterfalls, pristine blue lakes, old growth forests, and mountain ranges plus some autumn color. Also included on the trip is Mount Cook, Tekapo, Dunedin, Otago, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Queenstown, a Maori experience, plus the Albatross in flight, Yellow-Eyed Penguin and other seabirds.

Our itinerary . . .

But wait just a moment, first things first! We suggest that you set your camera's clock to the local time, as your images will then synchronize with the times in our included photo tour field notes.

Day 1  |  Lake Wakatipu, Glenorchy and Paradise
Our New Zealand photography tour will get under way with lunch and a digital orientation of images you can expect to take on the trip. Lunch will be taken at a local winery, and following a short break we'll rendezvous with the departing steamship the Earnslaw . . . always a spectacular scene on Lake Wakatipu.  We'll then follow the lake shoreline northwards to Glenorchy where we'll take dinner, and then on to remote Paradise in the late light where a series of 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Prince Caspian' scenes were filmed  . . . on one occasion this was taking place while we photographing in the valley.
Queenstown, 1 night

Day 2  |  Shotover River, Bungee Jumping, Arrowtown, Cardrona Pass and Lake Wanaka
We'll start the day on the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu, then following breakfast we'll be on the Shotover River to photograph the bright red power boats that zoom up and down the gorge.  It's a good spot to practice deliberate blur besides freezing the action too. Then via Arrowtown and the Kawarau bungee jumping bridge before taking to the Cardrona Pass and pausing for shots back into the Kawarau basin somewhat alight with autumn colors. Photography as we go will include historic and colorful Cardrona village, then on to Wanaka for late light photography on the southern shore of Lake Wanaka.
Wanaka, 1 night

Days 3, 4 + 5  |  Lindis Pass, Ahuriri River, Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki
Sunrise on Lake Wanaka and following breakfast we’ll go via Tarras over Lindis Pass pausing for seasonal color as it presents itself. Via Omarama, and shots of the Ahuriri River to Lake Pukaki which affords magnificent Mount Cook views, the tallest peak in all of Australasia at 12,316 feet. The mountain is Aoraki to the Maori. We'll be out early and late to explore Mount Cook National Park with a side trip into the Tasman valley, a short hike for a Tasman Glacier view, and close-ups of the peak light and weather permitting. Our early and late shots will feature Lake Pukaki plus there will be free time around the middle of the day to recharge. We'll also take an excursion to the shores of Lake Tekapo. There stands the Church of the Good Shepherd complete with classic church window view of the glaciated blue water of Lake Tekapo and peaks of Mt. Cook National Park. This trip will also include a trip to the top of Mount John and more.
Twizel, 3 nights

Day 6  |  Twizel to Moeraki via Oamaru
A last look at Mount Cook in the morning before we go via Omarama once more, then down to the Pacific Ocean via rolling mountainous landscapes dotted with rows of colorful Poplar trees, a pair of lakes, and old barns. On to the white-stoned town of Oamaru for a large helping of Victoriana. You'll love this place! On to our accommodations near Moeraki for dinner, and late photography based upon the available light.
Near the Moeraki boulders, 1 night

Days 7 + 8  |  Moeraki Boulders, Dunedin, the Otago Peninsula and bird photography
The round Moeraki Boulders face east, so we’ll have the best possible dawn light right at sea level on this morning. We’ll take breakfast after the shoot is over, then head to nearby Moeraki harbor and lighthouse for a series of images. Then we’ll be off down the coast to Dunedin, the ‘Edinburgh of the south’ since being established by Scots in 1848. Photography around the Octagon, and historic railway station in central Dunedin prior to moving on to Portobello for a two-night stay. Day 4 is set aside for the Otago peninsula where the highlights will include coastal and agricultural scenes, rustic boat houses, and wildlife including Albatross and other species in flight at Taiaora Head. In the late afternoon we'll detour for an excursion to the Yellow-Eyed Penguin colony, plus more.
Portobello, 2 nights

Days 9, 10 + 11  |  Nugget Point Lighthouse, Fiordland National Park, Te Anau and Milford Sound
Early light photography out at Taiaora Head followed by breakfast, then on south one last time to Purakaunui Falls and Nugget Point lighthouse. As we approach the lighthouse we’ll be on the lookout for Yellow-Eyed Penguins and Sea Lions. Then on west through the pastoral scenes surrounding the Kaihiku mountain range, and the town of Gore. Shooting as we go, the Southern Alps will loom in the west, and we'll find ourselves in Te Anau by late afternoon. Photography along the shoreline of Lake Te Anau before settling in for our 3 night stay.
On day 10 or 11 – weather will dictate the choice of day - grandeur in a most spectacular sense awaits us in Fiordland National Park as we depart prior to dawn for Milford Sound. I’ll time our arrival for the first light on Mitre Peak, and in case you weren't aware of it Milford Sound is photographically superb! The post-dawn light will find us photographing along the eastern shore of the sound, and following breakfast we’ll take a boat cruise under the towering peaks with waterfalls tumbling from vertical cliff faces. Dolphins and Seals have been photographed on previous trips. Subjects on the return home will include close-ups of the Kea bird, spectacular vistas in all directions, old growth forest studies, waterfalls, Lake Gunn and more. Day 11 is somewhat of a rest day after the exertions of Milford Sound, and besides free time, we'll spend half a day exploring Lake Te Anau, Rainbow Reach, Lake Manapouri and pastoral scenes of sheep and mountain ranges.
Te Anau, 3 nights

Day 12  |  The Remarkables Mountain Range, Queenstown and Maori Haka
A last look at Lake Te Anau  region prior to heading on toward Queenstown. Shooting as we go the subjects will include many pastoral scenes, sheep, the Kingston Flyer steam train [if active], Lake Wakatipu the Remarkables mountain range and much more. On to Queenstown to check in, then we'll round off your New Zealand experience with a Maori Haka held in a location overlooking Queenstown. The included dinner on the last night of our photography tour will feature an 'It's You!' presentation of clients in action by John.
Queenstown, 1 night

Day 13  |  Departure day
As there isn't any photography scheduled for the day of departure, your flight home can be arranged for any time today.


Photo Tour Photographer/Leader: John Baker, Travel Images Photography Tours
The preceding itinerary is a copyrighted work by John Baker Photographer LLC, and Travel Images Photography Tours


Enhancing Your Photography Skills: Describing the assistance you'll receive on one of our photography tours takes more than a few words, so for greater detail please go here.

Exertion level: This photography tour is classified as 'mildly strenuous' with one exception . . .

When in the vicinity of Mount Cook there is an optional 20 to 25 minute uphill walk to the Tasman Glacier view.  The first part of the walk is straight forward with the latter half being steeper with the path laid out across a boulder strewn section.

In every other respect this photography tour is considered non-strenuous to mildly strenuous

Do you need a Visa for travel to New Zealand?
Travelers from all countries can do a quick check of visa requirements here or here
Our international clients may need to contact the embassy of their intended destination in their own country for a visa. Go here or here


Photography Tour Cost, the Fine Details and Enrollment

Trip Cost: $ [To Be Determined] USD per person not including airfare. A 5% discount is applied to all double occupancies. A single room supplement is required for single occupancy

Single Supplement: 14% of the base cost of the trip

The deposit for this photography tour is $300. Pay a deposit, or your full trip balance here

Included in the Trip Cost: The following items are included in the trip cost . . .

  • Photography instruction throughout the trip by John

  • All accommodations with private facilities [ensuite]

  • All breakfasts

  • Lunch on day one of the trip

  • Dinner on the last night of the trip

  • On-vehicle snacks and bottled water

  • All ground transportation

  • Airport pick-up on day 1, and drop-off on departure day. Arrival prior to day 1 is not included

  • Entrance fees for sites and activities listed below under ‘Admissions Included’

  • Following the trip, field notes describing the time, place and subject of each photo stop, and a disc containing images of clients 'in action' on the trip

Not Included in the Trip Cost: The costs for these items are the responsibility of each participant . . .

  • Airfare

  • Travel costs between your home and the gateway airport and return

  • Any transportation or travel costs incurred prior to or after the tour’s inclusive dates

  • Pre-tour and/or post-tour accommodation

  • Lunches and dinners except for lunch on day one of the trip, and dinner on the last night of the trip

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Entrance fees or costs related to optional sites or activities not included in the itinerary

  • Baggage fees

  • Medical expenses

  • Personal items such as the hotel mini-bar, laundry etcetera

  • Incidental charges incurred at our accommodations such as movie rentals, internet and phone

  • Travel insurance

  • Passport or visa expenses

  • Airport departure taxes, if applicable

Admissions Included in the Trip Cost:

  • Milford Sound cruise

  • Yellow-Eyed Penguin colony

  • Moeraki Boulders

  • Maori 'Ko Tāne'

  • Any other admissions such as a helicopter ride to see Mount Cook etcetera, are optional and not included


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Travel Images Photography Tours: Guided Landscape, Natural History, Macro and Wildlife Photography Tours
Phone: 208-559-8248  |  Postal: Travel Images, P.O. Box 939, Middleton, Idaho 83644-0939