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 dotted with wild Lupine, waterfalls, pristine azure blue lakes, old growth forests, and mountain ranges. Also included on the trip is Mount Cook, Tekapo, Dunedin, Otago, the Moeraki boulders, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Queenstown, a Maori haka, plus the Albatross in flight, Yellow-Eyed Penguin and other seabirds and waders.
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
Day 1 | Lake Wakatipu
Our group will
meet in the lobby of our gateway hotel in Queenstown at 11:30 am. The included lunch will be taken at a local winery,
and feature a digital presentation of images you can expect to take on the trip.
Following a short break we'll rendezvous with the departing steamship the Earnslaw . . . always a spectacular scene on Lake Wakatipu. We'll then
spend the afternoon shooting on the lake shoreline, take dinner, and rendezvous
with the late light in a spot where a series of 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Prince Caspian' scenes were filmed . . . on one occasion this was taking place while we
were photographing in the valley.
Queenstown, 1 night
Day 2 |
Queenstown to Lake Wanaka
We'll start the day on the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu, then following breakfast we'll
shoot the bright red power boats that zoom up and down a gorge nearby. It's a good spot to practice deliberate blur besides freezing the action too. Then via Arrowtown and
a bungee jumping photo session - any volunteers?! - before taking to the Cardrona Pass and pausing for
vistas looking back into the Kawarau basin. Photo
stops as we progress will include those for the scenic, the colorful, and the historic.
On to Wanaka for late light photography on the shores of Lake Wanaka. The abundance of wild Lupine will provide all the color you could ask for from wildflowers.
Wanaka, 1 night
Days 3, 4 + 5 |
Wanaka to Twizel
Sunrise on Lake Wanaka, and following breakfast we’ll go via Tarras over Lindis Pass into 'Lupine alley' for a number of stops among the fabulous displays of color. Via Omarama
for a river bed loaded with Lupine, and onto our accommodations for a
three-night stay. Nearby Lake Pukaki affords magnificent Mount Cook views -
Aoraki to the Maori - the tallest peak in all of Australasia at 12,316 feet. We'll be out early and late to explore Mount Cook National Park with
side trips for the most accessible park features. 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
a nearby peak.
Twizel, 3 nights
Day 6 | Twizel to Moeraki
A last look at Mount Cook this morning prior to heading via Omarama once more,
but this time down to the Pacific Ocean via rolling mountainous landscapes dotted with rows of 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!
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
to the Otago Peninsula
The round Moeraki Boulders face east, so we’ll have the best possible dawn light right at sea level this morning. We’ll take breakfast after the shoot is over, then
shoot around Moeraki village. Off down the coast to Dunedin, the ‘Edinburgh of the south’ since being established by Scots in 1848. Photography around the historic railway station in central Dunedin prior to moving on to
accommodations adjacent to Otago Harbour 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
bird life including Albatross and several other species in flight. In the late afternoon we'll detour for Yellow-Eyed Penguins, plus
much more in the way of bird photography.
Near Otago Harbour, 2 nights
Days 9, 10 + 11 |
To Fiordland National Park: Te Anau and Milford Sound
Early light photography followed by breakfast, then on south for a waterfall
that is hidden in what is left of the dense tropical forest. We have a
lighthouse nest, and as we approach the lighthouse we’ll be on the lookout for Yellow-Eyed Penguins,
Albatross and Sea Lions. Then on west via pastoral scenes below 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
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
to Te Anau will include close-ups of the Kea bird, spectacular vistas in all directions, old growth forest studies, waterfalls,
a lake and a spectacular field of wild Lupine.
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 |
Te Anau to Queenstown
A last look at the 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
If at all possible please arrange your departing flight from Queenstown for 10 a.m. or later.
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