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New Zealand

New Zealand is a paradise for the landscape and travel photographer.

My wife at the top of Queenstown Hill

I’m on a personal quest to learn the art of photography and it has been a journey of almost 10 years so far. Learning the dials, buttons and possibilities of your equipment can be quite a challenge, but all that knowledge is nothing without a subject to photograph. A great landscape is always a good subject and in New Zealand I found that I couldn’t turn a corner without being see the most amazing landscapes and photo opportunities of my life.

Me and my wife spend a week on New Zealand’s Northern island visiting friends and then two weeks on the Southern island only staying a few days each place to see as much as possible.

Our coaches stopped several times to allow the passengers to stretch their legs and experience New Zealand’s great outdoors. This is taken on the South Island on one of our busrides.

Most people recommend renting a car and driving around the island, but we booked tickets for coaches that transported us between each accommodation attraction. This meant we could focus on the important things and not worry about maps, parking, getting lost etc. I would highly recommend this mode of travel in New Zealand – especially if you aren’t comfortable with driving on the left side of the road. We booked our trip through Discover New Zealand and couldn’t have been happier with the result.

We booked a flight with a helicopter near Queenstown. I took some many photos during those 30 mins., but this is one of my favourites.

My top 5 places to visit in New Zealand

I enjoy reading the travel blogs of other photographers and travellers because I’m looking for suggestions for my own travels. From me to you, this is my five favourite places in New Zealand for taking landscape photography and getting something for your Instagram feed.

1. Mount Cook (South island)

The national park near Mount Cook. This is a must-see!

The area around Mount Cook (also called Aoraki in Māori) is a must-see in New Zealand. The mountain was covered in cloud most of the time we where there, but the hiking in the valley is worth the trip – with or without mountain peak.

2. Arthur’s Pass (South island

The view of Arthur’s Pass valley.

We took The TranzAlpine Scenic Train from Christchurch to Greymouth, but stopped for an overnight stay at Arthur’s Pass in the middle of the mountains range. It is a very secluded place with a small town, but the hiking paths up to large waterfalls and mountain peaks are some of the best in New Zealand. We would love to come back here in the future and spend more time here.

3. Piha Beach (North island)

The black sand of Piha beach.

4. QueEnstown area (South island)

The top of Queenstown Hill. Reaching the top if a tough climb.

5. Milford Sound (South Island)

We passed a large cruise ship in Milford Sound. Right next to the mountain it looked tiny.

definitely worth a re-visit

My trip across New Zealand and experiencing it’s great outdoors both showed me new possibilities as a photographer and certainly highlighted what areas my photographic skills were lacking.

Imagine looking at a mountaintop shrouded in clouds and emanating the rawness of nature, snapping a photograph and looking at the meagre representation in your camera’s display – you know the reality is so much more and you need to find a way to show it in a photograph.

This is what makes photography a challenge, learning and fun experience all at the same time. New Zealand’s incredible nature can do this to a photographer, but I can guarantee you that you can’t leave New Zealand without some photos and memories you will cherish forever …Thinking about it, I certainly need to go back again someday!


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