This tour is led by three professional landscape photographers and places are limited to 14, to ensure a ratio of 4-5 people per leader enabling maximised tuition. We are fortunate to have the knowledge of Richard Young who is joining Sue and Ben on this tour who has a huge wealth of knowledge of New Zealand having made the country his home. This has enabled us to put together a truly specialised photographic tour.
New Zealand is a landscape photographer’s dream; the country offers some of the most contrasting and diverse landscape of any small country, from snow-capped mountains to temperate rainforest and wild coastlines. During this 20 day tour we will photograph some of the country’s best untouched wilderness in numerous national parks, including the two world heritage areas of Te Wahipounamu and Tongariro. As well as the endless amazing landscapes, this tour will also offer the chance to photograph some of the country’s best coastal wildlife including albatross, gannets, penguins and fur seals.
The tour will start in the city of Christchurch. After a night here we will head for Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, where we will stay for two nights (at Mount Cook village – not the mountain itself!). Our first morning will see us taking a dawn flight in ski planes up to the Tasman Glacier to land at some 7,000 feet and catch the first rays of sunshine on the mountains. This is a great photo opportunity and there will be time for a walk “on the top of New Zealand”. During our visit to Mt Cook we will also explore the terminal moraine lake of the Tasman Glacier by boat, with fantastic photographic opportunities as we navigate between huge dripping ice-faces and iceberg formations. Mt Cook, like a number of other locations that we will visit during the tour, has amazing clear skies with no light pollution, offering the chance to photograph the Milky Way.
We will then travel down to Fiordland, spending a night at Lake Te Anau before heading out on an overnight cruise in beautiful Doubtful Sound - far more remote and scenic than the well-known Milford Sound. On board there are excellent photo opportunities of waterfalls, rainforest and mountains. After our time on the boat we will head to Queenstown with time to explore the beautiful Lake Wakatipu and surrounding mountains.
The next part of our journey will take us up the West Coast through some of New Zealand’s most untouched wilderness. We will spend 2 nights at the remote Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge, spending our time here walking though superb rainforest foliage and photographing beautiful ferns and forest giants. Our accommodation here also offers access to Monro Beach on the wild Tasman Sea; this particular beach is noteworthy as a breeding site for about thirty pairs of the very rare Fiordland Crested Penguins.
Heading further up the West Coast we will stop at the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, where we will have some free time with the option of exploring the glaciers on foot or by helicopter. For those more interested in wildlife there will also be the option of a boat trip to photograph the beautiful White Herons and Royal Spoonbills that nest in the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve.
Continuing north we will reach Punakaiki and the famous Pancake Rocks rock formations. We will have two nights here to explore this wild coastline and venture into the “lost world” wilderness of Paparoa National Park.
The next leg of the tour will focus on some of the country’s best coastal wildlife. We will head out on a boat over the Kaikoura Canyon to photograph albatross and a variety of other seabirds. This is an amazing experience as we will have some of the world’s largest birds flying right over the boat and landing on the sea next to us; if we are lucky we might also see dolphins and whales while we are out in the boat.
To read the full itinerary and for further information please visit website.