The Breathtaking Landscapes of New Zealand
Written 6 years ago by Mark Evans
Well I’m going back home to good ole NZ today, so I thought what would be more appropriate than a New Zealand Photo Location guide. It has to be one of the most naturally stunning places to visit and photograph, and I’d have to say, I’m really looking forward to getting out there and shooting some landscapes. New Zealand has an abundance of lakelands, forestry and alpine scenery, and unlike a lot of tourist destinations, if you try, you can actually find yourself alone amongst all this splendor, which is great when you just want to get away from it all.
Lake Pukaki & Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki are both glacier/snow fed from the surrounding mountains and hills giving them both an almost surreal bright turquoise colour. Set amongst a baron landscape with a backdrop of snow covered mountains, it’s not surprising these two lakes are tourist magnets, but a worthwhile visit none-the-less and it is possible to escape the crowds to explore. Great for: Water shots, general landscapes, possibility of wildlife (birds)
A haven for walking, mountain biking and boating, it’s not surprising the little towns in and around Banks Peninsula can bulge with holiday makers, but on any other day returns to its leisurely pace, perfect for wildlife photography. The french influenced town of Akaroa offers a pretty departure point to observe some of the best marine life around. Jump on board one of a few charter boats to have a relaxing cruise and see the spectacular and rare Hector’s dolphins. On-route to Akaroa is the aptly named town of Little River, and unbeknown to many who drive straight through, is home to the only wild colony of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos that I know of in NZ; a native of Australia, these cheeky parrots can make for some great photos. Also on the way to Akaroa is Lake Ellesmere; a very shallow tidal lake that is home to many species of birds. Find a bird hide to get some nice closeups.
Milford Sound is one of the most iconic destinations in NZ, and for good reason. The stunning beauty of Milford Sound is what brings brings many tourists to NZ. With towering mountains plunging sharply into the depths, pounding waterfalls, and a real ‘prehistoric’ feel, it’s hard not to feel awed by this place. Pack your rain coat though, its known for a downpour or two.
Looking like some strange round blobs have fallen out of the sky onto a sandy beach, the Moeraki Boulders are a curiosity that can make for some interesting photos. Throw in some wave action and a sunrise to boot; and you have a recipe for some pretty cool shots.
Tongariro National Park
A World Heritage site, and home to not one but three active volcanoes, Tongariro National Park is a land of baron beautiful landscapes, bubbling hot springs and gut busting walks. Famous for the Tongariro Crossing one day walk, it will take you past spectacular mountain lakes, native birds and of course on top of a volcano. Visit in winter for some awe inspiring winter landscapes.
Reknowned for its mirror like reflections of New Zealands highest peak, Mount Cook, Lake Matheson is a great place to stop off and spend a few hours exploring and photographing. Take the track around the lake for an easy hike and more spectacular views, or just take in the views from the car park, either way a stunning place to be and photograph. Great for mirror reflections, alpine and bird photography.
The Abel Tasman National Park is home to some of the best coastal scenery in New Zealand. With clear greeny blue waters, golden sandy beaches and bushland backdrop, theres no better place to chill out and take your time with photography. This amazing coastline can be explored via Kayak, Hiking trails or by boat, so pick your mode of transport and take in the views.
They say you’ll smell it before you see it, and that’s very true. Rotorua is a hive of geothermal activity, with colourful hot springs, bubbling mud pools, and spouting geysers, so it’s worth putting up with the smell of rotten eggs for a few good photos. It’s a pretty unique location and with no less than 17 lakes in the area, it’s not only a great location for water sports, but pretty awesome for photography too.
The southern-most island of New Zealand is the remote and beautiful Stewart Island. Covered in native bush, and home to many native bird species, it’s a nature lovers paradise. The island is home to a few people but mainly covered with a fantastic array of flora and fauna, crashing seascapes and sweeping beaches. Being so far south does mean its usually a little colder and windier, and if you survive the often bumpy 30km ferry crossing you’ll feel like it’s all worth it. If you want to get away from it all, feel like an explorer, and get some stunning photos, Stewart Island is a must.
New Zealand has many varied spectacular locations for photography, so it’s hard to fit them all in. If you’ve got any great suggestions for some photo locations around NZ, let us know and we’ll do a follow up article to let everyone know your ideas.
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