By Thomas Stirr
Travelling around New Zealand with a camera in hand can be a surreal experience. It is hard to believe that so much beauty and variety can be packed into two relatively small islands. This article shares a selection of images captured during some of our travels to New Zealand over the past few years.
While technically not the most northern point on the North Island of New Zealand, Cape Reinga is the farthest north that a regular tourist can visit. The area has a sub-tropical climate and beautiful sea views.
Ninety Mile Beach stretches from Ahipara to Scott Point. It is officially classified as a highway, but is only suitable for 4-wheel drive vehicles. Rental car companies typically do not allow their vehicles on Ninety Mile Beach.
Paihia is a quaint small town located across a bay from Russell. It is a great place to spend a few days to unwind, explore the scenery and learn about the history of the area.
There are various cruises available from these towns that treat participants to view of the Bay of Islands and the opportunity to photograph a number of species of dolphins.
South of Auckland and across the Firth of Thames you’ll find the rugged Coromandel Peninsula. There are forest trails to explore, beautiful beach scenes to photograph, and even an opportunity to dig your own pool on Hot Water Beach. The Seven Stairs to Heaven cascading waterfall is also found on the Coromandel Peninsula.
As you head south on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula you’ll find the town of Tairua. Boating and fishing are popular pastimes in the area, and there are numerous sea birds to photograph.
Some of the scenery at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is jaw dropping. You’ll find many of the trees resplendent in bright orange hues. This is caused by trentepohlia.
A drive on the Whangaehu Valley Road will reveal breathtaking views of the green, rolling hills for which New Zealand is famous.
No journey to the North Island of New Zealand would be complete without a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set Tour. Even if you are not a fan of the movies you’ll find many photographic opportunities and learn interesting facts about the filming of the movies while on the tour.
Folks who love garden and flower photography will appreciate the diversity and beauty found at Hamilton Gardens. There are 24 garden areas to explore.
The South Island of New Zealand is far less populated than the North Island, but offers a treasure trove of locations to explore with your camera in hand. A hike out to the rocks at Castle Hill will reveal some dramatic landscape opportunities.
The beautiful Huangshi Chinese Gardens are found in the city of Nelson. It is a wonderful place to visit to photograph the quiet beauty of the gardens.
The roads in the Wanaka area offer stunning views of rugged hillsides and steep valleys. The area is popular with motorcyclists.
The town of Te Anau has its own beauty with lovely lake front views. It is also a good location from which to explore the rugged terrain on the southern portion of the South Island.
Driving through the Lindis Valley will reveal some truly spectacular vistas as you drive along the many twists and turns.
With some luck you’ll be able to photograph some Hooker’s Sea Lions along the southern coast of the South Island. These are the most endangered sea lions in the world and can sometimes be spotted at Surat Bay and at Waipapa Point.
The town of Kaikoura was hit by a major earthquake in November 2016. Parts of State Highway 1 are still under reconstruction, but there is good access to the town. You’ll find stunning sea views and some of the best whale watching in New Zealand.
Along the coast between Christchurch and Dunedin you’ll find the Moeraki Boulders strewn along Koekohe Beach. Ongoing beach erosion reveals additional boulders from the sedimentary layers.
If you want to experience the highest mountains in New Zealand, a visit to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is in order. Numerous hiking trails thread throughout the park.
The most southern part of the South Island of New Zealand is Slope Point. This coastline is continually battered by high winds which have permanently bent and twisted many of the trees in the area.
New Zealand is a diverse and spectacular country to photograph. If you’d like to learn more about photographing various sites in New Zealand you may have an interest in our eBook, New Zealand Tip-to-Tip.
Article Copyright 2019 Thomas Stirr. Images are Copyright 2016 and 2018 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, adaptation or reproduction of any kind is allowed without written consent. Mirrorlessons.com is the only approved user of this article. If you see it reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use.