Updated: Nov 13, 2020
New Zealand has got to be one of the most naturally beautiful countries on the planet. I was fortunate enough to go to both North and South Island. If you aren't planning a trip here, I'd get planning if I was you. Not only does it have all these great spots, its a very easy place to travel round. Oh, and the food is amazing!
Milford Sound is one of the most well known areas for landscape photography. Rightly so, I sailed through here and it was one of the most breathtaking experiences you can hope to have. You get an incredible perspective of the fjords when you do this.
If you do this at sunrise or sunset then the experience is vastly enhanced. I recall getting up at around 5am and sailing in initially half asleep, but suddenly as soon as I saw the fjords I woke up completely in awe. The magnificent site of fjords covered in waterfalls, with all kinds of nature around (like dolphins) is enough to even get the non nature enthusiast interested.
The weather even around summertime is quite variable- similar to British weather! This gives
the opportunity for 'moody' scenes. Which is actually great for photography and means you
can shoot all day!
As you can see, the incredible layer on layers with waterfalls and nature everywhere is a dream for landscape photography. To get to Milford Sound there are various methods; you can fly from Queenstown- the more expensive option, drive there which is supposed to be an unbelievably scenic drive (you can imagine right) or sail there on a cruise ship- well even a dingy if you're brave!
Onwards from the sounds you can go to a beautiful scenic little town called Akaroa. Akaroa is about an hour drive from Christchurch. It's a town that was built in an extinct volcano crater providing a lush rich soil thats grown an amazing landscape around. With crystal blue water and lush green vegetation as far as the eye can see, its hard to argue that this isn't yet another paradise for landscape photographers!
Not only do you have all of these great sites to absorb, there are also whale and dolphin tours out of the harbour. Ontop of all that you can rent kayaks and have a chilled out day paddling around this breathtaking area. Definitely worth going!
Dunedin is an interesting little city and its close to some more great landscapes. I think it's a good place to make your base for a few days. Then you can enjoy the perks of being in a city whilst being near to many great landscapes. One of these places is nugget point lighthouse. I never made it there one of my biggest regrets. If you do go make sure you check that place out!
I did however make it to Taiaroa Head Lighthouse. This is one of the best lighthouses I've visited and that's saying something. The colours you get in the surrounding area are a dream! You should definitely go here too for some awesome shots. I managed to charter a ship to sail past it and get this shot.
The north island is another phenomenal location to take photographs. I admittedly did not spend as much time here as I would have liked too yet still managed to cover a lot of ground.
Tauranga is a great location to get close to some fantastic locations. The famous Hobbiton film set is not far from here (around 1 hour drive). I decided to get a car and drive to some great scenery.
It didn't take long before we were in yet another unbelievable landscape. The shot displayed below was taken not so far from this film set, and I wish I could have spent more time there. There was so many things to shoot!
As you can see nature everywhere, great colours to work with and a very picturesque landscape.
After driving around the roads near Hobbiton we decided to go for a hike and in the next photograph I'm sure you can appreciate the diversity of the landscapes around here.
This forest was one of my highlights of the trip! You can hike through here on the trail to Omanawa falls. The dense vegetation with a stream nearby the whole way, was definitely an experience that won't be forgotten.
To summarise, as you can see there is a multitude of fantastic landscape photography options here. There were many I didn't make it to such as Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Mount Victoria, Castle Point Lighthouse, Mount Cook, Lake Pukaki and the Lake Wanaka Tree. I literally have a long list with much more than just those few. If you are into landscape photography I'd get it right up there on that bucket list.
Thank you for reading,