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17 Days South Island Highlights Photography Tour

Days
17

Pricing From
$10995

South Island
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Overview

Get the chance to photograph the World Heritage area of Te Wahipounamu along with some of New Zealand’s unrivalled pristine wilderness on this 17-day South Island Highlights Photography Tour. Led by Richard Young and three other top landscape photographers in New Zealand, benefit from the expertise of Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown and Dave Buckton as you travel throughout different parts of the country. While learning from four professional photographers you also get to capture a total of 7 of the finest national parks in New Zealand.

From Queenstown, set off for Mt. Cook National Park to capture some of the most stunning alpine scenery around the tallest peak in the country. After crossing back through Central Otago, we continue on to the West Coast of South Island, an area famed for its rugged beaches, waterfalls, forests and majestic views of the snow-clad Southern Alps. There are more mountains, forests and protected lands here than in any other region of New Zealand. Ancient forests border untamed and remote coastlines, all framed by the rugged pinnacles and glaciers of the Southern Alps soaring in the background. We then proceed to the top of the South Island to spend 4 days photographing the coastal environment around Golden Bay, and to board a private charter boat for a full day to explore the renowned Abel Tasman National Park.

South Island Highlights Photography Tour

Archway islands

South Island Highlights Photography Tour

Wharakiri beach

South Island Highlights Photography Tour

Aoraki/Mt. Cook

South Island Highlights Photography Tour

Wanaka

South Island Highlights Photography Tour

Wanaka

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Queenstown / Mt Cook

An early morning departure from Queenstown will see us arriving at Mt Cook before lunch. After assembling at Mt Cook Village, our home for the next three nights, we will spend the morning running through an introductory programme for the finer points of working in manual mode and advanced settings for landscape photography, before heading out for an evening shoot in the Tasman Valley.

Day 2Mt. Cook

The day begins early with some pre-dawn astrophotography before heading back to the hotel for breakfast. The rest of the day will be taken up alternating between locations in the park and covering a whole range of techniques for advancing your photography.

Day 3Mt. Cook

Today we will venture further afield to explore more of the beautiful Mackenzie Country. This afternoon we will do a ski-plane flight (included in the price) over Mt Cook to learn the basics of aerial photography.

Day 4Mt. Cook/Wanaka

After an early morning sunrise shoot in the Tasman Valley we spend some time reviewing photographs from the previous four days and covering post processing. We will depart Mt Cook after lunch, crossing over Lindis Pass to Wanaka, stopping on the way to capture the tall, tussock-covered mountains here. We will arrive in Wanaka in time for a sunset over a very famous willow tree which sits in the lake here.

Day 5Wanaka

Today you will have a free day in Wanaka, with the option (at additional cost) of joining one of our tutors on a 4×4 trip across the Wanaka high country, or a pre-dawn heli-flight high into the mountains, landing overlooking Lake Wanaka for the sunrise.

Day 6Wanaka/Queenstown

This morning we drive to Queenstown then onto Glenorchy, capturing en route the beauty of tranquil Lake Wakatipu with its surrounding snow-capped mountains. The day finishes by photographing sunset over the lake Wakatipu.

Day 7Queenstown / Haast

Today we drive over the Crown Range then climb up to Haast Pass, the gateway to the West Coast, where we stay overnight. Along the way we photograph a number of extraordinary waterfalls, including a beautiful 30-metre cascade in stately beech forest. Tonight we capture our first West Coast sunset.

Day 8Haast / Fox Glacier

We travel along the West Coast exploring some of the magnificent rainforest of the Te Wahipounamu, a UNESCO World Heritage area, before heading to Fox Glacier. At sunset, we visit a remote West Coast beach which offers panoramic views of the snow-covered peaks of the Southern Alps.

Day 9Fox Glacier

This morning we photograph sunrise at Lake Matheson, capturing the often-perfect reflections of Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mt Tasman - New Zealand’s highest mountains. If the weather is right you will have the option (at additional cost) to take a helicopter flight onto the vast upper neve of the Fox Glacier for some unparalleled photo opportunities. Sunset tonight will see us heading out to Okarito Lagoon offering panoramic views of the Southern Alps, rising beyond a vast extent of rainforest.

Day 10Fox Glacier / Punakaiki

This morning we drive up the coast to Whataroa, stopping here for a jet boat trip up the Whataroa river, the only way to access the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve. Here we will photograph the country's only nesting site for the beautiful White Herons (Kotuku) along with the Royal Spoonbill. After this we drive further up the West Coast, with several stops en route, including the turquoise waters of the Hokitika Gorge. We reach Punakaiki and its famous Punakaiki rock formations in time for sunset photography.

Day 11Punakaiki

This morning we explore the exquisite limestone and river landscapes of Paparoa National Park. We will spend the rest of the day exploring the exceptional coastline in this area, sunset will see us heading out onto stunning beaches to capture the last light hitting the coastline and huge breaking waves.

Day 12Punakaiki / Nelson

Today we will head away from the West Coast, following the Buller River to its source at the first of the two National Parks we visit today, Nelson Lakes. After some time spent photographing the beautiful lake and mountain backdrops we then head on to our second park of the day, Kahurangi. Here we will walk out of a short track to capture beautiful beech-forested valleys of one of New Zealand’s largest untouched wildernesses. We then arrive at the top of the South Island in the city of Nelson.

Day 13Nelson

Today you will have a free day in Nelson to explore the city, or catch up with some downloading and editing of photographs. There is also the option (at additional cost) to join one of our tutors to fly into the heart of Kahurangi National Park.The flight lands on the top of Mount Owen to capture the view from the highest peak in the park, in stunning morning light.

Day 14Nelson / Golden Bay

Leaving Nelson we drive over to Golden Bay, heading inland over Takaka Hill and stopping to photograph the limestone formations and beech forests of this area. The day finishes with our first sunset shoot at one of the many stunning beaches in Golden Bay.

Day 15Abel Tasman National Park

We will have an early start to photograph the sunrise before we board our private charter boat and spend the day photographing Abel Tasman National Park. You will be taken into the most photogenic areas of the park with plenty of opportunities to head ashore to take in the beautiful bays and beaches along this stunning coastline.

Day 16Golden Bay

Today commences with another early start to shoot the iconic Archway Islands at sunrise. We will spend the rest of the day exploring this area, taking opportunities to photograph the stunning coastline of Wharariki Beach and Farewell Spit.

Day 17Golden Bay / Nelson

Our last chance for a sunrise shoot in Golden Bay. Therefore we will be up early to shoot one of a number of coastal locations before heading back inland over Takaka Hill. We will then make our way back to Nelson to connect with late afternoon flights.

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Queenstown / Mt Cook

An early morning departure from Queenstown will see us arriving at Mt Cook before lunch. After assembling at Mt Cook Village, our home for the next three nights, we will spend the morning running through an introductory programme for the finer points of working in manual mode and advanced settings for landscape photography, before heading out for an evening shoot in the Tasman Valley.

Day 2Mt. Cook

The day begins early with some pre-dawn astrophotography before heading back to the hotel for breakfast. The rest of the day will be taken up alternating between locations in the park and covering a whole range of techniques for advancing your photography.

Day 3Mt. Cook

Today we will venture further afield to explore more of the beautiful Mackenzie Country. This afternoon we will do a ski-plane flight (included in the price) over Mt Cook to learn the basics of aerial photography.

Day 4Mt. Cook/Wanaka

After an early morning sunrise shoot in the Tasman Valley we spend some time reviewing photographs from the previous four days and covering post processing. We will depart Mt Cook after lunch, crossing over Lindis Pass to Wanaka, stopping on the way to capture the tall, tussock-covered mountains here. We will arrive in Wanaka in time for a sunset over a very famous willow tree which sits in the lake here.

Day 5Wanaka

Today you will have a free day in Wanaka, with the option (at additional cost) of joining one of our tutors on a 4×4 trip across the Wanaka high country, or a pre-dawn heli-flight high into the mountains, landing overlooking Lake Wanaka for the sunrise.

Day 6Wanaka/Queenstown

This morning we drive to Queenstown then onto Glenorchy, capturing en route the beauty of tranquil Lake Wakatipu with its surrounding snow-capped mountains. The day finishes by photographing sunset over the lake Wakatipu.

Day 7Queenstown / Haast

Today we drive over the Crown Range then climb up to Haast Pass, the gateway to the West Coast, where we stay overnight. Along the way we photograph a number of extraordinary waterfalls, including a beautiful 30-metre cascade in stately beech forest. Tonight we capture our first West Coast sunset.

Day 8Haast / Fox Glacier

We travel along the West Coast exploring some of the magnificent rainforest of the Te Wahipounamu, a UNESCO World Heritage area, before heading to Fox Glacier. At sunset, we visit a remote West Coast beach which offers panoramic views of the snow-covered peaks of the Southern Alps.

Day 9Fox Glacier

This morning we photograph sunrise at Lake Matheson, capturing the often-perfect reflections of Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mt Tasman - New Zealand’s highest mountains. If the weather is right you will have the option (at additional cost) to take a helicopter flight onto the vast upper neve of the Fox Glacier for some unparalleled photo opportunities. Sunset tonight will see us heading out to Okarito Lagoon offering panoramic views of the Southern Alps, rising beyond a vast extent of rainforest.

Day 10Fox Glacier / Punakaiki

This morning we drive up the coast to Whataroa, stopping here for a jet boat trip up the Whataroa river, the only way to access the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve. Here we will photograph the country's only nesting site for the beautiful White Herons (Kotuku) along with the Royal Spoonbill. After this we drive further up the West Coast, with several stops en route, including the turquoise waters of the Hokitika Gorge. We reach Punakaiki and its famous Punakaiki rock formations in time for sunset photography.

Day 11Punakaiki

This morning we explore the exquisite limestone and river landscapes of Paparoa National Park. We will spend the rest of the day exploring the exceptional coastline in this area, sunset will see us heading out onto stunning beaches to capture the last light hitting the coastline and huge breaking waves.

Day 12Punakaiki / Nelson

Today we will head away from the West Coast, following the Buller River to its source at the first of the two National Parks we visit today, Nelson Lakes. After some time spent photographing the beautiful lake and mountain backdrops we then head on to our second park of the day, Kahurangi. Here we will walk out of a short track to capture beautiful beech-forested valleys of one of New Zealand’s largest untouched wildernesses. We then arrive at the top of the South Island in the city of Nelson.

Day 13Nelson

Today you will have a free day in Nelson to explore the city, or catch up with some downloading and editing of photographs. There is also the option (at additional cost) to join one of our tutors to fly into the heart of Kahurangi National Park.The flight lands on the top of Mount Owen to capture the view from the highest peak in the park, in stunning morning light.

Day 14Nelson / Golden Bay

Leaving Nelson we drive over to Golden Bay, heading inland over Takaka Hill and stopping to photograph the limestone formations and beech forests of this area. The day finishes with our first sunset shoot at one of the many stunning beaches in Golden Bay.

Day 15Abel Tasman National Park

We will have an early start to photograph the sunrise before we board our private charter boat and spend the day photographing Abel Tasman National Park. You will be taken into the most photogenic areas of the park with plenty of opportunities to head ashore to take in the beautiful bays and beaches along this stunning coastline.

Day 16Golden Bay

Today commences with another early start to shoot the iconic Archway Islands at sunrise. We will spend the rest of the day exploring this area, taking opportunities to photograph the stunning coastline of Wharariki Beach and Farewell Spit.

Day 17Golden Bay / Nelson

Our last chance for a sunrise shoot in Golden Bay. Therefore we will be up early to shoot one of a number of coastal locations before heading back inland over Takaka Hill. We will then make our way back to Nelson to connect with late afternoon flights.

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