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7 Day West Coast Wilderness Photography Tour

Days
7

Pricing From
$3995

South Island
Book Now

Overview

Let Shaun Barnett and Richard Young guide you through the South Island of New Zealand’s rugged West Coast on this extraordinary 7 Day West Coast Wilderness Photography Tour timed during winter to take advantage of the season’s crisp and low light. Benefit from the photographers’ experience to photograph the region’s untamed beaches, captivating waterfalls and lush forests, including exhilarating views of the Southern Alps blanketed in snow.

The West Coast has more mountains, forests and protected lands than anywhere else in New Zealand. Primaeval rainforests surround stark coastlines off the beaten path, and the glaciers and imposing peaks of the Southern Alps loom in the distance.

7 Day West Coast Wilderness Photography Tour

7 Day West Coast Wilderness Photography Tour

White Heron 7 Day West Coast Wilderness Photography Tour

White Heron

Boulders Beach 7 Day West Coast Wilderness Photography Tour

Boulders on West Coast Beach

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks 7 Day West Coast Wilderness Photography Tour

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks

Tree Fern 7 Day West Coast Wilderness Photography Tour

Tree Fern

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1From Wanaka or QueenstownGlenorchy

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.

Hotel - 1 Night Queenstown

Day 2Queenstown to 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.

Hotel: 1 Night at Haast

Day 3Haast to 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.

Hotel: Stay 2 nights at Fox Glacier 

Day 4Glacier Region

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 5Fox Glacier to 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.

Hotel: Stay 2 Nights at Punakaiki

Day 6Paparoa National Park

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 7Punakaiki to 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 wilderness regions. We then arrive at the top of the South Island in the city of Nelson to connect with late afternoon flights.

Cost per person 2017-18

NZ$3,880

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1From Wanaka or QueenstownGlenorchy

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.

Hotel - 1 Night Queenstown

Day 2Queenstown to 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.

Hotel: 1 Night at Haast

Day 3Haast to 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.

Hotel: Stay 2 nights at Fox Glacier 

Day 4Glacier Region

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 5Fox Glacier to 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.

Hotel: Stay 2 Nights at Punakaiki

Day 6Paparoa National Park

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 7Punakaiki to 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 wilderness regions. We then arrive at the top of the South Island in the city of Nelson to connect with late afternoon flights.

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