2022 - Ultimate New Zealand Photo Tour – 18 Days

NZD $15,500.00
  • Duration: 18 Days

Join Richard Young, Ken Wright & Shaun Barnett, on a 17-day photography tour showcasing some of the South Island’s most iconic landscape including Milford Sound and the Moeraki Boulders along with some of the country's exceptional coastal wildlife. Timing is planned to make the most of New Zealand’s most settled season in autumn. We will catch the best of the autumn colours in Central Otago, as we travel through the classic southern landscapes covered in golden colours.

For the first four days of our tour will be based in Wanaka and takes in our Autumn Masterclass Workshop, designed to perfect your techniques of shooting autumn landscapes, autumn abstracts and panoramic landscape photography. The workshop offers a mixture of both tuition and post-processing sessions combined with 4WD trips into some remote area to capture the best autumn colours. It will leave you with refined skills to help create some stunning photographs for the rest of the tour.

The following part of the tour will see us drive East to the Catlins Coastal Rainforest Park, with opportunities to photograph the area’s coastline, waterfalls and rainforests. North of the Catlins, we explore the Otago Peninsula, known as New Zealand’s wildlife capital. We photograph Southern royal albatross, penguins and sea lions while staying at Larnach Castle. Beyond, tour highlights include the Moeraki Boulders and then continuing on to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park to photograph some of the amazing alpine scenery around New Zealand’s highest peak.

After our time at Aoraki/Mt Cook, we travel to the untouched wilderness of Fiordland and on to Milford and Doubtful Sounds. The most northerly part of Fiordland’s many sounds, Milford, is famed as one of the world’s most spectacular landscapes. Doubtful Sound is far more remote and scenic than the well-known Milford Sound, offering a true wilderness experience. We will stay overnight here on a boat.


 HIGHLIGHTS


 Queenstown - Queenstown

  • Wanaka & Central Otago
  • The Catlins Coast
  • Otago Peninsula
  • Moeraki Boulders
  • Aoraki/Mt Cook
  • Milford & Doubtful Sound


ITINERARY

DAY 1 – QUEENSTOWN / WANAKA

Departing Queenstown we drive to Wanaka, the tour starts with a short briefing on the next few days and a morning classroom session to get everyone up to speed before we explore some autumn locations around Central Otago. In the late afternoon, we head out to the high country around Wanaka.

DAY 2 - NEVIS VALLEY

A pre-dawn start sees us heading out in 4WD to the Nevis Valley for sunrise. We will then spend the rest of the morning exploring the Nevis and capturing the best of the colours in this remote valley. This afternoon we will explore some of the stunning autumn scenes around Alexandra before heading back to Wanaka for sunset.

DAY 3 - CENTRAL OTAGO

This morning's sunrise will be at the famous Wanaka tree, capturing its autumn colours against the backdrop of snowy mountains. After sunrise, we will spend the morning in the hotel conference room to offer some group critique of the photographs from the last days and in-depth post-production to bring out the best autumn colours in your photographs. This afternoon we will head out in 4WD’s to a remote location high above Lake Wanaka of a private station, we will stay here for sunset capturing the last light across the tussock covered landscape and panoramic views of the lake.

DAY 4 - WANAKA

Today will start with an early morning sunrise shoot, hopefully capturing some beautiful mist that forms within river valleys in Autumn. After sunrise, we will help you finish processing your best two images from the workshop and produce a finished 16x22" fine art prints of these to take home. This afternoon we will return to Queenstown, stopping en route to capture a few more autumn colours shots.

DAY 5 – QUEENSTOWN

Today you have a free day in Queenstown to catch up with downloading or post-processing some of the many shots you have already captured. For those wishing to explore the area more, there are many excursions available here. A great option for sunset tonight is to take a breathtaking ascent up Bob’s Peak on the Skyline Gondola. The top offers some wonderful panoramic views over Queenstown.

DAY 6 – QUEENSTOWN - THE CATLINS

Departing Queenstown, we head east towards the Catlins. En route, we visit the South Island’s most southerly point, Waipapa and its well-known lighthouse. From here we travel inland to explore the waterfalls of the Catlins Coastal Rainforest Park, these may not be high, but have a subtle beauty all of their own. Today will finish with a sunset over beautiful beach looking out over the Southern Ocean.

DAY 7 - THE CATLINS - OTAGO PENINSULA

Heading north through the Catlins, we take in the sunrise at the spectacular coastline of Nugget Point, where a lighthouse, wind-ruffled native shrubs, and off-shore islands make a photogenic scene. Travelling onward to the Otago Peninsula near Dunedin, we take a boat charter around the world's only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross. We will photograph these majestic birds and other bird species from the sea. The day ends at Larnach Castle, one of New Zealand’s most stately buildings, dinner tonight, in the castle’s grand dining room, will be a culinary highlight of the tour.

DAY 8 - OTAGO PENINSULA

We spend the day exploring the Otago Peninsula; home to penguins, albatross and sea lions, is often called the wildlife capital of New Zealand. This afternoon will see us heading out to a private beach to photograph Yellow-eyed penguins as they return from a day out at sea.

DAY 9 - MOERAKI

This morning we capture a stunning panoramic vista across the peninsula from a high vantage point on private land. Heading north along the East Coast we stop to photograph the forest birds at Orokonui, which is home to New Zealand’s tuatara, a relic from the dinosaur age. Tonight we stay near Moeraki, famed Moeraki Boulders which are curiously round rocks known as ‘concretions’ set into a scenic beachscape where we will photograph the sunset.

DAY 10 - MOERAKI / LAKE TEKAPO

An early start, returning to the Moeraki Boulders again for sunrise. Then we visit the historic town of Oamaru, having the opportunity to photograph the whitestone buildings of this heritage town, before heading inland towards Aoraki/Mt Cook. After assembling at the Hermitage Hotel, our home for the next two nights, we will head out to explore locations in the park and have an evening shoot in the Tasman Valley.

DAY 11 - AORAKI/MT COOK

This morning we will have the chance to do some aerial photography (see optional extras below), taking a flight over Aoraki/Mt Cook and landing on the Tasman glacier to capture high alpine views across the Southern Alps. The rest of the day will be taken up by visiting locations in the Tasman and Hooker valleys, including alpine lakes, sweeping river vistas, and views of New Zealand’s highest peaks. All the locations we visit are within easy walks along well-graded tracks on the valley floors.

DAY 12 - AORAKI/MT COOK - QUEENSTOWN

The day begins with the option for some pre-dawn astrophotography and sunrise shoot before heading back to the hotel for breakfast. We then leave Aoraki/Mt Cook and drive South toward Twizel, stopping to capture some lesser-known location for high country scenes. In the afternoon we travel back to Queenstown.

DAY 13 – GLENORCHY

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

DAY 14 – QUEENSTOWN - MILFORD SOUND

We departing from Queenstown taking the Milford Highway up the Eglinton Valley. Winding through the mountains; past dark, brooding lakes and mossy beech forests, perched at impossibly steep slopes, we arrive at Milford Sound. Milford Sound is one of the country's most iconic locations, granite peaks soar more than a mile above the dark waters of the fjord. Huge waterfalls tumble down into the sea giving the area a scale and grandeur that has to be seen to be believed. Two nights here provides the chances to capture Mitre Peak at both sunrise and sunset, from a variety of locations.

DAY 15 – MILFORD SOUND

This morning we shot sunrise over Milford Sound. From there we spend the rest of the day exploring around the area and taking a boat trip out on the water to photograph some of the awe-inspiring waterfalls that pour into the Sound. We will end the day shooting sunset over a vista of Fiordland’s dramatic peaks.

DAY 16 – MILFORD SOUND - TE ANAU

After shooting sunrise over Mitre Peak we will spend the day exploring some more locations along the Milford road that we missed on the way in, before heading back to Te Anau to spend a night. We walk the tranquil shores of Lake Te Anau, the South Island’s largest lake, on an easy path at the start of the Kepler Track. This evening we photograph the sunset over the lake, with a vast array of mountains beyond.

DAY 17 – TE ANAU - DOUBTFUL SOUND

This morning there will be an option for another sunrise over Lake Te Anau, to join an hour-long flight by helicopter (optional extra) over the Doubtful and Dusky Sounds to photograph atop the mountains that rise above. This extra offers sublime aerial photography opportunities of the mountains in the early morning light. 

After sunrise, we transfer to Pearl Harbour in Manapouri, to cruise across picturesque Lake Manapouri to West Arm before travelling through the dense rainforest across Wilmot Pass. Once at Deep Cove we board our boat for an overnight cruise of beautiful Doubtful Sound. Onboard, there are excellent photo opportunities of waterfalls, rainforest and mountains as we head into a truly untouched part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area.

DAY 18 – DOUBTFUL SOUND - QUEENSTOWN

Waking up on the boat sheltered in the wilderness of Doubtful Sound, we cruise through some of the fiord’s most stunning scenery. No matter what the weather, Fiordland is always spectacular. After arriving back to Pearl Harbour, we can drop you off in Te Anau or provide travel back Queenstown to connect with late afternoon flights.


 PRICE INCLUDES