Date: 02nd - 15th October 2016
New Zealand’s South Island is a landscape photographer’s dream, from its snow-capped mountains to temperate rainforest and wild coastlines. During this 14 day tour, we will photograph some of the South Island’s best untouched wilderness across six national parks, including the world heritage area of Te Wahipounamu.
The tour will start in the city of Christchurch. After a night here we will head for Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, where we will stay for two nights (at Mount Cook village – not the mountain itself!). Our first morning will see us taking a dawn flight in ski planes up to the Tasman Glacier to land at some 7,000 feet and catch the first rays of sun on the mountains. This is a great photo opportunity and there will be time for a walk “on the top of New Zealand”. During our visit to Mt Cook, we will also explore the terminal moraine lake of the Tasman Glacier by boat, with fantastic photographic opportunities as we navigate between huge dripping ice faces and iceberg formations. Mt Cook, like a number of other locations that we will visit during the tour, has amazing clear skies with no light pollution, offering the chance to photograph the Milky Way.
We will then travel down to Fiordland, spending a night at Lake Te Anau before heading out on an overnight cruise in beautiful Doubtful Sound - far more remote and scenic than the well-known Milford Sound. On board, there are excellent photo opportunities of waterfalls, rainforest and mountains. After our time on the boat, we will head to Queenstown with time to explore the beautiful Lake Wakatipu and surrounding mountains.
The next part of our journey will take us up the West Coast through some of New Zealand’s most untouched wilderness. We will spend 2 nights at the remote Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge, spending our time here walking through superb rainforest foliage and photographing beautiful ferns and forest giants. Our accommodation here also offers access to Monro Beach on the wild Tasman Sea; this particular beach is noteworthy as a breeding site for about thirty pairs of the very rare Fiordland Crested Penguins.
Heading further up the West Coast we will stop at the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, where we will have some free time with the option of exploring the glaciers on foot or by helicopter. For those more interested in wildlife, there will also be the option of a boat trip to photograph the beautiful White Herons and Royal Spoonbills that nest in the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve.
Continuing north we will reach Punakaiki and the famous Pancake Rocks rock formations. We will explore this wild coastline and venture into the “lost world” wilderness of Paparoa National Park.
We will then cross back over the Southern Alps via Arthurs Pass, stopping here to capture dramatic waterfalls and amazing boulder formations at Castle Hill. Then we continue on to Christchurch to finish the tour and connect with international flights.
This tour is led by three professional landscape photographers and places are limited to 14, to ensure a ratio of 4-5 people per leader enabling maximised tuition. We are fortunate to have the knowledge of Richard Young who is joining Sue and Ben on this tour who has a huge wealth of knowledge of New Zealand having made the country his home. This has enabled us to put together a truly specialised photographic tour.
The accommodations are varied throughout the tour with luxury hotels in the bigger towns/cities and smaller but cosy hotels in the more remote locations.
If you would like to extend the tour to 20 days and discover New Zealand’s wildlife and the North Island, then take a look at our 20-day tour which combines the two tours - click here to read more.
Ben was the 2007 overall winner of the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition - with this stunning image 'Elephant Creation'. Ben Osborne has been a freelance photographer for 20 years. He specialises in wildlife and landscape photography but also shoots...
Sue’s aim in photography is to create an image that goes beyond a simple literal record of its subject and becomes something more. Her compositions are a celebration of colour and form, sometimes going beyond reality so that they...