Date: 15th - 21st October 2016
This 7 day tour will visit both the South and North Islands of New Zealand. It will focus around the country’s best coastal wildlife including albatross, gannets and fur seals, and the volcanic landscapes of the North Island, including the world heritage area of Tongariro National Park.
The tour will start in the South Island’s largest city of Christchurch. On our first day, we will drive north to Kaikoura and capture the sunset looking over the coast to the Kaikoura Mountains. We will be up early the next morning to head out on a boat over the Kaikoura Canyon to photograph albatross and a variety of other seabirds. This is an amazing experience as we will have some of the world’s largest birds flying right over the boat and landing on the sea next to us; if we are lucky we might also see dolphins and whales while we are out in the boat. The Kaikoura Peninsula is also the home to a large breeding colony of New Zealand Fur Seals and we will have the chance to photograph these, backed by the snow covered peaks of the Kaikoura mountains. We will then fly across Cook Strait to the North Island town of Napier. Our main reason to stop here is to make a trip out to the Australasian Gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers. Some 5,200 pairs nest in this reserve – and you will be within feet of the great birds. This is the world’s first mainland gannet colony - a truly amazing day offering unique photo opportunities.
We will then explore the volcanic landscapes of the North Island, spending two nights staying in Tongariro National Park. This world heritage area offers endless photographic opportunities from old lava flows to waterfalls and silica rapids. Each evening will see us capturing the last light over the volcanic peaks of Mt Ngauruhoe, Mt Tongariro and Mt Ruapehu. After this, we will drive North past Lake Taupo to one of the country’s best thermal reserves to photograph boiling mud and amazing coloured pools. We will then continue on to Auckland, the country’s largest city. Our last day will offer the chance to take a boat trip out across Auckland harbour to the extinct volcanic peak of Rangitoto Island or explore the city waterfront before finishing the tour and connecting with international flights.
This tour is led by three professional landscape and wildlife 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 and explore the landscapes of the South Island, take a look at our 20 day New Zealand tour- 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...
Richard Young is a professional landscape, nature and wildlife photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He was born in Sussex, England and grew up on a country estate in the South Downs National Park where he developed a love for...