I was born in New Zealand’s North Island and have lived here all my life. I have always loved to travel and have been lucky to visit and photograph some of the best places in New Zealand. My partner is a photographer and it was he who inspired me to start looking at life through a lens.
Before that I was looking but I didn’t really see what was right in front of me. Photography changes you. I’m a landscape, seascape and tourism photographer. A relative newcomer to the photography scene, my photography journey started just four years ago.
In world terms, New Zealand is a relatively small country but it’s packed with the most incredible landscapes. If you’ve never been, then prepare to be speechless with the sheer beauty of it.
Carved glaciers, majestic mountains, vast valleys, rugged coastlines and world heritage sites. It’s also the first country to greet the day and the sunrises and sunsets here will have you spellbound.
Kiwis are an exceptionally proud people. We might live at the bottom of the world but we punch well above our weight. We have a ‘can do’ attitude and believe there’s nothing much that we can’t make work. We have a proud Maori heritage and if you ask us what is the most important thing: it is people, people, people.
Best Places to Photograph in New Zealand
I think that I’ve been pretty much everywhere in New Zealand. Photography tends to get you out and about and I’m always looking for locations off the beaten track. The Christchurch loop is a favourite of mine. It takes you through Tekapo to Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.
There’s some spectacular scenery here and the hikes vary from very easy to extremely challenging. I’ve had the opportunity to catch a sunrise flight here on a few occasions and there is no better way to start the day.
Sunrise at the top of the Pinnacles in Coromandel is a firm favourite too. I like the fact that you have to work for it. It’s about three hours of hiking up but the views are out of this world incredible.
The West Coast of the South Island is another place I recommend and has some of the most dramatic coastline you will ever see. In many places access is tidal so you have to be aware of what’s happening all the time and plan for it.
My absolute favourite place and one of the best places to photograph in New Zealand is Milford Sound. It’s in the south east of the South Island and is known as the eighth wonder of the world. Rainfall here is measured in metres! The drive in will leave you speechless.
In fact, I spend a lot of time in the South Island of New Zealand, shooting in and around the Southern Alps. The landscape is dramatic and a photographers dream. My heart however, will always be on the North Islands, Coromandel Peninsula. The coast line here is incredible and much of the peninsular is native forest.
Other landscapes and photography sports worth mentioning are the braided rivers of Canterbury, the drive along the Thames Coastal Road to Coromandel town and up to Port Jackson, Tasman Glacier Lake, Tongariro National Park and the Routeburn track.
My Favourite Photography Memories in Aotearoa
My favourite memory in New Zealand was a morning spent in Lake Tasman. I’ve never seen a sky like it before. There were huge icebergs and when the sky lit up they reflected dramatic orange. It was incredible and I was lucky to experience it with a couple of my favourite people.
My favourite tour moment was with a group we were taking around the South Island. There were a couple of people on it that were very new to photography and one had just bought her first camera.
It was sunset on about day 4 or 5 and after she was set up I just watched her from a distance. She had that aha moment when it all came together and the smile that lit up her face is one I will remember forever.
Tips for your Visit to New Zealand
New Zealand knows how to produce good food. You can expect a high standard everywhere you go from burgers to fine dining. New Zealand beef and lamb is some of the best in the world and our seafood is so fresh it was probably just caught.
We don’t tip. You can expect a high level of service every time. Don’t leave without trying a pie. We have every variety you could possibly think of.
Before you come here you need to plan. Distances are deceptive as our roads are different so plan to take longer than you think you it should. Drive on the left! Freedom camping is allowed but only for certified self contained vehicles.
We look after our country and take pride in it. Tiaki means to care for people and place. New Zealand is precious and everyone who lives and travels here has a responsibility to look after it. The Tiaki promise is a commitment to care for New Zealand, for now and for future generations.
While travelling in New Zealand I will: care for land, sea and nature, treading lightly and leaving no trace. Travel safely, showing care and consideration for all. Respect culture, travelling with an open heart and mind.
As a travel destination, it doesn’t get much better than New Zealand. Thanks for reading about the best places to photograph in New Zealand! Hope to see you here in Aotearoa one day soon.