Facebook Pixel Travel Photography Inspiration Project: New Zealand

Travel Photography Inspiration Project: New Zealand

New Zealand. It’s more than the land of hobbits and Lord Of The Rings. It’s been a place on my “Go to:” list for over 10 years now and a glance from the airplane while transiting to Australia was tantalizingly delicious.

Green fields. Stone fences. A lack of crowding. Emerald waters. Snow capped peaks. It seems too good to be true. Let’s take a look through the lens of fellow DPS readers .

This is the fourteenth country we are covering the DPS reader fueled DPS Travel Photography Inspiration Project.

If you would like to be involved in the next country’s post, drop me a line here.

Southern Alp Splendor

Southern Alp Splendor by Josh Cripps

Mt. Cook and Mt. Sefton at sunset in Mt. Cook / Aoraki National Park.

Travel Tip: Mt. Cook / Aoraki National Park houses some of the most spectacular and accessible scenery in the Southern Alps. By far the most popular hike in the park is the 6-mile return Hooker Valley Walk which deposits you on the shore of the Hooker Lake at the base of Mt. Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand. But some of the lesser used trails, such as that to the Sealy Tarns, provide spectacular views with a fraction of the people.

I was in awe of the hundreds of little shells stuck to the rockface

Shells by Jennifer Holmes

We arrived at a gorgeous isolated beach, pausing to admire the tiny shell formations before beginning the Abel Tasman Coast Trek.

Christchurch Botanical Garden

Christchurch Botanical garden by Rinda Koban

One year after the earthquake at Christchurch, although we can still see the damage around the city, some places offer you must-visited spots, such as the Botanical Garden.

Tip: Before traveling to New Zealand, make sure to study the weather of the cities that you’re going to visit, since it varies from one city to another.


Tirau by Reena Mahtani

A small town we found on the road where we stopped for breakfast. It’s famous because of the features that decorate the town, made with cardboard. I found this mailbox and shot the picture thinking whether you could consider "expired" newspapers junk mail too!

Tip: Wake up early, as there is a lot of driving involved and you don’t want to spend the days in the road. Don’t be discouraged by how tiny towns are, that’s where the beauty of the country lies, and don’t bother using a SatNav. You won’t get lost!


Untitled by Russell Chilton

This statue of John Plimmer stands at the base of the steps that also bear his name in Wellington.  He was an entrepreneur and built one of the first piers in the harbour.

Looking over Milford Sound

Looking over Fiordland by Alexis Meyer

After hiking for a number of hours through Gertrude’s Saddle in Fiordland National Park, we were greeted by this gorgeous vista overlooking the park. When hiking with photo gear, it’s important to have a good bag that fits well and can protect your gear from all weather conditions. And make sure not to over pack – after 8 hours, all that equipment really becomes a burden

Ice Cave Franz Josef Glacier

Ice Cave Franz Josef Glacier by Al Marcella

Deep within the belly of the glacier, sounds of dripping, melting water, the glacier virtually changing beneath your feet. Melting water carves immense caves of shimmering translucent blue, silky smooth, extremely cold…ICE

Wanaka Dreaming

Wanaka Dreaming by Josh Cripps

The dreamlike mood of this shot of a willow’s golden fall foliage at Lake Wanaka is caused by a 62-second exposure which added motion blur to the clouds and turned the lake’s surface into smooth mist.

Photo tip: Long exposures can be effective in the middle of the day when the light is normally too harsh for photography. The long exposure will help smooth distracting detail in choppy water and soften harsh highlights in moving clouds.

Fields of lamb

Lamb by Jennifer Holmes

Fields of lamb dotting the countryside in the Coromandel Peninsula

Tip: This photo was taken from the car window when travelling through an un-signposted region…Don’t be afraid to take your time when travelling, pausing to appreciate the views that you wouldn’t find otherwise (as long as it is safe!) and capturing that unique image.


Thank you by Rinda Koban

I found this double-meaning cigarette bin at a resort in Mount Cook.


Christchurch by Reena Mahtani

Our last stop. It had been hit by the earthquakes a few months before we visited NZ and a friend of mine who’s about to marry a Kiwi (person, not the bird!) showed us the reconstruction works.


Untitled by Russell Chilton

A novel way to use the footwear left behind  on a beach.

Tidal Flats

Tidal Flats by Alexis Meyer

An octopus hides in the tidal flats around Hawkes Bay. This photo was taken with a point and shoot inside an Aquapac bag – great for getting underwater shots without the breaking the bank.

Greymouth NZ coastline

South Island, New Zealand coastline by Al Marcella

The Tasman Sea, wild, wonderful, changing New Zealand’s landscape, sometimes sublimely, sometimes dramatically. The coast road near Greymouth offers fantastic views of nature at work and nothing between you, the sea and Tasmania!

A Godley View

A Godley View by Josh Cripps

The braided Godley River dumps glacial silt in Lake Tekapo, turning it a vivid aquamarine.

Photo tip: Don’t be afraid to shoot from new and unusual perspectives. To give your photos a unique look get down low or get up high. Or this case, very high. This photo was taken from a plane at an altitude of about 8,000 feet and provides a rare view of this often-photographed lake.

360-degree views across the Mackenzie Basin

Mackenzie Basin by Jennifer Holmes

Description: We drove the windy road to the summit of Mount John which is the location for astrophotography and is said to have the cleanest/clearest air in New Zealand.

Te Puia

Te Puia by Reena Mahtani

This is where our trip started, to see the geisers and get an inside of the maori culture. They still live in the area and the combination of traditional and new architecture amazed me.


Untitled by Russell Chilton

Traditional Maori greeting at a ‘marai’ or village meeting house.

Wellington Harbour

Wellington Harbour by Alexis Meyer

Along the harbour of NZ’s capital, Wellington, are these great boat houses, painted in vibrant colours. Wellington is a wonderful city for sightseeing, and being entirely walkable from the harbour to Mount Victoria, there are tons of photographic opportunities. As the locals say, "You can’t beat Wellington on a good day!"

Blue Line Franz Josef Glacier

Blue Line Franz Josef Glacier by Al Marcella

Hiking Franz Josef Glacier, west coast, Southern Island of New Zealand, is a thrill a minute. Looking up, looking down, feeling silky smooth walls of ice, crevasses, ice pools, cracking, booming, exploding ice deep within the glacier. Walking atop a living, moving, breathing, gurgling behemoth.

Wharariki Lightstorm

Wharariki Lightstorm by Josh Cripps

The Archway Islands and an intense sunset are reflected in the shimmering, glassy sand of Wharariki Beach.

Travel tip: this remote beach is one of the prettiest in New Zealand. In addition to the elegant curves of the Archway Islands, the beach sports sand dunes, caves, and even a few bathing pools where you can get an up-close and personal visit from a baby New Zealand fur seal (don’t approach the seals, but if you stand still they will often come to you). This beach can be reached by driving to the very Northern tip of the South Island.


Cow by Jennifer Holmes

Description: The Coromandel Hikers group have special access to local farms where we are often hiking with the cows!

Tip: Sometimes you have to hang back from the group to wait for the perfect shot.


Untitled by Russell Chilton

A typical lunch at the coast – green lipped mussels and crayfish, just a shame they did not sell a beer!

Motukiekie Galaxies

Motukiekie Galaxies by Josh Cripps

Dense clusters of 12-legged sea stars cling to rocks at breathtaking Motukiekie Beach. Travel tip: This fascinating beach is on the West Coast of the South Island, about 20 km north of Greymouth. Make sure to visit at low tide as high tide renders the beach virtually inaccessible.

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Peter West Carey
Peter West Carey

leads photo tours and workshops in Nepal, Bhutan, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and beyond. He is also the creator of Photography Basics – A 43 Day Adventure & 40 Photography Experiments, web-based tutorials taking curious photographers on a fun ride through the basics of learning photography.

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