15 Days in New Zealand
Land of the Long White Cloud Tour
February 12-25 2017
Photo tour led by Mark Rayner
Think of New Zealand and most of us think of the rugged wild beauty, mythical images, amazing locations and colorful wildlife. Most of this is in the South Island, with its snow topped mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, cool deep lakes and winding fjords. No wonder it is the backdrop for many a movie.
Mark has travelled extensively through New Zealand to photograph its natural beauty. This long fifteen day tour covers some of the most beautiful locations in New Zealand's South Island. Starting in Christchurch, which itself is home to many wonderful attractions and photographic opportunities, we head off to see those glaciers, waterfalls, wildlife - and the magic of shooting iconic images of New Zealand under the stars.
This long fifteen day tour covers some of the most beautiful locations in New Zealand's South Island. Starting in Christchurch, which itself is home to many wonderful attractions and photographic opportunities, we head off to see glaciers, waterfalls, wildlife and the magic of shooting iconic images of New Zealand under the stars.
You will learn and practice several photographic techniques: composition, street photography, unusual angles, portraits, film/shutter/aperture combinations, depth of field, macro, using light and many others. We will also focus on the specifics of wildlife and landscape photography, together with specialities like shooting waterfalls. Photo skills will be reviewed "as-you-go" and also at the end of the day so you get the best from these opportunities. Almost everyday we will start the trip before dawn, to be in time of sunrise and the sky’s beautiful orange blue color, and ended up after sunset time for the golden and blue hours. At the end of the day you will also have something to see and enjoy, always with photography in mind.
Day 1 • Christchurch
4:00pm meet at our motel in Christchurch for our first get together. This is a great opportunity to meet your fellow adventurers and travelling companions for the next 13 days.
After dinner we meet for our first session where we'll present back to basics and assess everyone's skill levels. This will allow Mark to provide invaluable personal guidance over the coming days where necessary. Mark will also present an audio visual presentation showing you some of the awesome photographic opportunities that will present throughout the workshop.
Day 2 • Around Christchurch
After breakfast we head west for a day of landscape photography with a little wildlife thrown in for good measure. We will travel through the picturesque Castle Hill rocks and up over Arthur's Pass to our accommodation in Greymouth. Along the way we will conduct a waterfall session explaining the techniques required to obtain amazing cascade and waterfall images.
We also pass through a known habitat for the gorgeous Kea so it will be bird lenses at the ready for our first wildlife session. The Devils Punch Bowl and Waimakariri River will provide more spectacular landscape opportunities.
Day 3 • Christchurch to Franz Josef Glacier
Today we head south stopping first at Lake Mahinapua for our first photography session. Here we will demonstrate the use of 'Big Stopper' neutral density filters to good effect, to remove ripples from the water to create a mirror-lake surface. The Whataroa River fed by glacier water, will also feature today; its blue water will captivate you.
Along the way you'll have the opportunity to take an optional helicopter flight south over the glaciers. As well as Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers you'll see many others that are to all intents and purposes, inaccessible other than by air. A stop at Okarito lagoon and a bird walk and then we'll make our way to our accommodation at Franz Joseph Glacier.
Day 4 • The Glaciers
Today we'll take an easy hike through other worldly terrain to the base of Franz Joseph Glacier and Fox Glacier. The grandeur and scale of these massive flows of ice will astound you. Stay in Franz Joseph again tonight.
Day 5 • Waterfalls and the Wanaka Tree
Heading further south, today is a day of waterfalls and streams. Hidden gems just begging for your tripod and camera await along our route. We'll shoot Jimmy's Falls, Haast Falls, Fantail Falls and others before making our way to Wanaka where we will stay overnight.
We'll also take a look at Bruce Bay to photograph the area where the streams flow into the sea. Sunset today will be a special treat as we photograph the famous Wanaka Tree. For those who are keen we'll re-shoot the tree after dinner with the Milky Way as our backdrop.
Day 6 • To Queenstown
Today we'll make our way to Queenstown. Along the way you'll visit St Bathans to photograph the Blue lakes. We'll lunch at a wonderful old hotel in Omakau where there will ample time to photograph the old buildings and farm machinery.
Day 7 • Around Queenstown
After breakfast a free day today to explore Queenstown. Take a 4x4 tour to the old goldfields, ride the jet boat and shoot the Shotover, go bungy jumping or take a Lord of the Rings locations tour. Your choice for the day. Meet back at the hotel for dinner.
Day 8 • Around Queenstown
Breakfast at one of the many cafes in Arrowtown and then you'll wander and explore the Old Chinese Settlement. Drive towards Glenorchy to access the many lookouts along the way. Scenic landscapes across the water abound and there are a few waterfalls along the way. Near Tea Gardens we'll stop for a bird session where birds such as tui, tomtit and fantail abound along the creek. Heading back through Queenstown, we'll drive to Lake Manapouri for a two-night stay. Sunset across the lake is stunning.
Day 9 • Milford Sound
Today we head to Milford Sound for another amazing day on the water. The Mitre Peak boat will get up close and personal to seals along the way and if you’re game you can sit up front while the skipper noses in under one of the huge waterfalls. We'll mind your camera gear while you take your refreshing waterfall shower.
Day 10 • Doubtful Sound
An early start for a full day out to photograph Doubtful Sound. Departing at 8:00am we are taken by boat across Lake Manapouri where we are met by a bus and taken to our cruise boat to explore Doubtful Sound. After Doubtful Sound we head south to stay in Invercargill. Before calling it a day though we'll photograph the Penguins as they traverse the petrified forest at Curio Bay.
Day 11 • The Catlins and Dunedin
Today we explore The Catlins. This area abounds in magnificent scenery and yet more waterfalls. Making our way north along the coast we'll overnight in Dunedin.
Day 12 • Sanctuaries
The Otago peninsula Albatross colony is first up today. You'll have the opportunity to photograph these magnificent birds as they soar on the coastal updrafts. We'll take you on an all terrain adventure Eco tour on a private reserve to photograph Penguins and Seals. You'll also have access to magnificent landscape not accessible to the general public.
As we head north we'll visit the Orokonui Ecosanctuary (great bird opportunities) before making our way to Moeraki. The Moeraki Boulders will be a landscape highlight of your New Zealand adventure. A sunset shoot will see these incredible structures at their best. Overnight at Oamaru.
Day 13 • Around Oamaru
After a sunrise shoot of the Moeraki Boulders we'll head back around the point looking for seals and perhaps some penguins. Then back to Oamaru to explore this wonderful town.
Day 14 • Lake Tehapo
After a second sunrise shoot of the Moeraki Boulders (optional) we'll make our way to Lake Tekapo. You'll get the afternoon off to relax for some well earned R&R and then, after dinner, we'll head over to the Church of the Lost Shepherd. Here you can try your hand at some light painting with the stars as your back drop of this magnificent stone church.
Day 15 • Back to Christchurch
Sadly, our last day. Today we make our way back to Christchurch to overnight (included) before saying our farewells. We'll have the opportunity to view some of the amazing images that you have captured over the past two weeks before our farewell dinner.
Reserve your place on this tour
Once we receive your request we will call and email you to confirm details.
Bookings are made directly with the photographer. For more details please contact Mark Rayner by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Fees are exclusive of your own travel to and from Christchurch.
- Fees do not cover international travel and medical insurance.
- 50% to be paid on confirmed booking.
- Balance of 50% paid at least 45 days before the tour start date.
- By credit card or bank wire transfer.
- 100% refund if made 30+ days before the tour start date.
- 50% refund if made 15+ days before the tour start date.
- 25% refund if made 7+ days before the tour start date.
Just to be clear, filling in and sending this form does not commit you to anything or any payment until the booking is confirmed, which will be done with the photographer directly after you both have spoken and agreed everything.
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Mark hails from Brisbane in Australia, but his photo tours span the world. Fully accredited as a professional photographer in Australia (AIPP), Mark is an established wedding, portrait and commercial photographer, for which he has been awarded several commendations including "2012 Shoot the Architect" competition sponsored by the Australian Institute of Architects.