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New Zealand’s Most Magical Photo Stops

Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or simply wanting to document the memories of your trip, New Zealand’s otherworldly landscapes and colourful seasons combine for some incredible photo ops. Mirror-like lakes, pastel blue waterways and fields of golden tussock are just a few of the things that will tempt your lens every day. Read on to find out more about New Zealand’s top destinations for magnificent photos.

A holiday in New Zealand promises to linger in your mind long after you return home, and a collection of beautiful photos is the perfect memento. A handful of New Zealand locations stand out from the rest in terms of crystal-clear light, dramatically contrasting colours and grand surrounds – offering the opportunity for truly impressive photos.


Hokianga Harbour, Northland

Steeped in Maori legend and history, the Hokianga Harbour comes alive behind a lens. The vibrant blue of the Pacific Ocean laps at the base of towering sand dunes and stretches of white sand beaches that form the safe haven of the harbour’s inner waters. However, your very first view of the Hokianga Harbour is perhaps the most spectacular – arriving from the South, you’ll come over the crest of a hill with majestic views across the inlet and beyond. Blonde tufts of toi toi flowers offer a unique frame what is a very dramatic and panoramic photo opportunity.

Wai-o-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, Rotorua

Nature’s powerful forces are showcased in a riot of vibrant mineral colours, bubbling mud pools and geothermal wonders at Wai-o-Tapu near Rotorua. Bright yellows, greens and browns steam and hiss amidst a wonderland of boiling water and silica terraces. Not surprisingly, this very special environment creates the backdrop for unique and magical images – photos of Wai-o-Tapu often appear to have been taken on another planet.


Foothills of Aoraki Mount Cook

New Zealand’s tallest mountain, Aoraki Mount Cook, stands at an imposing 3,754m (12,316ft) amidst the rugged Southern Alps. In the foothills of this dramatic range are valleys full of golden tussock and purple, blue and pink coloured lupins. Take an early morning stroll and focus your lens on landscapes alive with contrasts – golds, blues and whites make for dramatic panoramas. The crystal-clear alpine air here gives a clarity and sharpness to shots, making your images come alive.


Milford Road

The beauty of lush Fiordland National Park is revealed along the Milford Road, the route you’ll take to visit Milford Sound. Leave plenty of time for photo stops along this journey. The Eglinton Valley, once carved by ancient glaciers and now home to sheer granite cliffs and a floor of blonde tussock grass, is a surreal environment to document with your camera. Later along the road you’ll reach the Mirror Lakes – on a still day, the reflections of the surrounding mountains cast in their glassy pools look magnificent from behind a lens. Further on, dramatic views of lush rainforests and snowy peaks create picture-perfect images.

Lake Matheson

The azure waters of Lake Matheson create post-card perfect reflections of the Southern Alps. Sheltered and still, the lake’s alpine backdrop seems perfectly positioned in the east for perfect photo opportunities. Surrounded by forests of tall Rimu trees, your lens promises to capture an isolated wonderland of stunning New Zealand wilderness. 

Inspired to grab your camera and experience a little Kiwi magic for yourself? Our Small Group Tours offer carefully crafted itineraries, many of which visit the places described above – perfect for magnificent photo opportunities! Find out more about our Small Group New Zealand Tours here, or contact us directly

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