As a Kiwi Guide for MoaTrek, a few years back I was made aware of the absolute importance of enabling opportunities for photographers to "capture" that magic moment, when I stopped our coach high above the banks of the Rakaia River in the South Island for a photo stop. While I explained the river’s features and formation, a gentleman from Singapore quietly set up his tripod and took a number of photos looking across the river, over the farmland and beyond to the snow-capped mountains. It was only later, when he showed me his photos, that I saw the scene anew.
Stretching beyond the river, his expert eye – and his camera - had focused on the land contours as they paralleled one another to the distant mountains; his photo contrasted the horizontal with the vertical; his enhancements of the image highlighted the colours which I had not seen; and his concentration on just a segment of the entirety brought the differing lights and shades to an otherwise bland scene. I was amazed. His skill with that camera showed an artist at work, not just a photographer.
It was a lesson I try to remember on all my tours. There are people on this coach who will capture a moment, a movement, a light in the landscape that is not obvious to me. And, hence, I must be prepared to ensure they are given every opportunity to do just that – capture the moment ... record the memory.
So a MoaTrek tour aims to "multiply the moments" when our guests can get out of the coach and take those shots that for them will stimulate their recall at a later date and provide a gratifying memory of their trip to New Zealand. All our Kiwi Guides take every chance they can to stop and allow our visitors to get a photo or two – when it is safe to do so. They are not professional photographers but they are professional guides, who will go out of their way to enable you to take back some great memories.
New Zealand is a great place for photography because of the variety of landscapes, the clear air, the small population and the wide open spaces with so few people around. Then there is the extensive network of tracks that form part of the hiking network in New Zealand, the many viewing platforms and the frequent roadside rest areas that allow safe stopping along the main road networks, often sited in places with great views.