Photo by: Ron Rosenstock
Location: Moeraki Boulders New Zealand South Island
New Zealand Majestic Icons of South Island
- Hike through Mount Cook National Park and enjoy the spectacular views of the expansive glaciers in Hooker Valley
- Capture the spirit of the captivating Moeraki Boulders
- Magnificent Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park
- Photograph a high country sheep station, a part of New Zealand’s economy and culture
- Relax and photograph in a stunning location at Arthur’s Pass
- Newly added to the itinerary, Punakaiki Rocks, or Pancake Rocks, in Paparoa National Park.
- Victorian architecture of Dunedin & Christchurch provide wonderful settings for night photography
per person, double occupancy*
*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 8 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 6 or 7 participants. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $1095.
Nowhere in the world can one find such a land as New Zealand for sheer beauty and scale. Volcanoes, glaciers, high mountains, fiords, tussock lands, and geothermal springs — the country is a treasure trove of natural wonders. Our trip will concentrate on the highlights of the South Island. The South Island has some of the most dramatic scenery in the world, with towering peaks, glaciers, majestic fiords, and pristine lakes. We’ll spend all of our time here, moving about to photograph the diverse...
Nowhere in the world can one find such a land as New Zealand for sheer beauty and scale. Volcanoes, glaciers, high mountains, fiords, tussock lands, and geothermal springs — the country is a treasure trove of natural wonders. Our trip will concentrate on the highlights of the South Island. The South Island has some of the most dramatic scenery in the world, with towering peaks, glaciers, majestic fiords, and pristine lakes. We’ll spend all of our time here, moving about to photograph the diverse landscape and changing colors of its breathtaking beauty.
WHAT TO EXPECT: TRIP FOCUS, ACTIVITIES, AND ACCOMMODATIONS
This trip is designed to show you New Zealand’s natural wonders with the focus on photography. We use local guides in each location, who have a wealth of information to share. Where possible, we favor lodges and smaller hotels and motels located close to natural areas, rather than larger tourist hotels located in shopping or resort areas. Accommodations are not always luxurious, but they are comfortable and clean. Meals consist of hearty buffet-style breakfasts and lunches, and either buffet dinners or set menus, usually with a choice of two or more entrees and desserts.
The trip is not strenuous and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most activities. There will be long flights to and from New Zealand with many hours in the air. The change in time zones will add to the general travel fatigue. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators.
Although health services are good, in some areas medical care may be several hours away. If you have any special needs or if you have any physical condition that might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo International with your concerns (607-756-8676).
I can’t say enough about Ron. I’ve been on four Ireland trips and New Zealand last January with him. Iceland is now on my bucket list. He is a master leader who’s perfect at getting us to the best places at the best time with the best photographic guidance. His willingness to share his companionship and knowledge (always with good humor) were immeasurable gifts to all of us. This was one of my most memorable trips ever.
— S. Corbin
April 1-2: Home - Christchurch
Leave the U.S. today for New Zealand, flying across the Pacific. Two days are lost en route as you cross the International Date Line. Flights need to be booked round trip Christchurch (CHC – South Island). (meals on plane)
*Note: If you would like to depart earlier to rest and get over jet lag in Christchurch, Strabo Tours can make these arrangements, please contact us for details.
April 3: Christchurch
We arrive in Christchurch and have the day to adjust/explore Christchurch. OVERNIGHT CHRISTCHURCH (D)
April 4-5: Twizel
We leave this morning early for Mount Cook, exploring arid landscapes around the lakes before we get there – including Tekapo. Arrive in time to do afternoon and sunset light on the mountains.
The next day enjoy sunrise photography and have the day to enjoy the sheer majesty and grandeur of the place, the alpine vegetation, and the results of recent and continuing glaciation with the Mueller and Hooker Glaciers. We will devote the morning to a two-and-a half-hour walk through the moraine of Hooker Valley, with magnificent views of the glaciers. Enjoy free time after lunch or perhaps a photo discussion, followed by late afternoon light on the Alps again. OVERNIGHT TWIZEL (B, L, D; B, D)
April 6-7: Milford Sound
Optional sunrise shoot this morning before breakfast. Then depart for on your drive to Milford Sound. At times stunning, at others awesome, and in places, even tranquil, this area encompasses New Zealand’s largest national park. Valleys gouged by glaciers and lakes nestled between range-upon-range of snow-capped mountains characterize the landscape. The next day starts with an early morning excursion on a cruise of Milford Sound, the northernmost fiord in Fiordland National Park, and offers the opportunity to see New Zealand fur seals, Fiordland crested penguins, and bottlenose dolphins, as well as absolutely remarkable scenery with waterfalls, rainforest, and towering mountains. Milford Sound is regarded as one of the most beautiful fiords in the world — certainly the most famous. Kipling described it as the eighth wonder of the world. Majestic mountains rise vertically from the water’s edge to over a mile high, while thread-like waterfalls plunge from hidden valleys into the ebony waters below. OVERNIGHT MILFORD SOUND (B, L, D both days)
April 8-9: Dunedin
After travelling east from Fiordland the road follows the upper Mataura Valley. In this valley are located several high-country sheep stations, the backbone of the New Zealand wool industry. This morning experience the workings of such a farm – enjoy watching the mustering, shearing and the renowned sheepdogs at work. This is no tourist farm, but a family owned and run working farm. You will also explore the wonderful tussock lands of the upper Nevis Valley at the back of the farm, as you are guided by the farmer. Midafternoon continue on to Dunedin.
The next morning drive north of Dunedin to visit and photograph the famed Moeraki Boulders. This afternoon there will be additional photography on the spectacular Otago Peninsula or if you prefer the Victorian architecture of historic Dunedin. OVERNIGHT DUNEDIN (B, L both days)
April 10: Lake Wanaka
Turn inland and travel through the mountainscape, orchards and vineyards of Central Otago. Late afternoon continue to Wanaka. OVERNIGHT LAKE WANAKA (B, L, D)
April 11-12: Fox Glacier
We travel alongside Lakes Hawea and Wanaka and continue up over Haast Pass with stops for waterfalls, forest scenes, and more along the way, arriving in Fox Glacier this afternoon. The next day early morning sunrise photography at Lake Matheson; afternoon will be additional photography hike, or you can take an optional helicopter ride over Fox Glacier & Franz Josef, perhaps with excellent views of Mt. Cook. We’ll take a drive up to Okarito Lagoon for sunset photography with mountains reflected in the lagoon (today or tomorrow depending on weather). OVERNIGHT FOX GLACIER (B, L, D; B)
April 13: Punakaiki Rocks, Paparoa National Park
After breakfast, head northward, exploring the Whataroa Valley, stopping for lunch along the way. Afternoon exploration of the Hokitika Gorge. Travel north to the Paparoa National Park. OVERNIGHT PUNAKAIKI (B)
April 14-15: Arthur's Pass
Make most of the morning discovering the spectacular coastal scenery at the famed Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. The limestone rocks have formed into what looks like stacks of pancakes. After Truman Beach turn inland over Arthur’s Pass. Your accommodations are amidst the spectacular upper Waimakrariri Valley and surrounded by forest and mountains. This lodge is the perfect setting for your final day in Aotearoa New Zealand. It will be a full day of discovering the scenic grandeur of this mountainous region, the high-country sheep station, reflections on Lake Pearson, and the forests of Arthur’s Pass National Park. OVERNIGHT ARTHUR’S PASS (B, L, D both days)
April 16: Christchurch - Home
Enjoy sunrise photography this morning around the hotel. Depart in time to make your way back to Christchurch for afternoon flights home. (B)