Photo by: Ron Rosenstock
Location: Moeraki Boulders New Zealand South Island
PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

New Zealand South Island Photography Tour

Call us if you would like to plan your own small group tour to New Zealand

  • The dramatic, moody and tempestuous West Coast
  • 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
  • Victorian architecture of Dunedin provide wonderful settings for night photography
Region

Asia and Pacific

Destination

New Zealand

Dates

TBD

Duration

TBD

$5395

per person, double occupancy*

This tour is not currently scheduled. Contact us if you want details when tour dates are announced, or if you are interested in running a private trip for your group.

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 8 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 6-7 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 $945.

Tour Overview

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 encompass the South Island of New Zealand. The South Island has some of the most dramatic scenery in the world, with towering peaks, glaciers, majestic fiords, and pristine lakes. Our trip has been timed to coincide with New Zealand’s glorious summer, a...

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 encompass the South Island of New Zealand. The South Island has some of the most dramatic scenery in the world, with towering peaks, glaciers, majestic fiords, and pristine lakes. Our trip has been timed to coincide with New Zealand’s glorious summer, a period of breathtaking beauty and life.

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.

Photo Leader TBD

Tour Itinerary

February 13-14: U.S. - Christchurch

Leave the U.S. today for New Zealand, flying across the Pacific. A day is lost en route as you cross the International Date Line. Flights need to be booked round trip Christchurch (CHC). (meals on plane)

February 15: Christchurch

Enjoy a leisurely drive back to Christchurch today, with photographic stops along the way. Christchurch. Late this afternoon there will be time walk in town, rest, relax, and re-pack for flights home tomorrow. HOTEL RENDEZVOUS, CHRISTCHURCH (D)

February 16-17: Twizel

Traveling north from Dunedin we will reach the Waitaki Valley and the Mackenzie Basin. Stopping off at Moeraki this morning to photograph the renowned Moeraki Boulders scattered through the inter-tidal zone on the beach. There may also be time to admire the enjoy the Victorian architecture in the port region of Oamaru, before turning inland and traveling passed the hydro lakes to Twizel. The next day enjoy sunrise photography and have the day to enjoy and photograph 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. We’ll have a picnic lunch at the park and use the afternoon for additional hikes and photography, or for optional scenic flight over Mt Cook. Overnight MACKENZIE COUNTRY INN, TWIZEL (B, L, D; B, D)

February 18: Dunedin

Leaving the magnificent fiordland, we will drive across southern New Zealand to the coastal town of Dunedin, taking a break en route in Gore. This afternoon we will have time to explore Dunedin’s historic architecture. Overnight SOUTHERN CROSS HOTEL, DUNEDIN (B, L)

February 19: Te Anau

After travelling south alongside Lake Wakatipu, 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 we experience the workings of such a station, enjoy watching the mustering, shearing and the renowned sheep dogs at work. This is no tourist farm, but a family-owned and run working farm. We shall also explore, by coach, the wonderful tussocklands of the upper Nevis Valley at the back of the farm, as we are guided by the farmer. Lunch will be served in the woolshed before continuing through to the Fiordland World Heritage Area. 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. DISTINCTION LUXMORE, TE ANAU (B, L, D)

February 20-21: 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. MILFORD SOUND LODGE (B, L, D both days)

February 19: Lake Wanaka

Early this morning we will make a special journey to the famed Lake Moeraki and a walk to Munroe’s Beach. The landscape undergoes a dramatic change in coastal relief just south of Lake Moeraki, as we cross from the lush rain forests of the vast South-West New Zealand World Heritage Area to the arid tussock landscapes of Central Otago. Mountain lakes and dripping moss-clad beech forest will enthrall all this morning before crossing the Haast Pass, western gateway to Central Otago – a great fragmented schist plateau that now appears as a series of block mountain ranges. A region of climatic extremes, the dry core of New Zealand has much to offer the naturalist and photographer. We will stop along the shores of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. With its shimmering, bright blue waters, Lake Wanaka is one of the largest of the southern lakes. Overnight at WYNDHAM RESORT (B, L, D)

February 23-24: Fox Glacier

Ancient forest, bush clad lakes, glistening glaciers, and impetuous rivers make Westland an area of imposing beauty. This morning we will travel down the wild and wet West Coast on avenues framed by the green lushness of rainforest. In the afternoon we will visit the famous Franz Josef and Fox Glacier regions, perhaps with excellent views of Mt. Cook. If weather permits, you will have photo opportunities at Lake Matheson – with morning reflections of the Southern Alps, or perhaps glacier viewpoints of Fox glacier or Franz Josef Glacier in Westland National Park. WESTHAVEN LODGE (B, L, D; B)

February 25-26: Punakaiki

We spend the morning in the lichen and moss festooned beech forest adjacent to the lodge before traveling along the coast, through the Paparoa National park, to Punikaiki. Visiting the famed Pancake Rocks this afternoon, we further explore this wonderful coast with a gentle walk along the Truman Track. Our stay tonight is in a dramatic coastal setting just south of Punakaiki, at PUNAKAIKI ROCKS HOTEL (B, L, D both days)

February 27: Home

This morning there will be free time to photograph in Christchurch, departing for the airport in the afternoon (time to be announced). Fly back home today, likely having a connection through Auckland. (B)