Photography in New Zealand

From the the endless fields of golden tussock, mirror-like turquoise lakes and unique wildlife, New Zealand is a photographer's dream-come-true.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro, New Zealand offers dramatic landscapes, fascinating wildlife and a laid back, colourful culture to tempt your lens.

Opportunities for spectacular celestial photography abound. During summer, the beaches and lakesides are bathed in a clear, golden light; dramatically contrasting with azure blue skies and emerald-coloured forests. Here, all four seasons offer a myriad of superb and varied photographic opportunities. Winter or summer, our unique wildlife and landscapes bear true testament to the beauty New Zealand has on offer.

At First Light Travel, we can help you to design a New Zealand itinerary that offers unique photographic opportunities. Perhaps you’re interested in capturing New Zealand’s native birds, or you love shooting amongst the vibrant colours of Autumn. Here are a few of the places we think offer the most dramatic and unique settings for incredible photography.

Shooting the Stars

Celestial photography is a difficult art, but when everything comes together the result can be magical. Some of the best views of the night sky in the world can be found amidst the International Dark Sky Reserve, found in central Canterbury.  Here, stars twinkle brightly in a inky black sky due to the lack of light pollution. The best time to shoot here is during clear, crisp nights during a new moon or when the moon is sitting below the horizon. Highly recommended locations include around Lake Tekapo’s Church of the Good Shepherd, the shores of Lake Pukaki en route to Twizel and in and around the Hermitage at Aoraki Mount Cook.

Autumnal Arrowtown

Steeped in gold mining heritage, Arrowtown is one of New Zealand’s most picturesque settlements. Nestled on the banks of the once gold-bearing Arrow River and dotted with deciduous trees, during the months of April and May Arrowtown ignites with the fiery colours of autumn (fall). Bright yellows, fiery oranges and deep, rusty reds decorate the trees, painting the town the colour of the famous precious metal it was once renowned for. Needless to say, the crisp, clear autumn air and the seasonal riot of fiery colours makes Arrowtown a distinctly unique photography destination.

Rare, Unique Wildlife

New Zealand is known for its fascinating and unique wildlife. Whether it’s the cheeky Kea, an alpine parrot with bright red feathers on the underside of its wings, or the huge Hooker’s Sea Lion, there’s interesting, colourful wildlife galore for those that love photographing living creatures. New Zealand’s deep South is home to a huge array of wildlife, many of which breed there during springtime. Head to the Catlins to encounter the rare Yellow-eyed Penguin or the Hooker’s Sea Lion; take to the water to get a shot of the Hector’s Dolphin, the smallest in the world, or look for the princely Albatross with their wingspan of up to 3.5 metres (11ft). Let us know the kind of wildlife you’d like to encounter, and we’ll do our best to make it happen.

At First Light Travel, we’re passionate about the incredible experiences that a holiday in New Zealand offers you. We know the country back to front, and can help you create your dream vacation. Passionate about photography? We’ll create an itinerary that incorporates the unique and vibrant photographic opportunities that you’re looking for. Contact us now, or find out more on our website.

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