New Zealand’s Top 5 Photo Stops in the South Island

Plan your tour of the South Island around photos and memories from these five incredible spots.

1. Church of the Good Shepherd – Tekapo

Beautiful by day, exquisite by night, the Church of the Good Shepherd sits right beside the turquoise wonder of Lake Tekapo. Built in the 1930’s, its altar window perfectly frames the incredible views outside.
At night, the skies are so clear you can gaze up at stars of the Milky Way, and night photography of the church is very popular.
Tekapo is becoming equally famous for its giant telescope and star-gazing tours on Mt John, and its scenic outdoor hot pools.


2. The Wanaka Tree - Wanaka

Literally millions of people have come before you and stood at the edge of Lake Wanaka to photograph what was actually once a fence post made from a Willow that decided to return to its natural state. Seventy years later, the tree is majestic and is surrounded by lake water. It marks each season by changing its look while the landscape around it follows suit.
That something with such humble beginnings should become such a social media darling is bemusing to some locals, but why not, it’s awesome and so is Wanaka. Just ask Reese Witherspoon or Oprah Winfrey, who tweeted and Instagrammed about it while on location there for a movie.

Wanaka? Do it!


3. Bennett’s Bluff – Glenorchy Road

As you drive out of Queenstown towards Glenorchy, nature will wallop you over the head as you turn the corner to the surprise party that is Bennett’s Bluff.
The sheer WOW factor of lake, sky, mountains and islands can’t be explained in words. Only your eyes, and maybe your camera, can do it justice!

Bennett’s Bluff? You have to!


4. Paradise Sign - Paradise

It’s “just a sign” and you need to drive for an hour from Queenstown, around knotted forest tracks and unsealed roads (or take a guided tour with us) to get to it.
It is “just a sign”, set amidst the misty mountains of Lord of the Rings country. It is a sign…that you are standing in the middle of Paradise – metaphorically and yes, literally. The region called Paradise will give you pause and peace. Take photos of you with the sign.



5. Mitre Peak – Milford Sound

There are not enough days in the year to photograph the amazing Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park. On the road in, famed as New Zealand’s most scenic road, your eyes will be competing with magical mountains, intensive native forests and abundant waterfalls. But if there’s one photo you want to come home with, it’s a photo of Mitre Peak.
Mitre Peak is a fjord that juts vertically from the water, rising 5,560 feet in the air in the rough shape of and arrow head. It looks like one giant being, but is in fact made up of five peaks hugged tightly together and this makes for some incredible 3D photography and shifting imagery depending on where you are photographing it from.
Can you climb it? Well…it’s no day stroll and not for the novice, but technically yes, it is possible. There are many boat tours in Milford Sound which will get you up closer to the peak for the money shot, as well as scenic flights to view its intricacies.

Mitre Peak? That's a wrap.


Pure Glenorchy Lord of The Ring tours is based in Queenstown, New Zealand. We love to share our beautiful countryside with you. Join us for a guided tour of Lord of the Rings filming locations, passing Bennett’s Bluff and the Paradise sign or call us to discuss a charter tour.

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