New Zealand: Landscape Paradise in Autumn
Even if you’ve never been to New Zealand, you’ve seen it many times, as it’s one of the premier filmmaking destinations. Known for its incredible beauty, the south island of New Zealand is one of the most satisfying locations for the landscape photographer. We’ll photograph warm autumn colors against stunning glaciated mountains, seacoasts, lakes, braided rivers, alpine meadows, lush green rainforests, and waterfalls. Our itinerary includes:
Weather permitting, we’ll fly a helicopter with the doors off to photograph Mount Cook in early sunrise light, and the stunning braided rivers of the Tasman and Godley Rivers.
A second helicopter flight, later in the week, will take you to Coromandel Peak, which offers one of the most spectacular views in New Zealand.
Two full days photographing the mountains, glaciers, kettle lakes, rainforests, and beaches of the wild and rugged West Coast.
A guided 4x4 drive to the remote Nevis Valley, an area rich in gold mining history and offering a high country landscape of river flats, tussock grasslands, massive rock tors, and long-abandoned mining settlements.
The backcountry of the Matukituki Valley, where the autumn colors of the willows and poplars lining the river banks contrast with the glaciers and mountain peaks on either side.
And of course, we’ll photograph the famous Lone Tree in Wanaka at sunrise, a compelling subject for landscape photographers.
As impressive as that list of photographic opportunities is, we will be teaching everything from equipment to camera settings, and from pre-visualization to fully-processed images. Our instruction begins when you register, and we’re not done when the workshop concludes, either! We’ll spend an hour with you one-on-one after the workshop, reviewing your images from the trip and helping you to put the finishing touches on your images.
This workshop is for any level of photographer, and non-photographing significant others are welcome!
Of course, we are approved by the New Zealand Department of Conservation.
April 20–30, 2021
Itinerary and General Information
You’ll need to arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand (ZQN airport code) no later than April 20, 2021, but we strongly suggest arriving a day or two early to adjust to the time difference. We are happy to recommend lodging and activities in Auckland, Queenstown, or both.
April 20, 2021: We’ll meet in Queenstown today at 3.00 PM. Guests already staying in Queenstown can be picked up at their hotel by arrangement. We’ll then drive straight to Twizel, and check into our hotel, before gathering for a meet and greet, our first sunset shoot, and dinner at a local restaurant.
April 21, 2021: We’ve reserved helicopters this morning for an unforgettable doors-off flight sunrise flight. Weather permitting, we'll take off at sunrise and fly through the Tasman Valley, past Mount Sefton, and onwards for a dramatic close-up view of the summit of Mount Cook. We’ll also photograph the braided Tasman and Godley rivers from this unique perspective. Then, after breakfast, we’ll spend some time shooting around Lake Pukaki and Twizel before heading out in the afternoon to photograph in the Hooker Valley. Dinner at Mount Cook Village.
April 22, 2021: We’ll shoot sunrise this morning at Peter’s Lookout for a picture-perfect view of Aoraki-Mount Cook at the head of Lake Pukaki. After breakfast, we’ll take some time out for an interactive image review session. In the afternoon, we’ll head out to nearby Lakes Alexandrina and Tekapo. The area surrounding these lakes is the world’s largest dark sky reserve and accordingly offers a great vantage for Milky Way shooting.
April 23, 2021: Sunrise, breakfast and check-out. Today will be a leisurely day as we travel to Fox Glacier on the West coast. Along the way, we will stop at several places to photograph. On arrival, we’ll check into our hotel and take a casual walk to dinner.
April 24, 2021: This morning we’ll take and early morning walk to Lake Matheson, where towering mountains are reflected in a lake below. After breakfast, we’ll spend some time photographing the Fox Glacier and Mount Tasman in morning light. In the afternoon, we’ll stop at the Cook and Karangarua rivers, and we’ll finish the day with a sunset shoot along the beach at Bruce Bay. Dinner in Fox Glacier.
April 25, 2021: This morning we’ll have a sunrise shoot at Lake Mapourika, followed by breakfast in the town of Franz Josef Glacier. We’ll then photograph the kahikatea trees on the shore of Lake Wahapo, as well as Franz Josef Glacier itself and some waterfalls. In the afternoon we’ll head to the coastal village of Okarito for sunset.
April 26, 2021: After breakfast we’ll re-trace our route across the Alpine Divide and continue to Wanaka, stopping at several easily-accessed locations along the way. We’ll arrive in Wanaka in the afternoon, where we’ll photograph fall foliage around the Clutha River. Dinner will be at one of our favorite local restaurants.
April 27, 2021: Today we’ll depart the hotel early to meet the guides for our all-day adventure into the Nevis Valley. The Nevis is a backcountry wilderness area with a rich gold mining history. We’ll spend the morning photographing the rocky valleys, tussock grasslands, rivers, and abandoned buildings of the Nevis before heading back down to the colorful vineyards and fruit orchards of Bannockburn and Cromwell. We’ll finish the day with a sunset shoot over Lake Wanaka and dinner at another great local restaurant.
April 28, 2021: An early morning helicopter ride will take us up to Coromandel Peak, where we will enjoy exclusive access to one of the country’s most spectacular views over Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring. We’ll then return to the hotel for a second image review and post-processing session, before heading out again in the early afternoon to the Matukituki Valley. Here we’ll find colorful willow and poplar trees lining the river banks, set against a backdrop of mountain glaciers and waterfalls. We’ll photograph at three different locations before returning to Wanaka for a casual dinner in town.
April 29, 2021: Well depart early this morning to take advantage of great light at the famous Lone Tree at Lake Wanaka. After breakfast, we’ll check out of our hotel and drive the short distance to Queenstown via the Crown Range. We’ll spend the afternoon photographing from the shores of Lake Wakatipu, before returning to town for a farewell dinner.
April 30, 2021: We’ll wake early for a final sunrise shoot at nearby Moke Lake, followed by breakfast and hotel checkout. Flights home can be booked for anytime after 12:00 PM today.
What to Bring and How to Prepare for Your Workshop
Please see our How To Prepare For Your Workshop page now for guidelines on workshop prep, gear, and packing. Approximately 90 days before your workshop, you will be sent a PDF with more specific instructions.
Double occupancy lodging (single available, just ask)
All meals and transportation during the workshop
All helicopter charters
Photographic guiding and instruction from two pros
Image reviews, post-processing instruction
Fun, inspiration, and a great time!
What’s Not Included?
Your deposit of $3,995 will hold your place on this workshop. Further payment of $3,000 is due by September 1, 2020, and the balance of $4,000 will be due not later than January 1, 2021. All of our standard terms and conditions apply. Need special payment arrangements for your deposit? No problem, just ask us.