As a landscape photographer, I truly enjoy how unpredictable and full of surprises nature can be. It’s amazing how sometimes you find beauty where you never quite anticipated it. Moraine Ridge Walk at Lake Tasman in Mount Cook National Park is exactly that type of place. We expected nothing more than a pleasant stroll to the lakeshore, but it turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand.
With snow-capped mountains, beautiful lakes and many picturesque hikes, Wanaka region is without a doubt every landscape photographer’s dream. One can easily spend a few days in this amazing area and only get a taste of it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay more than one night before heading to Mt. Cook on the following day. This means I only had one sunset and one sunrise to work with. And while this might not sound like a lot, in this mini-guide I provide some tips on how to make the most out of this limited time.
The engines grew louder, and the helicopter took to the air. As I watched Fox Glacier disappear into the distance, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated. I wish I could tell you that the heli hike had been a highlight of my trip to New Zealand. I wish I could join hundreds of praising reviews that describe the experience as incredible and amazing. At the very worst, I wish I could at least promise that it is absolutely not worth the money. But unfortunately, the truth is always somewhere in between.
Franz Josef Glacier was high on our list of must-see locations in New Zealand, so we were really excited as we left Hokitika heading south-west. Unfortunately, our hopes for the stunning views soon plummeted as Franz Josef greeted us with dark skies and relentless rain. Would the glacier be even visible in these conditions? We didn’t know. But we had to find out.
Mil Ventanas de Güimar is without a doubt one of the most unique and amazing hikes I have done in Tenerife, or anywhere in the world really. With its dark narrow tunnels, steep vertigo-inducing drop-offs, incredible views, and unbelievable history it has everything a true adventurer may desire and is a must-do for any avid hiker.
While most people probably know it as a sunny vacation destination, Tenerife is an amazing place for landscape photography. Going there has become somewhat of an annual tradition for me and over the years I had the chance to photograph its beautiful beaches, incredible mountains, and unforgettable sunsets. So this year I really wanted to try something different. I recently got my first taste of wave photography at a landscape photography workshop in Hawaii and instantly got hooked. Tenerife with its rugged coastline and ever-changing ocean conditions seemed like a perfect place to give it another spin. And so, after spending a few days on the island chasing surf, here are my three favorite locations on Tenerife for capturing water action, as well as some general tips for getting stunning looking shots.
We discovered Hokitika almost by pure chance. Our next destination in New Zealand after Wharariki Beach – Franz Joseph Glacier – was simply too far to drive to in one go. Instead, we decided to play it safe and find a place somewhere in between to have some rest before heading to the glacier the following morning. That’s when Hokitika caught our eye. Located two hours away from Franz Josef and described online as a cool little town with a beautiful emerald water gorge nearby, it appeared to be a perfect spot to spend the night and capture some nice photos. But did it live up to the expectations?
Wharariki Beach was one of the highlights of our trip, but amazing as it was, we only had two weeks in New Zealand and had to keep moving. Our next destination was Hokitika, a small coastal town known for its beautiful emerald water gorge. And, as it happens, a grueling six hours drive from Wharariki. That’s problem with being this far north – no matter where you go after, you’re looking at a long and tiring journey. In situations like these I usually try to make a day-trip out of it, finding interesting stops along the way to split driving into shorter, more manageable chunks. So, should you consider making a similar voyage from Wharariki to Hokitika, here are the three spots I think are definitely worth a quick stop.
Wharariki Beach is undeniably one of the most inspiring, captivating and amazingly beautiful places I have visited in New Zealand. For some strange reason those gigantic jagged rocks protruding from the ocean, the vast empty dunes and the ever-present wind driving the waves relentlessly against the shore are inexplicably alluring to me. Ever since I first saw images of it on the internet, I knew right away that Wharariki Beach has to be on my itinerary. I waited eagerly with excitement and anticipation for the moment when I finally see its beauty with my own eyes. Often such high expectations can easily turn into disappointment. But not this time.
New Zealand may appear small on the map, but its distances are often deceiving. While on paper Wharariki beach is only 400 kilometers and a six hour drive away from Kaikoura, in reality it can easily take much longer. There’s no high-speed motorways and with all the gorgeous scenery awaiting at every turn it is very difficult to ignore the temptation to stop and explore a little. Yet picking the best among so many beautiful and interesting locations may be a daunting task. So in this article I will give you my own selection of absolute top spots. From rugged coastline to tropical jungle, these are the four places I think you definitely should not miss.