As a landscape photographer, I felt both extremely excited and slightly nervous about spending two weeks in New Zealand. With so many wonderful locations, the country has been on my list of places to go for a while. But how do you possibly fit everything in just 14 days? After spending what must’ve been hours reading, researching and going through every detail, the itinerary below is what I came up with. It’s packed and intense and may not be for everyone, but it also features some of the most photogenic places in the South Island. That’s the itinerary I myself used and although not perfect, for me it worked out pretty well.
Mount Cook National Park is an amazing location for landscape photography, with literally endless opportunities for a good image. One could easily spend months in this part of New Zealand and never run out of good compositions. Unfortunately, we only had two days to explore this beautiful area. This means I had to think hard about where to go and what to shoot. So if you have limited time in the area, here are my top 5 locations for photography in Mount Cook National Park.
The Hooker Valley Track is easily the most popular hiking route in the Mount Cook National Park. With lovely alpine scenery at every turn of the road, it’s easy to see why people love it. Many even consider it one of the best half-day hikes in New Zealand’s South Island. And yet, much as I’d love to join all the praise, I cannot. Don’t get me wrong – Hooker Valley Track is a lovely and beautiful walk. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
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.