- Day 1 - Auckland - Hahei
After Airport and city hotel pickups we depart Auckland for Hahei on the Coromandel Peninsula, where we base ourselves for the next few days. The Coromandel Peninsula is a mountainous finger of land, formed from old volcanoes, and separated from Auckland by the Firth of Thames, a shallow expanse of sea home to many wading seabirds. After arriving in the hotel we use the conference room we will run through our introductory programme about the finer points of capturing a long exposure photograph and advanced settings for HDR photography.
- Day 2 - Hahei and surrounds
The day starts with a sunrise shoot over Cathedral Cove, famous as the location of Cair Paravel in the Narnia films, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, and ‘Prince Caspian.’ After photographing the cove and its impressive arch, we head back to the hotel for breakfast. We spend the rest of the day driving north to photograph the beaches, forests and waterfalls of the Coromandel Peninsula. With the terrain rising steeply to mountains, many of the area’s streams boast photogenic waterfalls. Sunset will be spent at one of the Coromandel’s bays. We will be utilising the long exposure and HDR techniques that we have learned to make some unique photographs.
- Day 3 - Thames and surrounds
Today we shall begin exploring the Western side of the Coromandel Peninsula. Here we find smooth, calm waters and jetties built in the prospering days, now within small fishing communities. The coast here is coated in lush Pohutukawa trees, booming with colour in the summer months as the road weaves along the water’s edge. We will stop off in many bays to take advantage of these swathes of colour between sunrise and sunset whilst also further exploring the lush mountainous areas of the central area.
- Day 4 - Hahei - Auckland
Another early morning sunrise allows you to hone your field technique and capture some more of the areas stunning beaches. After breakfast, we will then use the hotel's conference room for an in-depth post-production session covering the processing of long exposure, black and white images and merging HDR shots. We will help you process your best image from the workshop and produce a finished 17x22" fine art print to take home. In the afternoon, we drive back to Auckland.
- Day 5 - Auckland
Today we have a free day in Auckland, thus giving us the chance to catch up on some more post-processing. We shall as develop a workflow for dealing with the images we have taken so far on our trip to stay on top of them on the road.
- Day 6 - Auckland / Rotorua
Today we depart Auckland for Rotorua, passing through the lush rolling farmland of the Waikato en route. Once in Rotorua, we have reached the land of volcanoes, a hub for geothermal activity in New Zealand - with hot springs, waterfalls, bubbling pools of mud and impressive hues from acids boiling beneath the earth - a mysterious photographers dream.
- Day 7 - Rotorua
Today we explore the Rotorua area, including capturing a hidden Hot Water Waterfall which is often missed by many. Later today we can travel further afield deep into the forest to experience the Bays’ most majestic waterfall at 65m tall in full flood. This location is simply breathtaking. We have the option to go above the cliff line and photograph another hidden fall. After dinner, we will end our day with a long exposure session at one of the many jetties along Lake Tarawera.
- Day 8 - Rotorua / Tongariro
This morning we head out to photograph a geothermal reserve close to Rotorua. South of Rotorua, we head to Taupo, visiting Huka Falls en route. Although not particularly high, these falls are one of the most voluminous in New Zealand, where the entire Waikato River (New Zealand’s longest river) plunges over ignimbrite cliffs. Afterwards, we journey south past Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, and the site of its greatest ever recorded eruption - in 186AD - an event noted by both the Chinese and Romans. We spend the evening photographing the sunset over Mt Ruapehu, at 2797m the highest mountain in the North Island, and the country’s loftiest volcano.
- Day 9 - Tongariro
Mts Tongariro and Ngauruhoe offer striking subjects for a sunrise shoot. Both are active volcanoes, with Ngauruhoe having the distinctive classic volcano shape. We will then head around other various waterfalls and spots along the road before heading back to our accommodation for the night.
- Day 10 - Tongariro / Taranaki
We pass through several small towns and pause to capture the landscapes of the Rangitikei Gorge en route to Taranaki. Flowing from the Kaimanawa Ranges, this important river carves its way through pale cliffs made of papa, a type of mudstone that creates impressive features. During the afternoon we take a 4WD trip across private farmland to visit set of unusual round boulders in a forest.We arrive in Taranaki in time to photograph the sunset over the dramatic coastline, which includes former volcanoes, now eroded into offshore islands.
- Day 11 - Taranaki
If any New Zealand volcano has the perfect shape, it is Mt Taranaki, which at 2518 m is the second-highest peak in the North Island. It forms the centrepiece of Egmont National Park, one of the country’s oldest national parks. Wonderfully stunted forest and shapely waterfalls flowing over old lava escarpments offer some excellent photography. Journeying south, we round the North Island’s western-most point at Cape Egmont, well known for its iconic lighthouse with Mt Taranaki rising behind it. This is where we will also shoot sunset this evening.
- Day 12 - Taranaki / Auckland
Today we set off back toward Auckland after a sunrise shoot. We shall be heading back from the South of the Waikato, via Raglan, where we shall stop by Bridal Veil Falls - the highest waterfall in the North Island. In the afternoon, we drive back to Auckland.
- Day 13 - Auckland / Rangitoto Island
Today you have a free day to explore to Auckland, with the inclusion of a return ferry ticket out to explore the volcanic landscape Rangitoto Island, a pest-free island that sits in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland. It is the youngest volcano in New Zealand and offers some great photography opportunities from old lava flow to beautiful Pohutukawa trees.
- Day 14 - Auckland - Hokianga
The tour with early-morning pick up from Auckland City/Airport. Afterwards, we drive to the beautiful Hokianga Harbour, where we shall also be staying for the next two evenings. En route, we will stop to explore native Kauri forests. In the evening we will photograph the sunset over Hokianga Harbour on the West Coast - vastly contrasting to the scenes we find around the rest of the country.
- Day 15 - Hokianga
The rugged coastlines and picturesque jetties of this area are well suit black and white ‘fine art’ style photographs. We also capture images of intriguing round boulders, similar to the iconic ones found in the South Island at Moeraki.
- Day 16 - Hokianga - Cape Reinga
Today we part from Hokianga to begin making way to one of mainland New Zealand’s furthest North points and Cape Reinga. As we drive up, we will check into our next hotel before heading to the Te Paki sand dunes. These humongous dunes have been created over millions of years through volcanic eruptions.
- Day 17 - Cape Reinga
Departing from our hotel early in the day, we travel North once again to Cape Reinga. This location is of great significance in New Zealand geographically and culturally. Here we find one of the mainland’s furthest North points and a beautiful lighthouse sits high above where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet.
- Day 18 - Cape Reinga / Russell
This morning we set off toward the Bay of Islands after a sunrise shoot in Houhora Harbour. We drive to Russell and the historic Duke of Marlborough Hotel, our home for the next two nights in the picturesque Bay of Islands. During European colonisation, Russell was briefly the capital of New Zealand and features many historic sites. The day ends with a sunset shoot over the picturesque coastline, on one of the many beautiful bays close by.
- Day 19 - Russell
An early start enables a sunrise shoot before we head back to the hotel for breakfast. A chartered boat today enables us to explore the Bay of Islands by sea, including parts of the coastline not accessible by road. We will send the day stopping at a number of the beautiful islands to capture these at our own pace.
- Day 20 - Russell - Auckland
Another early morning sunrise shoot across the Bay of Islands allows you to hone your field technique and capture some more of the areas stunning beaches. Today we depart the bo of islands and head towards Whangarei to capture the beautiful Whangarei Falls. In the afternoon, we drive back to Auckland to meet with late afternoon flights from the Airport.