- Day 1 - Auckland / Bay of Islands
The tour starts with an early morning flight from Auckland to Whangarei (included). After meeting you in Whangarei, we drive to Russell, our home for the next three nights in the picturesque Bay of Islands. During European colonisation, Russell was briefly the capital of New Zealand, and features many historic sites. Once at our hotel we will start our introductory session, covering some of the finer points of working in manual mode and capturing long exposure photographs for use over this tour. The day ends with a sunset shoot over the coastline.
- Day 2 - Bay of Islands
An early start enables a sunrise shoot before we head back to the hotel for breakfast. A chartered boat enables us to explore the Bay of Islands by sea, including parts of the coastline not accessible by road.
- Day 3 - Hokianga
Today we will venture further afield to explore more of the beautiful Hokianga Harbour. Rugged coastlines and picturesque jetties well suit black and white ‘fine art style’ photographs. We also capture images of intriguing round boulders, similar to those found in the south island at Moeraki.
- Day 4 - Bay of Islands / Auckland
Another early morning sunrise shoot across the Bay of Islands allows you to hone your field technique. A post production session covers processing of long exposure, black and white images and merging HDR shots. In the afternoon, we drive back to Whangarei for a return flight (included) to Auckland.
- Day 5 - Auckland / Rangitoto
Today you have free day to explore to Auckland, with the inclusion for 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 and beautiful Pohutukawa trees.
- Day 6 - Auckland / Rotorua
After Airport and city hotel pickups 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 - White Island
The broad expanse of the Bay of Plenty is famed for its harbours, long beaches and prospering towns. The bay boasts several islands, including White Island/Whakaari. Lying 49 km offshore, this island is the tip of a large underwater volcano, with the crater exposed above sea level. A tour around the island offers much of photographic interest, including active steam vents, the brilliant colours of the sulphur, and the surreal textures of this constantly-changing landscape.
- 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 an 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 accomodation 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 to meet connecting flights to main centers.