- 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 where you will have the opportunity to take a boat to Rangitoto Island and photograph another of Aotearoa's volcanoes. This free day also gives 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 - 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 connect with outgoing flights and finish our journey.