7-Day West Coast Wilderness Photo Tour in 2020 with New Zealand Photography Workshops
Duration: 7 days
Location: West Coast
Price: $4,990 (NZD)Only 2 spots left! : Book now - $4,990 (NZD)
15th - 21st September 2020
Join Ken Wright and Shaun Branett on this exceptional 7-day photography tour of the South Island’s wild West Coast. Timed at the end of winter, when the light is crisp and low, the West Coast Photography Tour offers excellent opportunities to capture the wild beaches of the area, its forests and waterfalls, as well as views of the snow-covered Southern Alps.
The South Island’s West Coast boasts more forests, mountains and protected lands than any other region of New Zealand. Very little of the region has been touched by man, resulting in some of the most incredible examples of native Aotearoa. The landscape is extremely unique and has inspired photographers for generations to travel the Coast and immerse themselves in a sublime nature experience. On our route, wild and remote coastlines are flanked by primeval rainforests, with the high peaks and glaciers of the Southern Alps rising beyond.
Amazing coastal sunsets
Lake Masterson sunrise
Jet boat into the Waitangiroto Reserve
Queenstown - Nelson
Punakaiki Pankcake Rocks
Nelson Lakes National Park
Westland National Park
Paparoa National Park
Day 1 – Queenstown
After meeting at Queenstown airport or picking you up from your accommodation we drive to Glenorchy, capturing en route the beauty of tranquil Lake Wakatipu with its surrounding snow-capped mountains. The day finishes by photographing the sunset over lake Wakatipu.
Day 2 - Queenstown / Haast
Today we drive over the Crown Range then climb up to Haast Pass, the gateway to the West Coast, where we stay overnight. Along the way, we photograph a number of extraordinary waterfalls, including a beautiful 30-metre cascade in stately beech forest. Tonight we capture our first West Coast sunset.
Day 3 - Haast / Fox Glacier
We travel along the West Coast exploring some of the magnificent rainforests of the Te Wahipounamu, a UNESCO World Heritage area, before heading to Fox Glacier. At sunset, we visit a remote West Coast beach which offers panoramic views of the snow-covered peaks of the Southern Alps.
Day 4 - Fox Glacier
This morning we photograph sunrise at Lake Matheson, capturing the often-perfect reflections of Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mt Tasman - New Zealand’s highest mountains. If the weather is right you will have the option (at additional cost) to take a helicopter flight onto the vast upper neve of the Fox Glacier for some unparalleled photo opportunities. Sunset tonight will see us heading out to Okarito Lagoon offering panoramic views of the Southern Alps, rising beyond a vast extent of the rainforest.
Day 5 - Fox Glacier / Punakaiki
This morning we drive up the coast to Whataroa, stopping here for a jet boat trip up the Whataroa river, the only way to access the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve. Here we will photograph the country's only nesting site for the beautiful White Herons (Kotuku) along with the Royal Spoonbill. After this, we drive further up the West Coast, with several stops en route, including the turquoise waters of the Hokitika Gorge. We reach Punakaiki and its famous Punakaiki rock formations in time for sunset photography.
Day 6 - Punakaiki
This morning we explore the exquisite limestone and river landscapes of Paparoa National Park. We will spend the rest of the day exploring the exceptional coastline in this area, sunset will see us heading out onto stunning beaches to capture the last light hitting the coastline and huge breaking waves.
Day 7 -Punakaiki / Nelson
Today we will head away from the West Coast, following the Buller River to its source at the first of the two National Parks we visit today, Nelson Lakes. After some time spent photographing the beautiful lake and mountain backdrops, we then head on to our second park of the day, Kahurangi. Here we will walk out of a short track to capture beautiful beech-forested valleys of one of New Zealand’s largest untouched wildernesses. We then arrive at the top of the South Island in the city of Nelson.
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Tuition by Shaun Barnett & Ken Wright
6 nights hotel accommodation (twin-share, single upgrade available)
This tour runs with a maximum group size of 8 and 2 tutors, offering 1:4 ratio of tutors to guests. Limiting group sizes ensure we provide you with expert guidance, instruction, and personal attention according to your learning style. Smaller groups of up to 4 may only be led by one tutor.
Our exact schedule each day will be determined according to the weather to allow for the best shooting, we may choose to swap out locations for other that are better suited to the conditions and we keep a flexible itinerary to accommodate this. We focus on spending as much time as possible out shooting, often from before dawn until sunset. During the tour, we will make time for some image review and processing session, we will fit these around times that are not optimum for shooting.
Queenstown pick up & Nelson drop off: We will pick you up early (approx 8 am) from any central location in Queenstown on the first day and provide transport to the whole tour. The tour will finish at Nelson Airport (or hotel drop off) at 4:30 pm to meet flights after 5:30 pm to the main cities.
A minimum level of physical activity is necessary to enjoy this tour. All locations we shoot will be within a short walk along the forest tracks or the coastline. These are sometimes uphill, over uneven ground, or rocky beaches and you will be carrying your own equipment. On this tour, there may be a couple of longer walk options (30-45 min one way) but if these are difficult for the group, we do have the option to split the group at these locations. If your fitness or mobility is an issue please let us know.
Ideally, you will have a basic knowledge of photography and be comfortable adjusting camera settings such as aperture and shutter speed. An aim of this tour is to get you to the best locations, in the best light. While providing you on-location help from our experienced tutors, to come away with the hero shots of your own personal vision. We will have a brief session at the start of the tour, covering camera settings and controls, to be sure everyone is up to speed.
Camera Equipment: Our tours focus on how to use your camera, not your type of camera. A basic list of recommended camera equipment can be found hereClothing: A list of recommended clothing to bing on the tour can be found here
Booking & Payment
A non-refundable deposit of NZD$700.00 is required to reserve your space for the workshop. The remaining balance is due 45 days prior to the start of the workshop. You may pay in full at time of booking, the balance (minus the deposit) will remain fully refundable until 45 days before the workshop.
Booking and Cancellation Policy: Please click here for our booking and cancellation policy.