Duration: 7 days
Location: West Coast
Price: $4,990 (NZD)1 spot left : Book now - $4,990 (NZD)
West Coast Photography Tour NZ

23rd - 29th September 2021

Join Ken Wright and Shaun Barnett on this exceptional seven-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 area’s wild beaches, forests and waterfalls, and 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. Here, wild and remote coastlines are flanked by primaeval rainforests, with the high peaks and glaciers of the Southern Alps rising beyond.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage
  • Amazing coastal sunsets
  • Lake Matheson sunrise
  • Jet boat into the Waitangiroto Reserve

Queenstown - Nelson

  • Lake Matheson
  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
  • Westland National Park
  • Paparoa National Park
  • Kahurangi National Park
  • Nelson Lakes National Park

ITINERARY

  • Day 1 – Queenstown - Fox Glacier

    After meeting in Queenstown, we drive over the Crown Range and climb up to Haast Pass—the gateway to the west coast. 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. We travel along the coast, exploring the magnificent rainforest of the Te Wāhipounamu (a UNESCO World Heritage area), before heading to Fox Glacier. At sunset, we visit a remote west coast beach offering panoramic views of the snow-covered peaks of the Southern Alps.
  • Day 2 - 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 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, with panoramic views of the Southern Alps rising beyond a sweeping extent of rainforest.
  • Day 3 - Fox Glacier - Punakaiki

    This morning, we drive up the coast to Whataroa, stopping for a jet boat trip up the Whataroa river; this is 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. Following this, we drive further up the 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 4 - Punakaiki

    The day begins with an exploration of the exquisite limestone and river landscapes of Paparoa National Park. We will spend the rest of the day exploring the exceptional coastline and sunset sees us heading out onto stunning beaches to capture the last light hitting the coastline and huge breaking waves.
  • Day 5 - Punakaiki - Karamea

    From Punakaiki, we drive north along the west coast, headed for the area’s northernmost town, Karamea. En route, we stop at the impressive Ngakawau Gorge for a walk up the river, following the line of an old mining railway. If the weather allows, we also have the opportunity to visit the fascinating former coal-mining township of Dennistoun, high in the mountains. We end the day at Karamea, photographing the sunset over the tranquil Karamea River estuary.
  • Day 6 - Karamea and Kahurangi National Park

    Kahurangi National Park is famous for its geological diversity. At the secluded Oparara Valley, sub-tropical rainforest mixes with impressive limestone arches. We will spend our morning here, moving on to photograph the Kohaihai River mouth in the afternoon. The river mouth marks the start of the famous Heaphy Track, renowned for its striking nikau palms and fine coastal scenery. We finish the day with a sunset shoot over the coast.
  • Day 7 - Karamea - Nelson

    On the last day of the tour, we turn away from the west coast for somewhat of a long drive to Nelson, peppered with outstanding photo stops. These include the mighty Buller River from Hawke’s Crag, Maruia Falls, and the jetty and mountains at Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes National Park. Our tour ends in Nelson, the main city at the top of the South Island, in time for catching late afternoon flights.
Click tabs to expand
 PRICE INCLUDES
  • 7 days’ photography guiding by Ken Wright & Shaun Barnett
  • 6 nights’ hotel accommodation (twin-share, single upgrade available) mostly 4✩
  • 6 breakfasts
  • Whataroa Jetboat
  • Transport during the tour
  • Queenstown pickup / Nelson dropoff
  • DOC (National Park) concession fees
  • Copy of our Pocket Guide to Landscape & Wildlife Photography
  • Donation to our Conservation Fund
  • Native tree planting to Carbon Offset your tour

 FURTHER INFORMATION

  • Class Size

    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.
  • Itinerary

    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.
  • Transport

    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.
  • Physical Difficulty

    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.
  • Accommodation & Food

    Accommodation Type: Our tours use a standard of 4-4+ star hotel/lodge accommodation and we try where possible to stay 2 nights at each hotel. We sometimes will book a 1-night stay at a 3-star motel to be close to a place where we are shooting for sunrise/sunset at a location that does not have any other options.
    Single Room Upgrade:All our tour prices are based on twin/double share rooms. If you are travelling alone you can book a single room upgrade for $600 or we can try and pair you with another traveller for all/part of the tour. If we can not pair you with another traveller for all/part of the tour you may need to pay for a single room upgrade.
    Food:The price tour includes breakfast each morning, this is normally at the hotel but sometimes a local cafe. Lunches and dinner (apart from any listed as being included) are at your own expense. We will stop at a cafe/shop for lunch and book a table for the group for dinner each day at a local restaurant. Sometimes evening meal times might be early/late to fit around the time of sunset. New Zealand had great food and caters well for any preferences like allergies, vegetarian etc.
  • Experience

    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.
  • Equipment

    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 here
    Clothing: 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.

 TUTORS