12 Day South Island New Zealand Photography Workshop
New Zealand’s South Island is home to some of the world’s most spectacular and accessible landscapes. It goes without saying that this makes it the ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts keen on photography. Mesmerising fjords, pristine glaciers, rugged mountains, and plenty to see and do on a smaller scale make this photography workshop a bonafide once in a lifetime experience that you’ll treasure forever.
Alongside our professional photo guides, you’ll capture the astonishing views while developing your skills in the best possible environment. Our itinerary will take in the finest sights the scenic South Island can throw at us, and we’ll have plenty of time to focus on all the hidden gems we are bound to encounter as we go.
Beginning in Christchurch, we’ll head to the South Island’s unrivalled west coast. There we’ll enjoy the heady sights of the Aoraki National Park, eventually moving on to the wondrous photography haven of Fiordland, with much more in between!
In an epic photo adventure we will see the range of natural diversity that inspired Peter Jackson to film his Lord of the Rings trilogy here, from the peak of Mount Cook to the magical lakes of Tekapo, Wanaka and Pukaki.
Other highlights on this New Zealand photography tour include a scenic cruise along Milford Sound, a shoot at the eerie alien rock formations of Moeraki.
Day 1 - Christchurch to Tekapo: A Picturesque Beginning
We recommend that you arrive before December 5 - one or two days should be enough. An early arrival is also a good idea in case there are any problems with your luggage. We will pick you up from your accommodation in Christchurch in the morning as we embark on our adventure from Christchurch. We will journey across the expansive Canterbury plains towards the charming town of Tekapo. Our first evening features a breathtaking sunset photo session along the serene lake's edge, followed by an opportunity to capture stunning astrophotography, highlighting the iconic lakeside church.
Day 2 - Tekapo to Aoraki/Mt Cook: Alpine Landscapes and Glacial Beauty
After a tranquil sunrise over Lake Tekapo and breakfast, we continue to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, the heart of the South Island's majestic alpine landscapes. As evening falls, we capture the golden hues of sunset in the Tasman Valley, where icebergs glide gracefully across glacial lakes beneath towering peaks.
Day 3 - Aoraki/Mt Cook: Sunrise, Aerial Photography, and Hooker Valley Exploration
The day begins with an optional sunrise shoot over Mt Cook's summit, right outside our hotel. In the morning, we offer the chance for aerial photography (optional extra), including a flight over Aoraki/Mt Cook and landing to photograph the glaciers above. In the afternoon, we explore the Hooker Valley, with its alpine lakes and breathtaking views of New Zealand's highest peaks. The evening presents an excellent opportunity for astrophotography, shooting the stars over Mt Cook from our hotel's vicinity.
Day 4 - Aoraki/Mt Cook to Te Anau: Diverse Landscapes and Lakeside Tranquility
After an early start to photograph Mt Cook's sunrise, we head south to Te Anau, capturing diverse landscapes en route. In the afternoon, we walk Lake Te Anau's tranquil shores on the Kepler Track's easy path, photographing the sunset over the lake with a stunning mountain backdrop.
Day 5 - Te Anau to Milford Sound: Majestic Fjords and Waterfalls
Today, we journey to Milford Sound via the Milford Highway, through the Eglinton Valley's winding mountain roads and mossy beech forests. At Milford Sound, granite peaks soar above the fjord's dark waters, while enormous waterfalls cascade into the sea. In the afternoon, we cruise the fjord to capture its magic from the water, ending with a sunset shoot before returning to Te Anau.
Day 6 - Te Anau to Queenstown: Lakeside Town and Iconic Jetty
After breakfast, we travel to Queenstown, a picturesque lakeside town surrounded by mountains. In the evening, we venture to Glenorchy for sunset, capturing scenic views over the lake, mountains, and an iconic jetty.
Day 7 - Queenstown to Wanaka: Quaint Mining Town and Mountain Vistas
Following sunrise over Queenstown's lake, we visit Arrowtown, a quaint mining town, before crossing the Crown Range to Wanaka. We stop to photograph the summit's vistas before arriving in Wanaka and capturing the sunset over the lake.
Day 8 - Wanaka: Famous Tree and Tussock-Covered Landscapes
We start the day with sunrise at the renowned Wanaka tree, just a short walk from our hotel. In the morning, we review the tour's images in a conference room session. In the evening, we offer an optional 4WD excursion to a remote location high above Lake Wanaka for beautiful panoramas of the tussock-covered landscape.
Day 9 - Wanaka to Fox Glacier: Waterfall Vistas and Aerial Glacier Views
With the sunrise as our backdrop, we depart from Wanaka for the remote West Coast community. As we traverse the scenic Haast Pass, we'll pause to capture the mesmerizing beauty of countless waterfalls. Our destination for the night is the quaint town of Fox Glacier, known for its awe-inspiring glacial landscapes. Upon arrival, we offer an optional aerial photography session (at additional cost) over the magnificent glacier.
Day 10 - Fox Glacier to Punakaiki: Reflective Lakes and Unique Geology
Our morning begins with a photography session at Lake Matheson, renowned for its mirror-like reflections of Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mt Tasman - New Zealand's tallest peaks. In the afternoon, we journey north to Punakaiki, celebrated for its unique pancake rocks. Along the way, we'll stop to capture the vibrant turquoise waters of Hokitika Gorge.
Day 11 - Punakaiki: Limestone Landscapes and Dynamic Coastlines
We dedicate this morning to exploring the extraordinary limestone and river landscapes of Paparoa National Park. The rest of the day is spent discovering the region's remarkable coastline. As the sunset approaches, we'll venture onto beautiful beaches to capture the final light of the day illuminating the coastline and crashing waves.
Day 12 - Punakaiki to Christchurch: Mountain Views and Forest Waterfalls
Bidding farewell to the stunning West Coast, we journey inland once more, taking the renowned Arthur's Pass route. Along the way, we'll stop to photograph the breathtaking mountain vistas and embark on a forest walk leading to an impressive waterfall. Our adventure concludes as we return to Christchurch, enriched by the unforgettable photographic experiences.
We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.
Please note that our tour itinerary is flexible and may be adjusted according to prevailing weather conditions. We aim to provide the best possible experience, so alterations may be made to ensure the most advantageous use of our scheduled tour time.
Renowned landscape photographer, Daniel Kordan, is an explorer at heart. Having realized his passion for photography and traveling at a young age, he now spends his time sharing his vision and the many wonders of the world with people all around him.