New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop

New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop
New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop
New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop
New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop
New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop
New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop
New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop
Based on 2 traveller reviews

This tour is now Sold Out.  New dates will be announced in our Newsletter.

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, before ending the trip in the world’s adventure capital, Queenstown.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Duration: 11 days
  • Activities: Sight Seeing, Photo Tours, Photo Workshop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 18 years.
  • Languages: English
Pickup information:
    • All transfers

    • Lodging

    • Instruction and master classes by two professional guides

    • Milford Sound cruise

    • Single supplement

    • Visas (if applicable)

    • Airfares

    • Meals (except breakfasts)

    What to bring:
    • DSLR camera with tripod and remote shutter release

    • A wide angle lens. For example, Nikkor 14-24 or Canon 17-40. Best lens for use in wide-angle scenes or architecture photography

    • A middle-zoom lens such as a 24-70 mm

    • A telephoto zoom lens, such as a 70-200 mm. Be sure to have additional tripod mount to this lens.

    • Waterproof and windproof jacket

    • Waterproof pants

    • Warm jacket and thermal pants

    • Wellingtons or fishing boots

    • Casual clothes for dinners and lunches and photography workshops

    Daily itinerary

    Day 1 - Christchurch

    New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop

    Our photography adventure begins on at the end of November, and we recommend that you arrive before the official start on the 25th in Christchurch. One or two days should be enough, depending on how jetlagged you want to be for the beginning of the trip! In any case, Christchurch is well worth exploring; it’s a resilient, artistic city still recovering from a recent earthquake, and there’s plenty to see and do. An early arrival is also a good idea in case there are any problems with your luggage. We’ve got your accommodation sorted, so on the 25th we’ll get together in the evening for dinner and spend the evening getting to know each other and discussing the days to come, along with answering any questions you might have.

    Day 2 - Lupine country, Lake Tekapo

    New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop

    Our first major stop will be at the shores of the mighty lake Tekapo to the west. We will spend a day and a night here, making the most of the gorgeous scenery and the spectacular fields of lupins that blossom at this time of year. These colourful plants contrast perfectly with the serene water and (hopefully) blue skies, so we will spend plenty of time with them as our focus.

    On the southern tip of the lake is the Church of Good Shepherd, a charming old building that offers an ideal foreground for spectacular shots of the lake and the imposing mountains to the east. We might even shoot some lupins here, too. If the weather holds up, this spot is also great for night photography, and you can bet that we’ll do our best to capture the church, lake Tekapo and the surrounding landscape under the veil of a starry sky.

    Day 3 - Into the mountains of the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

    New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop

    After a sunrise shoot overlooking the waters of lake Tekapo, we’ll check out of our accommodation in the morning and take short drive to the nearby lake Pukaki. Here we will capture one of the world’s most revered views, as we gaze across the blue waters of Pukaki with the ominous silhouette of Mount Cook dominating the horizon. We will photograph the scene in plenty of detail, focusing on the magnificent reflections of both the mountainous peaks and the sky in the calm water.

    Our next base for the night will be in the Aoraki/Mt Cook village. The area is home to New Zealand’s tallest mountains, so there’s more than enough potential scenes to keep keen landscape photographers happy. As night falls, we’ll take a short trail to Tasman lake and capture the scene under the stars.

    Day 4 - Lake Pukaki, Mount Cook

    New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop

    On day four of our New Zealand photography adventure, we’ll visit the shores of lake Pukaki once again for a sunrise shoot. We will aim to capture the first rays of the day as they illuminate the pointed peak of Mount Cook. After breakfast the group will set out on an optional hike to Hooker lake, which sits at the very foot of New Zealand’s tallest mountain. The trail is pretty easy going, and should take us around one and a half hours as to ascend. With any luck the lake will be dotted with serene icebergs, adding the perfect foreground to the mighty spectacle of Mount Cook on the horizon. After a day of incredible photography, we’ll return to our base after sunset.

    Day 5 - North Otago

    New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop

    On day five the group will drive south to the coast. We will visit the town of Oamaru, located near the famous Moeraki boulders, and spend the evening by the sea. Our aim will be to photograph the the rare yellow-eyed penguins native to these parts. Oamaru has also become a culturally significant place in New Zealand. It’s become the unlikely capital of ‘Steampunk’, and holds regular gatherings of these Victorian-inspired revellers.

    Day 6 - The alien boulders of Moeraki

    New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop

    Day six has another itinerary packed with photographic wonders in store. First up, the group will head to the location of our sunrise shoot, the famous Moeraki boulders. Here we will encounter the eerie rock formation set into the sand and washed over by the waves. The smooth, spherical rocks are thought to be the remnants of cliffs that have gradually been eroded by the waves, but now they sit like oversized pebbles and make for spectacular, almost sci-fi photography. Early morning, when we will be visiting, is a prime time to capture the boulders, when the soft sunlight illuminates the stone against the rolling tide. If the weather is more stormy, that will suit us too - the boulders look incredible in dark, moody light.

    After our morning photo session we will take a short but scenic drive along the coast towards our next destination. The village of Kaka Point is close to the spot we are looking for: Nugget lighthouse. The white tower sits exposed at the edge of the headland, is offers the perfect setting for sunset and night shoots. With clear skies we can capture the milky way, while stormy weather creates a dramatic scene of raging waves and angry clouds.

    Day 7 - Light in the dark

    New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop

    The seventh day of this New Zealand photography adventure will begin with a sunrise session at Nugget Point lighthouse. After breakfast, we’ll check out of our accommodation begin the long drive west, across the South Island, towards arguably the country’s most breathtaking destination, Milford Sound.

    In total we will be driving for around five hours, but we will have plenty of stops to shoot the dramatic scenery as we go.

    Day 8 - The Sound

    New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop

    Milford Sound, and the Fiordland National Park in general, are world renowned for their natural beauty - so it’s fair to say that a trip to the South Island wouldn’t be complete without at least a day spent here. To make the most of our time at Milford Sound, we will rise early to catch the sunrise on the shores of the fjord.

    The many mountains surrounding the water, including the might Mitre peak, are often part or wholly covered in mist and cloud, giving us the opportunity to shoot images full of drama and mystery.

    After what will no doubt be a brilliant morning session, we will take a scenic cruise across the water in the afternoon. Sunset, too, will be enjoyed at Milford Sound, as we try to grasp the area’s hidden secrets from as many angles as possible.

    Day 9 - Wanaka

    New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop

    On day nine we’ll leave Milford Sound behind and head east to Wanaka. Lake Wanaka is a glorious spot for a photography session. The calm water mirrors the distant, white-tipped mountains, and on a sunny day the sky seems to combine with the lake in one shimmering natural canvas. At the southern end of the lake is Roy’s bay, and there we will find the famed lonely tree. The tree appears to sit on a tiny island in the middle of the water, and leans forlornly against the wind with a staggering backdrop to keep it company.

    Day 10 - Queenstown

    New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop

    On day ten we will reach our final destination in New Zealand’s South Island, the stunning city of Queenstown - but not before we have one final sunrise shoot at lake Wanaka’s lonely tree. After breakfast our drive to the world’s adventure capital will be a scenic one, and we will have plenty of stops to take in the mountain views that accompany us on the journey.

    Day 11 - Farewell

    New Zealand Spring Photo Workshop

    Day eleven will be, for many of us, our final day of travelling in New Zealand for the time being. We will say our goodbyes and take the time to reflect on an awesome photography adventure. Whether this is the beginning or end of your trip in this magnificent country, the international airport will probably be your next port of call. Why not stick around for a few days to enjoy the cosmopolitan, adrenaline-fueled vibes of Queenstown?

    Cancellation and Refund Policy

    If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:

    Greater than 60 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 fee.
    45 days or more: 75% refund
    30 days or more: 50% refund
    Less than 30 days: no refund

    Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made. Refunds will be initiated within 72 hours of the time that the request is approved.


    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.

    The tour will always dependent on weather, as the weather can be highly unpredictable.

    Firsthand reviews

    Average5.02 reviews
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    In April i embarked on my first photo tour to New Zealand. The tour turned out to be a great experience, our guide has been to new Zealand a number of times and has a extensive knowledge of the area and was able to guide us to many of the iconic NZ views as well as a few not so common and off the beaten track spots. Our guide is an excellent photographer and during the trip we received extensive technical help covering many topics like the use of filters, compositional advise, help with night photography shooting the milky way as well as demonstrations by our guide on many of the post processing techniques that he uses. During the tour we traveled in a large mini van with plenty of room for the luggage and camera gear. During the trip we stayed at a number of nice Hotels many with stunning views straight from the window that were located to give good access to the various areas that we would be visiting. The food during the trip was excellent with a large choice of restaurants in most areas offering a wide range of cuisines to choose from. The trip wasn’t just a photo tour either when we had some down time between shooting and weather permitting we were able to do some shopping in Queenstown along with activities like gondola ride high above Queenstown, bungee jumping, vine yard visit and Milford Sound Boat ride. So if your looking at visiting New Zealand where you don’t have to worry about anything other than taking great photographs then don’t hesitate to contact Iceland Photo Tours for a trip of a lifetime.
    Edit review
    I traveled to New Zealand’s south island with Iceland Photo Tours. The images I was able to capture on this trip were spectacular due to the diversity of landscape in this area, but just as importantly, the effort of the guide to monitor the conditions and adjust the itinerary to ensure we made the most of the weather in the surrounding area. This meant on more than 1 occasion, our guide drove us a significant distance prior to sunrise to give us the best opportunity for ideal lighting. Between shooting, our guide arranged activities such as wine tasting, bungee jumping, shopping and not least of all, terrific food options. His sense of humor and ability to teach composition are reasons I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Iceland Photo Tours to lead your New Zealand photo trip!
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