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New Zealand South Island Photography Tour (2024)

Blue glacial lakes surrounded by rugged, snow-capped peaks; wildernesses glowing with the burnished gold of autumn; dramatic, primal landscapes carved out of the Ice Age. Join us on an incredible photography tour to New Zealand!

Lake Tekapo
Aoraki Mount Cook

Tour dates: 21 – 29 April 2024
Tour length: 9 days
Led by: Seng Mah
Minimum 6 guests. Maximum 8 guests.
This tour begins and finishes in Christchurch.
Pace: Easy to moderate. Some locations will require hiking (along graded tracks, steps and up/down hill trekking) of between 20 minutes to 50 minutes each way.


My love affair with the South Island of New Zealand began nine years ago and since then, I have been running photography tours there, sharing the awe-inspiring beauty of its landscapes with other photographers. Join me in 2024 for 9 days, discovering and photographing the best landscape locations the South Island of New Zealand has to offer.

We will be in New Zealand during autumn, where the change of season brings brilliant, blazing golden foliage for you to photograph. You’ll be fully chauffeured by a professional New Zealand driver in a comfortable and roomy coach, with plenty of space for your luggage and photography equipment. And you’ll receive photographic guidance and mentoring in your photography, ensuring that you capture the most amazing landscapes and pick up new photography skills and tips on the way!

Autumn ColoursDramatic Milford Sound Landscape

“I have just spent an EPIC 10 days on a tour of New Zealand’s South Island… If you haven’t yet joined a tour or workshop run by Venture Photography I suggest you do so. You will learn all about your camera and how to take your best images with it. Seng always makes all aspects of photography simple and easy to understand and use… I had a wonderful time and learned so much. This was my 5th adVENTURE with Seng and his team and I will be back for more.”
Taryn Johnn

Tour Highlights

Days 1 – 3: Into the Mountains

Mt Cook
Hooker Valley
Stormy My Cook

Your New Zealand experience begins in the afternoon of Day 1 with a casual and fun gathering at our hotel in Christchurch, where you will get the opportunity to meet other guests and discuss the tour ahead.

The next morning we head to our first destination – Mount Cook in the Southern Alps. Traveling through Canterbury, we head into the Mackenzie high country, a region of mountain ranges and deep blue lakes. We’ll stop at famous Lake Tekapo to photograph the rich blue waters of this iconic lake, fringed by pine forests and mountains, before continuing on to Mount Cook. Our route takes us around the remarkably blue Lake Pukaki with views of the magnificent Southern Alps in the distance.

Mt Cook is one of the most majestic places in the South Island and an absolute paradise for photographers. We’ll be based in the Mount Cook area for two nights, which gives us plenty of opportunity to explore and photograph the mountains from various vantage points, including Peter’s Lookout, which provides a view towards the mountains across the gorgeous expanse of Lake Pukaki, White Horse Hill Campsite, the Hooker Valley Track and Tasman Lake.

Day 4 – 5: Queenstown
Autumn LakesQueenstown viewMoke Lake ReflectionsGlenorchy Willows

We take the road from Mount Cook to to Queenstown in Central Otago. We’ll stop for photography en-route as there are many commanding views to be seen and photographed as we make our way through the ranges. Queenstown, the adventure capital of the South Island, sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu surrounded by soaring mountains. Our photography here includes photographing Queenstown from Bob’s Peak, an early sunrise shoot at Moke Lake, with its mirror-surface reflecting surrounding mountains, and a day trip to beautiful Glenorchy, a quaint village with gorgeous views towards mountains across the lake.

Day 6-7: Te Anau and Milford Sound

Te Anau
Milford Sound Dusk
Milford Sound Sunset
Stirling Falls at Milford Sound
Hollyford River

Our journey next takes us to Te Anau, the gateway to magnificent Milford Sound, one of the most stunning and dramatic locations in the South Island for photography. Te Anau is a charmingly photogenic lakeside town, with beautiful views across the lake, and we’ll be based here for two nights to give us ample time to visit and explore Milford Sound.

Milford Sound is a highlight of our time in New Zealand and we will make the most of a full day to chase the changing light and incredible landscapes that appear to have emerged from the mists of prehistory. We begin with a sunrise shoot at Milford Sound, photographing the nascent light cresting over Mitre Peak and its surrounding mountains. We will enjoy a cruise of the Sound, where we can view the incredibly steep cliffs of the surrounding mountains up close and photograph the majestic waterfalls that cascade from their heights.

We will also take the opportunity to photograph the dramatic landscapes and numerous waterfalls along the Milford Road. If we’re lucky, we will encounter the famous kea, the mountain parrot known for their intelligence and cheekiness!

Days 8: Southland Bound!

The Nuggets
Nugget Point Lighthouse
Purakaunui Falls

Our New Zealand adventure next takes us south to Dunedin. En route, we will have our pick of great photographic locations. Some options include Purakaunui Falls or the lighthouse and ocean stacks at Nugget Point.

We have one night in Dunedin, and will take this opportunity to explore great photographic locations on the Otago Peninsula.

Dunedin is a city with a Scottish heart and history which provides many interesting heritage streetscapes for photography, including the historic train station, Victorian-era facades and street art. It is in Dunedin that we will have our group farewell dinner where we share our experiences and celebrate our time in this amazing and beautiful country!

Day 9: Moeraki Boulders and return to Christchurch

Moeraki Boulders
Moeraki Boulders

The final day of our tour dawns with a very early morning departure from Dunedin in order to travel to the iconic Moeraki Boulders in time for sunrise. These unusual, spherical boulders lie half-buried in the sand and make exotic photographic subjects in a coastal landscape.

We then hit the road for our return journey to Christchurch, with a stopover at the quirky town of Oamaru, home of the Steampunk Museum and a heritage Victorian Quarter.

The tour ends with your return to Christchurch and drop-off at your nominated hotel or the airport.

Testimonials

My Trip to New Zealand with Seng was my first photography tour, so I had a little hesitation in that I didn’t know what to expect. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience! Seng is not only a great photographer and teacher, he is a great person and fun to be around. An added bonus to the trip is that Seng knows what good food is, so a recommendation from him never disappointed. New Zealand is a beautiful country, Seng taught me how to add that bit extra to my photography, so my images captured both the beauty and the feeling you had being there. I can’t wait to travel with Seng again.”
Marina Fort

“My first visit to the South Island of New Zealand was met with the same excitement level of a kid on Christmas Eve. Will it meet my expectations? Hell bloody yes!! Coming from a city as flat and featureless as Perth we get pretty excited with a cloud in the sky sometimes. Don’t get me wrong I love Perth, but when the grand designer was putting it together he was not thinking about landscape photographers… The size and scope of the scenery can only be described as epic and I knew as my foot stepped onto the chilly tarmac this was going to be a great tour. I had never been to New Zealand before and now I have, I want … no, need more!”
Michael Lee

What’s included:

  • Land transport and transfers within the tour itinerary.
  • All national park fees and concessions.
  • All accommodation during the tour.
  • All photographic tuition and guidance during the tour.
  • Queenstown Skyline Gondola entry.
  • Milford Sound cruise.
  • Farewell dinner at Dunedin (alcohol not included).

Exclusions:

  • Flights to and from Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • Transfers to/from airports.
  • Meals and drinks (except the welcome dinner).
  • Travel insurance. All participants are required to take comprehensive travel insurance for this tour. You will need to show proof of travel insurance as a condition of participating in this tour.
  • Insurance for your photographic equipment while on tour.
  • Photographic equipment. You will need to bring/supply your own cameras, lenses, tripods, batteries, filters, memory cards and so on.
  • Personal expenses, including laundry, wi-fi, medication and incidental meals.
  • Any transport or activities outside of the tour itinerary.

Price of Tour


AUD$8600 inclusive of your own room (single occupancy)
. If you are traveling with a spouse or life-partner who is also a paying participant on this tour, and are able to share a room with a queen bed with them, a discount is available for a twin-share. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss this option.

Book your Place

A deposit of AUD$2000 will secure you a place on this tour. This deposit is refundable if the tour is cancelled by the organiser (we require a minimum of 6 guests to run this tour).

Final payment of the balance is due by 12 January 2024.

For details of the Terms and Conditions of our tours, including cancellation charges, please read our Photography Tours Terms and Conditions.

To join this tour or contact us with your questions, please use the form below or email seng [at] venturephotography.com.au or telephone 0417 604 614.

Enquiry Form

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