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Author Topic: New Zealand  (Read 9327 times)
Martin Archer-Shee
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« on: August 26, 2007, 05:15:53 AM »
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Hi

Advice / direction needed.

My wife and I are off to New Zealand . We have bought (return sale at end of trip) a camper and will spend about three months (Dec - Feb) on the road... with a camera of course. Never been there before and have been researching as best one can. Looks fantastic. (also getting away from Canadian winters)

We want to see(and photogtaph) as much as possible(north and south islands) and will be arriving in Aukland. any suggestions as to where best to spend December (Christmas). North Island (?).

Gear wise, I expect I will be taking my Sony R1, nice sensor size and great lens. In past would have had a OM2 or Pentax 645. still looking for my DSLR. Maybe with the new offerings from Canon (40D or Nikon 300D, or did I get the letters on the wrong side... stupid naming...) I will make a jump. But too late for this trip.

Any and all suggestions more than welcome.

Thanks
Martin
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sbacon
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2007, 08:09:31 AM »
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You might find my New Zealand Travelogue of some help. It's a bit dated (1999), but I doubt much of the landscape has changed.    You should have a fantastic time! I'm envious.  

Russel/The Bay of Islands seems like it would be a great location for the holidays.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2007, 08:10:32 AM by sbacon » Logged
Andy M
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2007, 09:54:32 AM »
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A friend of mine was out there recently. See HERE for his shots

Shot with an X-Pan and 503CW
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photo570
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2007, 01:38:50 PM »
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Im from New Zealand, skip the North Island and concentrate on the South Island, you won't be disappointed.

cheers.
Jason Berge
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Jason Berge
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2007, 01:42:34 PM »
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I agree about the south island....i'ts absolutely wonderful!!  what a great trip!! Eleanor

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Im from New Zealand, skip the North Island and concentrate on the South Island, you won't be disappointed.

cheers.
Jason Berge
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2007, 03:27:39 PM »
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For Xmas try Napier - it's a time warp. Surprisingly the south island doesn't really warm up till Jan. & Feb. , so the Northlands are more reliable in Dec. Also Taupo. Take your camper across to the south island on the ferry from Wellington in Jan. and try circling the island. I'll be there next month so I'll try to remember to give you an update in Nov.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2007, 05:34:36 PM »
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It's true the south island has more dramatic scenery in general (mainly mountains) but the geothermal areas around Rotorua on the north island are also fascinating and well worth some time.  Great jungly forests (around Rotorua and in the Northland area) too, if you like that, and you won't find them on the south island.

Lisa
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Martin Archer-Shee
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2007, 06:54:25 PM »
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Wow  

Just what I need and hopefully more will give their takes.
S.Bacon your previous experience and report really help. Andy, your friend's pictures make one gasp. Photo570, you must be from the South Island!!!. but will take the cue.
Eleanor you have clinched it for the south... Ken i would really appreciate your update upon returning. Nniko, you have given me hope for the North.

Sounds to me there is too much to see and experience.

Any other comments are more than welcome.

On the way back we have a five day stop-over on the big island in Hawaii. Any comments/suggestions..?

Trip of a lifetime and we mean to enjoy it.

Thanks to all
Martin
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aross007
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2007, 07:44:58 PM »
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Martin,

About 15 years ago (so right away this is dated advice) my wife and I took a month in New Zealand, and made a figure 8 around both islands.  My main reaction to your question is to tell you not to miss anything!  If you only had a week, then I would agree with those who favor the south island.  With as much time as you have, I would start in the north and go south as the weather warms, and I would try to figure out a route (like perhaps a figure 8?) that allows you to visit the whole country.  You won't find many areas that you don't like, guaranteed.

JMHO,
Alan
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HiltonP
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« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2007, 06:30:18 AM »
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Must see's include Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Mt.Cook, the West Coast glaciers, the Banks Peninsula, Bay of Islands, Kauri forests. The thermal regions (there are many of them) on the North Island are all different in their own way, take the time to see them all. The cities are cities, the really good stuff is out in the country.

Look up Top10, and HAPNZ, holiday parks . . . excellent network of accommodation for campers, trailer homes, or self-catering cottages.
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Regards, HILTON
spidermike
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2007, 05:55:17 AM »
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3 months - you lucky devil. I would say that is sufficient to take your time around both Islands. You don't need to discriminate. I spent about as long and think that 2 months is an absolute minimum for a good tour. I agree that South Island is the more continually spectacular but I found North Island more varied - but they are so different that it is like asking 'Scotland or Spain'. Because of the variety I prefer (by a whisker) the North Island.

North Island: Bay of Islands is so scenic, Northland has the kauri rainforests and then there is the picturesque Coromandel peninsula with its rainforest.
South of this you have the volcanic Ruapeho/Tongariro plateau - absolutley stunning with the volcaninc craters and strata of different colours; if you have the time (and with 3 months you should have) I would recomend walking the 1-day Tongariro crossing or even doing the 3-day circuit of the plateau (OK, the last day and a half is not particularly spectacular but it is fun).  Then there are the volcanic parks around Ruapehu - all steaming fumaroles, technicolour formations and multi-coloured lakes.
Off to the east you have Napier - a town rebuilt after an earthquake in the 1930s so it has a high proportion of art deco architecture - very picturesque and on a sunny day this makes for excellent abstract photographs.
I also did a day in the Waitomo caves - a day-long tour that stats with a 300-feet abseil to the bottom of a cavern followed by a 4-hour walk out along a simple cave system. Photos of the abseil are some of my favourites. Before the walk-out they offer to take your cameras back to the surface for you to avoid them getting soaked, but if you have a compact and/or waterproof bags you can take the chance and get some photos inside.
North Island has much more in the way of Maori culture to look at - or rather, much more in the way of cultural tours.

South Island. Geographically spectacular. When I was there in 1992, I did the Kepler Track - the Milford Sound walk was too regulated. You have to book months in advance and you had to move to specific huts each day so you can't decide you like somewhere and stay another day. Apparently the Kepler is like that now. But there are loads of great walks round there so if you don't make it, don't let the disappointment detract from the experience. On the South Island I think my favourite area was Arthur's Park just north of centre of the Island. A nice balance of alpine and rolling hills.
And you will come across the Kea - sort of a clown with wings. Endlessly amusing and they will tempt you to take umpteen photographs.  But don't leave any gear unattended: they have a habit of ripping the eyes from you walking boots or trying to dismantle rucsacs (and probably shiny camera gear as well). 'Mischeivous' is a word often used by those whose gear remained intact.

Christchurch is a city very much like the Oxford in England and I felt it was the 'cultural' centre of NZ. It is also a good base for tours. On the nearby Banks peninsula there is the world's only mainland albatross colony - you should be there the right time of year for nesting (Feb-mar if I recall) and I did a tour that included the albatross as well as seal and penguin colonies.
Dunedin is a granite-built city that is similar to Edinburgh but I can't say I was too impressed by it. Mind you the weather was absolutley miserable and it was a Sunday so most things were shut and this may explain my view of it.

Have fun. And take your time.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2007, 10:55:59 AM »
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Spidermike has a lot of excellent suggestions.  The one thing I'd add is, if you're looking to do some walking in the South Island mountains, I'd highly recommend both ends of the Routeburn track (which I liked better than the Kepler track).  I haven't walked any tracks in their entirety, but have done day hikes from the ends, and I thought the Routeburn was the most scenic (with the caveat that I haven't hiked the Milford track, which sounded too crowded for my taste).

If you aren't into hiking, the views from the road on the way to Milford Sound were spectacular.  Many tourists just rush to the sound to take the tourist boats, but I personally thought the mountains on the way there were more impressive.  Leave time to linger there.

Lisa
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DaveCurtis
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2007, 03:29:21 AM »
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You could have a look at my website which contains only South Island images. I have put the location under most images.

There are plenty of options in the South Island. Wet rain forest in the west, open areas in the centre which catch the morning and afternoon sun well. Don't forget the wildlife - seals, penguins and pelagic birds (albatross etc)


Dave
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David Sutton
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2007, 07:56:43 AM »
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Hope you enjoy your trip here Martin.
The weather in the South Island can be very variable until February, but for photography that may not matter and I think we have the scenery (I'm off down to Mt. Cook in Dec to photograph the wildflowers) Don't be afraid to take gravel roads - if in doubt ask the locals and don't forget to bring a good sun hat. You can get sunburn faster than you would think. Regards, T
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stever
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2007, 10:15:33 PM »
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if it's clear, take a helicopter ride up the glacier
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John Lamb
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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2007, 12:54:16 AM »
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I live in Dunedin on the mainland of New Zealand. That's the South Island. I have an extensive gallery of NZ pictures on Pbase. www.pbase.com/john_lamb

If you want to PM me with specific questions re locations I will be happy to help all I can. Dunedin is a wildlife photographers heaven. You can get up close and personal with a variety of species and we have the only mainland colony of Royal Albatross in the world.

Regards and I hope you enjoy your trip down-under.

John
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spidermike
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« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2007, 05:31:51 AM »
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Quote
I live in Dunedin on the mainland of New Zealand. That's the South Island. I have an extensive gallery of NZ pictures on Pbase. www.pbase.com/john_lamb

If you want to PM me with specific questions re locations I will be happy to help all I can. Dunedin is a wildlife photographers heaven. You can get up close and personal with a variety of species and we have the only mainland colony of Royal Albatross in the world.

Regards and I hope you enjoy your trip down-under.

John
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AN excellent set of photos, there John. It is one of the few galleries I have seen that actually remind of when I was there. A true flavour of New Zealand.
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marimagen
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« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2007, 11:56:52 AM »
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I have done a lot of travelling and New Zealand is my favorite country. It's nature at its best. And John sure knows how to capture its beauty. Congratulations! Each island has its strong points, and preferring one or the other is a matter of personal taste. Three months should be enough time to tour this incredible country. Best of luck and take plenty of pictures!
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Martin Archer-Shee
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« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2007, 07:39:32 PM »
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Hi all
Not forgotten by any means. I owe a lot of thank you's and will try to get back in a few days.

Martin
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David Anderson
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« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2007, 05:12:43 AM »
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A tip for travel in UnZud.

Don't talk about the Rugby World Cup...
   


I think that Lake Taupo and the center of the North island in general is a great area for photography.
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