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Author Topic: A visit to New Zealand...  (Read 8140 times)
Schewe
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« on: July 22, 2012, 03:16:43 AM »
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My daughter wants to go to New Zealand towards the end of the year...being a photographer and a willing enabler I'm interested in getting some shooting advice and perhaps advice on where to concentrate our time down under...

One thing I hope to do is a visit Weta Digital ( I may have some contacts there)...but generally spend most of the time in the South Island.

If some Kiwis down under want to hook up for a meet and greet I would be up for that...the plan is to optimize a 10-14 day trip, eat some lamb and drink some New Zealand wine, have some fun, shoot some neat stuff and maybe make some Kiwi friends...

Suggestions?
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2012, 04:40:39 AM »
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Wow, Jeff - almost anywhere in NZ can deliver spectacular images.

Nonetheless for a 10-14 day trip I would recommend the South Island.
The west coast, the Alps and the Fjordlands would be more than enough grist for the photographic mill.
It really is as good as what one saw in the Lord of the Rings.

If you want to do the North Island then Lake Taupo and Rotorua area is exceptionally beautiful and diverse as well.
The entire peninsula north of Auckland to the Bay of Islands and further to North Cape is definately worth a look as well.

My bet is that locals from various out of the way places scattered across NZ will also come in with their suggestions.
Good luck Jeff - you should have a great time no matter where you go.

Regards

Tony Jay
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stingray
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2012, 02:25:57 PM »
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A few quick points.

10 - 14 days is not enough.  Your problem will be what to leave out. I traveled from Ireland last January, spent 15 days on South Island...needed at a min another week. I recommend quality time in 4-5 locations (ie stay at least 2/3 nights in each).

Concentrate on one island (probably South, do not even think of grabbing a few days on another island).

Most people want to visit Milford Sound. ( Stunning).  Check the road map. Milford Sound is at the end of a very long cul de sac (a very nice cul de sac).

Arrange your hotel in Milford Sound way way way in advance. 

Consider very carefully if you should fly into Christchurch or Queenstown. 

Many people fly to Christchurch, travel West across the Alps, take the coast South taking in the glaciers and then drive on to Queenstown.   From Queenstown to Te Anau is a decent drive.  Te Anua becomes basecamp for the trip to Milford Sound. (Lots of other Sounds).  This is a lot of driving and leaves out the East Coast completely.

If you get to TeAnua, catch the film in the local cinema taken by local helicopter pilots.

The roads are not motorways, but good.  Driving is not a strain, but always takes longer than you think.  If you are going to stop at the occasional view point it will take a lot longer.

Check out the Podas (Phase One) Trip and their schedule. It will give you a sense of a good plan.

I am happy to answer any questions.

Regards,

Matt O'Brien


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David Sutton
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2012, 06:17:01 PM »
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Hello Jeff. Sent you a PM
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tom b
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2012, 06:29:40 PM »
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There have been two previous LuLa threads that have good info in them:

Link 1

Link 2

Cheers,
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jule
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 03:19:21 AM »
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Jeff...South Island without question. Less is more. Don't try to cram too much in because some of the best places require a bit of walking.

Just as a little tip.... 'Down under' usually refers to Australia rather than New Zealand.... (And yes - I am from Australia :-) ) ... and if you say anything about being in the land of "down under" whilst in New Zealand.... I wouldn't count on you being treated very favourably. :-)


Julie
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Schewe
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2012, 11:10:44 AM »
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... and if you say anything about being in the land of "down under" whilst in New Zealand....

Noted...thanks for the warning!
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Alistair
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 05:42:47 PM »
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My daughter wants to go to New Zealand ...the plan is to optimize a 10-14 day trip, eat some lamb and drink some New Zealand wine, have some fun, shoot some neat stuff and maybe make some Kiwi friends...

Suggestions?

You have some good suggestions already regarding locations etc. My contribution would be to point you towards the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and the Martinborough Pinot Noir.

I think Matt (is that Matt from Abruzzo and Dololmites?) has given very sound advice regarding not trying to cover too much territory and the long driving times. If you do manage to fit in a trip to Wellington, you may like to contact Karam Sahai (http://www.karimsahai.com/) - great photographer who lives in Wellington and works for Weta.

Please let us know the dates you are travelling once they are firmed up. I am in the UK but am a kiwi and will be in NZ late this year and have a house in Wellington. There is a very good photographic society in Wellington that would also welcome you and put you in touch with many people in Wellington and South Island. It is a very small population, every knows everyone else and most folk are very friendly.
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stingray
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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2012, 06:26:51 PM »
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Hi Alistair,

I am trying to get out to the Dolomites or Tuscany... maybe Venice.. but calendar challenged. 

Matt
(from Dublin via Abrusso and Dolomites).

PS. i
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stingray
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« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2012, 06:33:03 PM »
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Sorry for the double post. Something funny happened when submitting.

Hi Alistair,

I am trying to get out to the Dolomites or Tuscany... maybe Venice.. but calendar challenged. 

Matt
(from Dublin via Abrusso and Dolomites).

Ps1. I did not manage to sample the wines in New Zealand... as everywhere was closed by the time I got back from the mountain after a sunset shoot.  I need to correct that next time around.
Ps2.  I suspect New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to do a camper van (or similar)  road trip.

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Alistair
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« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2012, 11:53:53 AM »
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Hi Matt, I am probably going to Dolomites again in Sept, might see you there!

Alistair
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spreeg
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« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2012, 04:17:08 PM »
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I worked at Weta Digital for years, it's a little tough to "visit" just because it is spread out in a number of buildings in the area.  It's also mostly a bunch of computer geeks (like me) sitting at desks with a few props around.  If you do have contacts I would suggest trying to get a tour of Weta Workshop instead, it's a lot more interesting an tangible.  I would stick to the south island with the amount of time you have, unless you fly to Wellington, just getting to Weta is pretty far out of the way from the amazing scenery (ie down near Queenstown).
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2012, 10:39:31 AM »
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My daughter wants to go to New Zealand towards the end of the year...being a photographer and a willing enabler I'm interested in getting some shooting advice and perhaps advice on where to concentrate our time down under...

...Suggestions?

Hi Jeff,

I went down to the South Island last year on a shoot for a company called Apollo Campers, we toured for a couple of weeks taking photos of their van in various spectacularly scenic places, but to be honest, there are just too many locations to list for you really. My advice it to plan on driving all the way around the edge of the whole island. But really worthy of note (and in no particular order) Bruce Bay at sunset, Milford Sound at dawn - go out on the boat trip and look at the underwater viewing station it is amazing, Moeraki boulders at dawn, Nugget Point at dawn - you will need a head torch to do this one and a good head for heights, also there is a penguin viewing point there to the right of the car park, but well worth it, Kekerengu - which is supposed to be one of THE most scenic drives on the planet and there is a nice place for an excellent breakfast at the end of the drive, Otago Peninsula, Fox Glacier - walk right out to it in the early morning, also some very nice waterfalls to the right as you walk to the glacier face, Picton is lovely and oh so many more, it really is a photographers paradise down there, although their sausages are unusually tasteless, but everything else is fantastic and the people are really nice.

Below are just a few of the shots I made for the company - and here is the one they are using on their Apollo Camper NZ web site.

I was also offered to do the same for their sister companies in Canada, USA and Australia, but I just haven't had the spare time, although looking back at these images and the fond memories of the trip, who knows I might just make myself make time...

 Smiley

Dave
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 10:55:10 AM by Dave (Isle of Skye) » Logged

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David Watson
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2012, 03:48:41 PM »
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My daughter wants to go to New Zealand towards the end of the year...being a photographer and a willing enabler I'm interested in getting some shooting advice and perhaps advice on where to concentrate our time down under...

One thing I hope to do is a visit Weta Digital ( I may have some contacts there)...but generally spend most of the time in the South Island.

If some Kiwis down under want to hook up for a meet and greet I would be up for that...the plan is to optimize a 10-14 day trip, eat some lamb and drink some New Zealand wine, have some fun, shoot some neat stuff and maybe make some Kiwi friends...

Suggestions?

Hi Jeff

I went a few years ago and agree with other posters that 14 days is not enough to do both Islands. I am a photographer and hotelier/restaurateur in the UK so I was also interested in the wine.  I have some friends who own the Trinity Hill vineyard near Napier and if you want to visit let me know with a PM.

Okay photography first.  Only two things.  One hire a Robinson (or similar) helicopter from Overthetop in Queenstown as a private charter - ask to be taken into the Alps and on to the top of glaciers.  Overthetop took me into a variety of really interesting (photographically) places.  Ask for the boss (nice lady) who is extra helpful.

Secondly hire a 4x4 and head off well before dawn to drive the Nevis Road which starts at Bannockburn.  Some info here but you will need to do more research.

http://www.baggins.co.nz/art/places/nevis.php

Best wishes

 
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stingray
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2012, 06:28:37 PM »
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I did not want to mention helicopters earlier, but if you really want to give yourself a treat, save a lot of road miles, get a unique perspective of a spectacular region, etc...etc..  then consider a helicopter transit from Queenstown to Milford Sound. Lots of options open up, including stopping on a glacier. Loads of helicopter companies and services. Check the map... it cuts out a few days driving.

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AlexRobinson
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« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2012, 02:03:26 AM »
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If coming into Christchurch check out Banks Peninsula but don't waste much time on Akaroa (the faux-French tourist trap town). Try your luck at some of the bays and the back gravel roads that connect them, much more rewarding for photographers than the main highway. A 4WD would be a good idea for these if you're not used to driving in such conditions, inaccessible via camper van. I've done lots of them in 2WD cars but would't recommend it to everyone! Also around Canterbury check out the Rakaia Gorge, drive right up the top of the gorge, a great spot for photos. I'd suggest renting a car/4WD rather than a camper van, there's accommodation available pretty much everywhere and you can access better places via a smaller vehicle.

There's plenty of the usual tourist photo tick-offs to see, just open a guide book but if you want good stuff then be prepared to head off the main roads and spend time exploring back roads and tracks!
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stingray
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2012, 06:18:54 PM »
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I took this pano within 10-15 mins drive of Christchurch (no traffic at that hour) and a further 10 min walk (be careful...big drops within a few meters of my tripod).

http://mattobrien.zenfolio.com/p13395304/h40b425a2#h40b425a2


It is a pano of 2  x 17 mm images using a 5d2 as the scale was way to wide to include in a single frame.  This is just a rough cut... I have not got around yet to completing post processing on these images.

Lyttelton is South East approx from my camera position.  I did a prelim scout of the area the evening before, knew what path to follow and was up early enough the next morning for the lightshow. Back to the hotel in time for breakfast... still jet lagged.



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Schewe
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« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2012, 12:02:52 AM »
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Just a quick note of thanks for all the feedback and info about New Zealand...due to a somewhat limited itinerary, the "family" decided to only go part way to New Zealand. We're stopping in Kauai, Hawaii and spending 10 days there instead of going all the way down. I still seriously want to come down to shoot in New Zealand but it'll have to wait a year or so...

Thanks!
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stingray
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« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2012, 10:33:32 AM »
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Wise choice...  You  should not rush a trip to New Zealand.
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DaveCurtis
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« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2012, 02:17:47 AM »
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On the bright Jeff, the weather down here in the South Island is crapola at the moment.

Hawaii may be a good choice  Smiley
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