March 3rd – 20th, 2018
$12,399CAD per person twin share
$2,670CAD single room surcharge
With a maximum of only 8 participants, this trip has been designed as the perfect introduction to the grandeur of the South Island. This 18-Day New Zealand photography tour captures some of the country’s best untouched wilderness. This tour will be led by Dr Shelley Ball from 44th Parallel Photography and will provide you with the opportunity to learn many different photographic techniques from one of the world’s most beautiful destinations; Aotearoa. We have planned every day to give us the best photographic opportunities. The variety of locations we photograph in include Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps, the Otago Peninsula, Central Otago, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Wanaka, and Franz Josef Glacier.
Starting in Christchurch, the tour will first head to Mt Cook National Park to photograph some of the amazing alpine scenery around New Zealand’s highest peak. We will cross back through to Dunedin and the South Island’s East Coast with excellent opportunities to capture the beautiful black sand beaches of the area, its forests and wildlife. Traverse across the Fiordland National Park that boasts forests, mountains and protected lands. Here, wild and remote coastlines are flanked by primeval rainforests, with the high peaks and glaciers of the Southern Alps. Journey inland to a High Country Farm on the western shores of Lake Wakatipu before arriving in Queenstown, the jewel of New Zealand. A short drive from Queenstown lies Wanaka where stunning photo opportunities await you. Our journey continues to Franz Josef on the west coast of the South Island before we traverse back to Christchurch on one of the World’s best rail journeys; the TranzAlpine Rail.
This expedition is suitable for all levels of photographer, from absolute beginner to seasoned professional. The emphasis of this workshop is to be out in the field photographing beautiful scenery. This will be complimented by workshops inside and out with time for informal processing sessions as requested. The small-group environment allows plenty of time for one-to-one tuition and advice, making mastering new techniques and fine-tuning your skills a quicker process.
•Dunedin & Otago Peninsula
•Te Anau & Milford Sound
•International flights from Toronto with Air New Zealand (price for other gateways upon request)
•26 Meals (6 dinners, 5 lunches & 15 breakfasts)
•15 nights accommodation
•Tuition by Dr Shelley Ball from 44th Parallel Photography
•Transportation during the tour
•Minimum of 4 two hour workshops (inside & out) covering topics such as landscape, wildlife, macro, creative photography, night photography & photo editing
•Internet access where not provided by hotel
•Items of a personal nature
•3.5% Service Fee applies to all credit card payments
Days 1 & 2 – Depart Canada for New Zealand
Cross the International Date Line and begin your adventure of a lifetime down in New Zealand.
Day 3 – Christchurch
Your Photo Expedition begins in Christchurch, the South Island’s Garden city. Also referred to as the most English city outside of the United Kingdom, it is a great place to start your adventure. Your first photography workshop will take place today (Landscape). This evening enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow adventurists.
Day 4 – Tekapo & Aoraki/Mount Cook
Travel inland to Tekapo. The Mackenzie Region is a photographer’s paradise with a changing landscape of high country tussocks, turquoise lakes, the Southern Alps, and of course the mighty Aoraki/Mt Cook. The next two days will provide many stunning photographic opportunities including Mt John overlooking Lake Tekapo, the Mueller Track to the Sealy Tarn lookout and the Hooker Valley Walk.
Day 5 – Tekapo & Aoraki/Mount Cook
We continue to explore this beautiful region of New Zealand. We may have an option to split some of the experiences into two groups depending on group’s fitness level. Please refer to list of experiences on previous day.
Day 6 – Dunedin, Otago Peninsula
Today we leave Mount Cook and head to the Otago Peninsula on the east coast. Large colonies of New Zealand Fur Seals, the rare Hooker’s Sea Lions and populations of the equally rare Yellow-Eyed Penguin are scattered along the Peninsula’s shoreline. Your second photography workshop will take place this afternoon (Wildlife).
Day 7 – Dunedin, Otago Peninsula
This tour combines tourism and conservation in a symbiotic relationship and provides absolutely unrivalled viewing of estuarine and marine wildlife. Our knowledgeable guides will inform you of activity being viewed and visit places where the best possible viewing of Hooker Sea Lions, Yellow-eyed Penguins, Blue Penguins, a breeding colony of New Zealand Fur Seals and Royal Albatross can be had. A further 20-30 other estuarine and marine bird species are seen during the experience. Close up unobtrusive viewing from beach locations and strategically placed observations hides is guaranteed.
Day 8 – Te Anau, Fiordland National Park
Today we leave the east coast and travel inland to Te Anau, the main gateway to the Fiordland National Park, home to Milford and Doubtful Sounds. Fiordland National Park located in the most remote corner of the South Island is New Zealand’s largest National Park (1.2 million sq km). The park’s serrated coastline is punctuated by beautiful fjords which reach back into the bush-clad hills and mountains making this a photographer’s paradise. This evening enjoy the short film Ata Whenua – Shadowland at the Fiordland Cinema.
Day 9 – Milford Sound
Today will be spent exploring Milford Sound by land and sea. Whether you get to witness the great triangular peak known as Mitre Peak rising from its inverse in the mirror smooth waters of the sound or whether you get to see the taps turned on as over 100 waterfalls gush from the sheer walls of the sound, your visit to Milford Sound will be nothing short of spectacular (maybe even the highlight of your New Zealand adventure).
Day 10 – Queenstown
Travel the backroads to where you will board the Spirit of Queenstown to Mt Nicholas High Country Farm on the western shores of Lake Wakatipu with spectacular views towards Glenorchy. After a Ploughman’s lunch get off the beaten track to spectacular vantage points by 4WD.
Day 11 – Queenstown
A pre-dawn start to get us in position for sunrise at nearby Moke Lake followed by an optional trek on the Moke Lake Loop Track. The trek takes approximately 2 hours to complete. This afternoon we travel to the the Shotover River for an exhilarating jetboat ride. The remainder of the afternoon is yours to explore this beautiful alpine town. This evening we will make our way to Bob’s Peak via the Skyline Gondola for spectacular sunset views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. After capturing Queenstown’s beautiful sunset over Lake Wakatipu, enjoy a Maori Cultural Show followed by a buffet dinner.
Day 12 – Queenstown
Today enjoy a sightseeing tour of Queenstown and Arrowtown. You will have some free time to explore this vibrant township. The pedestrian Mall is Queenstown’s main shopping area and a popular spot for café’s and restaurants. The city’s historic stone library was built in 1877 and St Peter’s Anglican Church in 1932. Queenstown Gardens – a pleasant walk along the beach from town – has gardens, lawns and recreation areas. Stop at Millbrook for lunch.
Day 13 – Wanaka
Today we make our way to Wanaka through the spectacular Kawarau Gorge, Cromwell and the upper Clutha Valley. This afternoon your third photography workshop will take place (Night Photography). This evening the group will meet lakeside to capture a photo of the Wanaka Tree and weather permitting, star trails.
Day 14 – Wanaka
The entire Southern Lakes region of the central South Island is a playground for mainlanders and overseas visitors alike. Lake Wanaka and the mighty Clutha River that empties it, plus the surrounding mountains and rivers, and especially the wonderland that is Mount Aspiring National Park, offer unsurpassed recreational activities. Today we explore stunning landscapes around the Mt Aspiring National Park.
Day 15 – Franz Josef
Today we will travel through Haast Pass to the Blue Pools. The Makarora River arises in the icefields of the Young Range and empties into Lake Wanaka then flows lazily through a series of deep, rocky pools, faintly blued by their mineral content and studded with brown trout. The Blue Pools is reached by a gentle walk along a benched and graded gravel path, boardwalks and winds through a beech forest to a swing bridge above the river.
Day 16 – Franz Josef
Enjoy a relaxing, interpretive walk to the glacier and learn the role of the Franz Josef Glacier in shaping this remarkable landscape. After a short walk through the regenerating rainforest, the trip continues along the glacier valley with your guide calling stops to explain the unique features of the Franz Josef Glacier and its surroundings. With the emphasis more on geographical information and the glacier’s history, you’re able to venture beyond the public barriers and right up to the dramatic terminal face of this advancing glacier with your experienced and knowledgeable guide. This afternoon you will have time to partake in an optional Heli Flight with landing (own expense). Your forth photography workshop will take place this evening (Photo Editing).
Day 17 – TranzAlpine Rail & Christchurch
Enjoy a guided walk through Arthurs Pass National Park with its beautiful walking trails and waterfalls including Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall and its stunning mountain backdrop. This afternoon board the TranzAlpine for your return journey to Christchurch. Traverse over river valleys and great rivers including the mighty Waimakariri before crossing the Canterbury Plains into Christchurch. Enjoy a farewell dinner tonight with your new friends and reminisce over your lasting memories.
Day 18 – Home
You have a free morning to enjoy Christchurch or purchase your final souvenirs before being transferred to the Christchurch Airport in time to check-in for your International flight back to Canada via Auckland.