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New Zealand Spring Photography Tour: The Wild Lupine

'Lord of the Rings' locations, Wild Lupine, Waterfalls, Pristine Azure Blue Lakes Combined with Mountain Scenes, Old Growth Forests,
Mount Cook, Tekapo, Dunedin, Otago Peninsula, Moeraki Boulders, Milford Sound, Queenstown, plus the Albatross in flight


  December 4th to December 16th, 2024

  12 nights/13 inclusive days  |  Maximum of 7 participants, and a minimum of 4 participants

  $5,940 USD per person  |  Single Supplement: 14% of the base cost of the trip

  The deposit for this photography tour is $400. Make a deposit, or pay your tour balance here

  Explore our discounts for client loyalty, early enrollment, 2 trips in 12 months, referrals and more

  Do you have a question? Ask us via email: Click here
  Arrival and departure airport: Queenstown, New Zealand [ZQN]
  Arrival window: For a variety of travel related reasons, arriving one day early is recommended
  Search fares at Kayak, Skyscanner, Orbitz, Google Flights or your favorite airline
New Zealand Photo Gallery
  Map of overnight locations
  Client responses to our photo tours
  For the single supplement, cancellation policy and enrollment guidance see below

This photo tour will run with one or more participants. Please note that our group limit is not a requirement!  7 places are available at this time
  Updated: Monday the 22nd of July, 2024

This photo tour has sufficient enrollments, and is a 'go'. However, do please consult with us prior to arranging your travel for the trip!  Indicates that we have sufficient enrollments and the trip is a 'go'
This photo tour will run with one or more participants. Please note that our group limit is not a requirement!  Indicates that this trip requires the minimum number of participants as indicated on line two above



              Enroll for our photo tour              Email your photo tour question


Photography Tour Overview:
New Zealand has long been referred to as the land of the 'Long White Cloud', but now the movie industry is behind new names such as 'Middle Earth' via the release of 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings' productions. New Zealand is 'Aotearoa' to the Maori, and you値l find our South Island photography tour dotted with wild Lupine, waterfalls, pristine azure blue lakes, old growth forests, and mountain ranges. Also included on the trip is Mount Cook, Tekapo, Dunedin, Otago, the Moeraki boulders, Te Anau, Milford Sound, and Queenstown. For wildlife enthusiasts we offer the Royal Albatross in flight, plus a variety other seabirds and waders. As with all of our photography tours, early and late shooting is scheduled for each day.


Our itinerary . . .
But first things first! We suggest that you set your camera's clock to the local time, as your images will then synchronize with the times in our included photo tour field notes.

Day 1  |  Lake Wakatipu
Our group will meet in the lobby of our gateway hotel in Queenstown at 11:30 am, followed by an included lunch taken at a local winery. Following a short break we'll rendezvous with the departing steamship the Earnslaw . . . always a spectacular scene on Lake Wakatipu. We'll then spend the afternoon shooting on the lake shoreline, take dinner, and rendezvous with the late light in a spot where a series of 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Prince Caspian' scenes were filmed . . . on one occasion this was taking place while we were photographing in the valley.
Queenstown, 1 night

Day 2  |  Queenstown to Lake Wanaka
We'll start the day on the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu, then following breakfast we'll shoot the bright red power boats that zoom up and down a gorge nearby. It's a good spot to practice deliberate blur besides freezing the action too. Then via Arrowtown and a bungee jumping photo session - any volunteers?! - before taking to the Cardrona Pass and pausing for vistas looking back into the Kawarau basin. Photo stops as we progress will include those for the scenic, the colorful, and the historic. On to Wanaka for late light photography on the shores of Lake Wanaka including the 'Wanaka tree'. The abundance of wild Lupine will provide all the color you could ask for from wildflowers.
Wanaka, 1 night

Days 3, 4 + 5  |  Wanaka to Twizel
Sunrise on Lake Wanaka - 'The Tree' included - and following breakfast we値l go via Tarras over Lindis Pass into 'Lupine alley' for a number of stops among the fabulous displays of color. Via Omarama for a river bed loaded with Lupine, and onto our accommodations for a three-night stay. Nearby Lake Pukaki affords magnificent Mount Cook views - Aoraki to the Maori - the tallest peak in all of Australasia at 12,316 feet. We'll be out early and late to explore Mount Cook National Park with side trips for the most accessible park features. Our early and late shots will feature Lake Pukaki plus there will be free time around the middle of the day to recharge. We'll also take an excursion to the shores of Lake Tekapo. There stands the Church of the Good Shepherd complete with classic church window view of the glaciated blue water of Lake Tekapo and peaks of Mt. Cook National Park. This trip will also include a trip to the top of a nearby peak.
Twizel, 3 nights

Day 6  |  Twizel to Moeraki
A last look at Mount Cook this morning prior to heading via Omarama once more, but this time down to the Pacific Ocean via rolling mountainous landscapes dotted with rows of Poplar trees, a pair of lakes, and old barns. On to the white-stoned town of Oamaru for a large helping of Victoriana. You'll love this place! To our accommodations near Moeraki for dinner, and late photography based upon the available light.
Near the Moeraki boulders, 1 night

Days 7 + 8  |  Moeraki to the Otago Peninsula
The round Moeraki Boulders face east, so we値l have the best possible dawn light right at sea level this morning. We値l take breakfast after the shoot is over, then shoot around Moeraki village. Off down the coast to Dunedin, the 薦dinburgh of the south since being established by Scots in 1848. Photography around the historic railway station in central Dunedin prior to moving on to accommodations adjacent to Otago Harbour for a two-night stay. Day 4 is set aside for the Otago peninsula where the highlights will include coastal and agricultural scenes, rustic boat houses, and bird life including Albatross and several other species in flight and a variety of waders down at sea level.
Near Otago Harbour, 2 nights

Days 9, 10 + 11  |  To Fiordland National Park: Te Anau and Milford Sound
Early light photography followed by breakfast, then on south for a waterfall that is hidden in what is left of the dense tropical forest. We have a lighthouse nest, and as we approach the lighthouse we値l be on the lookout for Albatross and Sea Lions. Then on west via pastoral scenes below the Kaihiku mountain range, and the town of Gore. Shooting as we go, the Southern Alps will loom in the west, and we'll find ourselves in Te Anau by late afternoon. Photography along the shoreline of Lake Te Anau before settling in for our three-night stay.
On day 10 or 11 weather will dictate the choice of day - grandeur in a most spectacular sense awaits us in Fiordland National Park as we depart prior to dawn for Milford Sound. I値l time our arrival for the first light on Mitre Peak, and in case you weren't aware of it, Milford Sound is photographically superb! The post-dawn light will find us photographing along the eastern shore of the sound, and following breakfast we値l take a boat cruise under the towering peaks with waterfalls tumbling from vertical cliff faces. Dolphins and Seals have been photographed on previous trips. Subjects on the return to Te Anau will include close-ups of the Kea bird, spectacular vistas in all directions, old growth forest studies, waterfalls, a lake and a spectacular field of wild Lupine. Day 11 is somewhat of a rest day after the exertions of Milford Sound, and besides free time, we'll spend half a day exploring Lake Te Anau, Rainbow Reach, Lake Manapouri and pastoral scenes of sheep and mountain ranges.
Te Anau, 3 nights

Day 12  |  Te Anau to Queenstown
A last look at the Lake Te Anau region prior to heading on toward Queenstown. Shooting as we go the subjects will include many pastoral scenes, sheep, the Kingston Flyer steam train [if active], Lake Wakatipu the Remarkables mountain range and much more as we return to Queenstown. The included dinner on the last night of our photography tour will feature an 'It's You!' presentation of clients in action on this tour by John.
Queenstown, 1 night

Day 13  |  Departure day
As there isn't any photography scheduled for the day of departure on this trip, your flight home can be arranged for any time today. Transport to the airport is included unless you池e staying on for a day or more.

Photo Tour Photographer/Leader: John Baker, Travel Images Photography Tours
The preceding itinerary is a copyrighted work by John Baker Photographer LLC, and Travel Images Photography Tours



Enhancing Your Photography Skills

Describing the assistance you'll receive on one of our photography tours takes more than a few words, so for greater detail please go here.

Exertion level: This photography tour is classified as 'mildly strenuous' with one exception . . .
When in the vicinity of Mount Cook there is an optional 16 minutes each way walk to the Hooker River bridge and Mueller Lake view. The trail is well maintained and is moderately strenuous.
In every other respect this photography tour is considered non-strenuous to mildly strenuous

Do you need a Visa for travel to New Zealand?
Travelers from all countries can do a quick check of visa requirements here or here
Our international clients may need to contact the embassy of their intended destination in their own country for a visa. Go here or here


Photography Tour Cost, Deposit, Cancellation Policy and Enrollment Guidance


Trip Cost: $5,940 USD per person not including airfare. A 5% discount is applied to all double occupancies. A single room supplement is required for single occupancy

Single Supplement: 14% of the base cost of the trip


The deposit for this photography tour is $400. Make a deposit, or pay your tour balance here


Cancellation policy: Go here

Enrollment guidance: Go here


Included in the Trip Cost: The following items are included in the trip cost . . .

  • Photography instruction throughout the trip by John

  • All accommodations with private facilities [en-suite]

  • All breakfasts

  • Lunch on day one of the trip

  • Dinner on the last night of the trip

  • On-vehicle snacks and bottled water

  • All ground transportation

  • Airport pick-up on day 1, and drop-off on departure day. Arrival prior to day 1 is not included

  • Entrance fees for sites and activities listed below under 羨dmissions Included

  • Following the trip you'll receive detailed field notes describing the time, place and subject of each photo stop, plus image uploads to a private web page of clients 'in action' on the trip

Not Included in the Trip Cost: The costs for these items are the responsibility of each participant . . .

  • Airfare

  • Travel costs between your home and the gateway airport and return

  • Any transportation or travel costs incurred prior to or after the tour痴 inclusive dates

  • Pre-tour and/or post-tour accommodation

  • Lunches and dinners except for lunch on day one of the trip, and dinner on the last night of the trip

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Entrance fees or costs related to optional sites or activities not included in the itinerary

  • Baggage fees

  • Medical expenses

  • Personal items such as the hotel mini-bar, laundry et cetera

  • Incidental charges incurred at our accommodations such as movie rentals, internet and phone

  • Travel insurance

  • Passport or visa expenses

  • Airport departure taxes, if applicable

Admissions Included in the Trip Cost:

  • Milford Sound cruise

  • Moeraki Boulders

  • Any other admissions such as a helicopter ride for a closer view of Mount Cook et cetera, are optional and not included.


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