This tour offers perfect situations for long exposure photography, wild coastlines, waterfalls, volcanic activity and mountains. On this tour we will explore Northland, all the way to the very northern tip of New Zealand, before traversing across the North Island’s extraordinarily active geothermal landscape.
Historically, Northland was the main hub for activity in New Zealand and to date retains numerous remarkable landmarks: Russell - the former capital; the Treaty of Waitangi grounds are the home of modern New Zealand; giant sand dunes created by Volcanoes; the meeting place of the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea; Kauri forest.
We will also see many of the most magnificent volcanic landscapes of New Zealand, including the World Heritage Tongariro National Park, White Island (one of the world’s most active volcanoes) and Mt Taranaki, arguably the country’s most shapely mountain before looping back around to Auckland.
Taking the extra time to fully explore these wonders can never be underestimated as a necessity, their aura can inspire some amazing photography. Whilst exploring you shall also view stunning lakes, spectacular waterfalls, mysterious boulders and pools of bubbling mud with geysers.
- Price £5460
- Duration 6+ days
- Group Size 5+
- Date 19/11/2020
- Chartered boats in various locations
- All the main volcanoes
- Travel where the Pacific and Tasman Sea meet
- Explore New Zealand’s main volcanoes
- 4WD trip on private farmland
DAY 1 - AUCKLAND / ROTORUA
After Airport and city hotel pickups we depart Auckland for Rotorua, passing through the lush rolling farmland of the Waikato en route. Once in Rotorua, we have reached the land of volcanoes, a hub for geothermal activity in New Zealand - with hot springs, waterfalls, bubbling pools of mud and impressive hues from acids boiling beneath the earth - a mysterious photographers dream.
DAY 2 - WHITE ISLAND
The broad expanse of the Bay of Plenty is famed for its harbours, long beaches and prospering towns. The bay boasts several islands, including White Island/Whakaari. Lying 49 km offshore, this island is the tip of a large underwater volcano, with the crater exposed above sea level. A tour around the island offers much of photographic interest, including active steam vents, the brilliant colours of the sulphur, and the surreal textures of this constantly-changing landscape.
DAY 3 - ROTORUA / TONGARIRO
This morning we head out to photograph a geothermal reserve close to Rotorua. South of Rotorua, we head to Taupo, visiting Huka Falls en route. Although not particularly high, these falls are one of the most voluminous in New Zealand, where the entire Waikato River (New Zealand’s longest river) plunges over an ignimbrite cliffs. Afterwards, we journey south past Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, and the site of its greatest ever recorded eruption - in 186AD - an event noted by both the Chinese and Romans. We spend the evening photographing the sunset over Mt Ruapehu, at 2797m the highest mountain in the North Island, and the country’s loftiest volcano.
DAY 4 - TONGARIRO
Mts Tongariro and Ngauruhoe offer striking subjects for a sunrise shoot. Both are active volcanoes, with Ngauruhoe having the distinctive classic volcano shape. We will then head around other various waterfalls and spots along the road before heading back to our accomodation for the night.
DAY 5 - TONGARIRO / TARANAKI
We pass through several small towns and pause to capture the landscapes of the Rangitikei Gorge en route to Taranaki. Flowing from the Kaimanawa Ranges, this important river carves its way through pale cliffs made of papa, a type of mudstone that creates impressive features. During the afternoon we take a 4WD trip across private farmland to visit set of unusual round boulders in a forest.We arrive in Taranaki in time to photograph the sunset over the dramatic coastline, which includes former volcanoes, now eroded into offshore islands.
DAY 6 - TARANAKI
If any New Zealand volcano has the perfect shape, it is Mt Taranaki, which at 2518 m is the second-highest peak in the North Island. It forms the centrepiece of Egmont National Park, one of the country’s oldest national parks. Wonderfully stunted forest and shapely waterfalls flowing over old lava escarpments offer some excellent photography. Journeying south, we round the North Island’s western-most point at Cape Egmont, well known for its iconic lighthouse with Mt Taranaki rising behind it. This is where we will also shoot sunset this evening.
DAY 7 - TARANAKI / AUCKLAND
Today we set off back toward Auckland after a sunrise shoot. We shall be heading back from the South of the Waikato, via Raglan, where we shall stop by Bridal Veil Falls - the highest waterfall in the North Island.
DAY 8 - AUCKLAND / RANGITOTO ISLAND
Today you have free day to explore to Auckland, with the inclusion for a return ferry ticket out to explore the volcanic landscape Rangitoto Island, a pest-free island that sits in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland. It is the youngest volcano in New Zealand and offers some great photography opportunities from old lava flow to beautiful Pohutukawa trees.
DAY 9 - AUCKLAND - HOKIANGA
The tour with early-morning pick up from Auckland City/Airport. Afterward, we drive to the beautiful Hokianga Harbour, where we shall also be staying for the next two evenings. En route we will stop to explore native Kauri forests. In the evening we will photograph sunset over Hokianga Harbour on the West Coast - vastly contrasting to the scenes we find around the rest of the country.
DAY 10 - HOKIANGA
The rugged coastlines and picturesque jetties of this area are well suit black and white ‘fine art’ style photographs. We also capture images of intriguing round boulders, similar to the iconic ones found in the South Island at Moeraki.
DAY 11 - HOKIANGA - CAPE REINGA
Today we part from Hokianga to begin making way to one of mainland New Zealand’s furthest North points and Cape Reinga. As we drive up, we will check into our next hotel before heading to the Te Paki sand dunes. These humongous dunes have been created over millions of years through volcanic eruptions.
DAY 12 - CAPE REINGA
Departing from our hotel early in the day, we travel North once again to Cape Reinga. This location is of great significance in New Zealand geographically and culturally. Here we find one of the mainland’s furthest North points and a beautiful lighthouse sits high above where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet.
DAY 13 - CAPE REINGA / RUSSELL
This morning we set off toward the Bay of Islands after a sunrise shoot in Houhora Harbour. We drive to Russell and the historic Duke of Marlborough Hotel, our home for the next two nights in the picturesque Bay of Islands. During European colonisation, Russell was briefly the capital of New Zealand and features many historic sites. The day ends with a sunset shoot over the picturesque coastline, on one of the many beautiful bays close by.
DAY 14 - RUSSELL
An early start enables a sunrise shoot before we head back to the hotel for breakfast. A chartered boat today enables us to explore the Bay of Islands by sea, including parts of the coastline not accessible by road. We will send the day stopping at a number of the beautiful islands to capture these at our own pace.
DAY 15 - RUSSELL - AUCKLAND
Another early morning sunrise shoot across the Bay of Islands allows you to hone your field technique and capture some more of the areas stunning beaches. Today we depart the bo of islands and head towards Whangarei to capture the beautiful Whangarei Falls. In the afternoon, we drive back to Auckland to meet with late afternoon flights from the Airport.