NEW ZEALAND - NORTH ISLAND ITINERARY
Day 1 AUCKLAND
Arrive in Auckland “The City Of Sails” where you will meet fellow members of your photo tour group. You will have time to settle into your room before we depart for an evening shot of the city.
Day 2 AUCKLAND – MANGAWHAI
We will leave Auckland with its dormant volcanoes early this morning heading north on the east coast, capturing coast towns on our way to Goat Island Marine Reserve where we will experience coastlines that have eroded rock formations created by the force of the wind and sea. Once arriving in the quiet seaside town of Mangawhai we will head out for an evening shot of the estuary.
Day 3 MANGAWHAI – COROMANDEL
This morning we will drive through a native forest that leads down to a wild surf beach. Once we have walked a short distance over the sand dunes we will capture a formidable northern coastlines vista. Travelling down the west coast beside the Kaipara Harbour, we will photograph the solitary wild surf beaches with black shimmering sand and as we make our way to Coromandel we will shot typical “Kiwi” rural scenes with their rustic wrought iron roofs.
Day 4 COROMANDEL – ROTORUA
David has managed to arrange a Coromandel Peninsula location that is not accessible to the general public. This unique photo opportunity will provide us with our sunrise shot. The Mercury Bay area is known for its azuring blue water beaches and clean white sandy shores. We will continue travelling a little further south to a beach called Hot Water Beach. It got its name because of the hot springs that surface on the sand two hours either side of low tide. For a unique experience, you can dig a small hole in the sand and have your very own hot pool. We depart for Rotorua, rich in Maori sights and customs. We will stay in the heart of Rotorua city that is nestled beside the regions largest crater, Lake Rotorua. That evening we will experience an authentic introduction to Maori culture with a hangi(meal) being lifted from the ground. We can learn about their history, carvings and the ta moko (tattoo art) and enjoy the local Maori dance and song.
Day 5 ROTORUA
This morning the unique and inescapable sulphur odour of Rotorua assaults your senses as we venture out to capture moody shots of steaming fumeroles, spouting geysers, and boiling mud pools within the natural thermal area. This afternoon is free for you to enjoy at your leisure. Everything in Rotorua is within easy walking distance. Simply relax in your room, enjoy a therapeutic soak in the local mineral pools, or choice from one of the many adrenaline activities on offer.
Day 6 ROTORUA – LAKE WAIKAREMOANA
We will set off for the Hawke’s Bay Region this morning. Within the Te Urewera National Park is Lake Waikaremoana (Sea of Rippling waters), the North Island’s deepest lake, and its little sister, Lake Waikareiti. Lake Waikaremoana is renowned for it vivid emerald blue waters set amongst lush greenery and the massive slabs of rock embedded on the shoreline that testify the colossal forces resulting in the majestic lake and surroundings, that we will photograph before settling in for the evening.
Day 7 LAKE WAIKAREMOANA – TURANGI
Heading east this morning we will capture “Kiwi” scenery with the endless stretches of road, lush greenery, fresh air, blue skies, and breathe taking views at every turn as we make our way to Turangi.Turangi is a small town on the west bank of the Tongariro River, at the southern end of Lake Taupo on the North Island Volcanic Plateau of New Zealand.
Day 8 TURANGI
Today we will plummet you into a wilderness of the Tongariro volcanic plateau with its commanding snow capped mountains and Rangipo Desert, reminiscent of an airy moonscape. This afternoon is free to enjoy the hotel hot tub or enjoy the local walks or trout fishing before an evening sunset shot.
Day 9 TURANGI – AWAKINO
From Turangi we will travel west through the Pureora Forest Park before reaching Awakino, a settlement in the south of the Waitomo District, where the coast is largely unpopulated. From there we travel to Mt Egmont National Park to visit the Goblin Forest with its trees that are smoothered in moss that evoke mysterious images in the forest on Taranaki’s middle slopes. Following the coastline travelling north to Tongaporutu. Constantly being eroded by the Tasman sea we will explore the ‘Three Sisters’ rock formations and the Maori petroglyphs that are carved into cave rock walls of the White Cliffs, before arriving in Awakino for the night.
Day 10 AWAKINO – RAGLAN
This whole region has some extremely isolated and rural beauty spots that we can capture. Kawhia Harbour is one of three large natural inlets in the Tasman Sea coast of the Waikato region and was an important port in early colonial New Zealand. On our drive north we will stop into Waitomo Caves.Here if you wish, you can explore the grotto in the caves that are lit up by thousands of luminous larvae on the ceiling. Experience the puity of sound and view the stalagmites, stalactites and columns. Or you can simply relax in the cafe for an afternoon break.We will then travel north to Raglan for an evening shot. Commonly known as the surfing mecca for wave riders. Raglan was judged to be “New Zealand’s Best Looking Town” by Lonely Planet guidebooks. Surrounded by wild water and bush and watched over by the majestic Mount Karioi Raglan offers us breathtaking views to photograph.
Day 11 RAGLAN – WELLINGTON
We then travel north to Raglan commonly known as the surfing mecca for wave riders. Raglan was judged to be “New Zealand’s Best Looking Town” by Lonely Planet guidebooks. Surrounded by wild water and bush and watched over by the majestic Mount Karioi Raglan offers us breathtaking views to photograph. Arriving in Wellington the nations capital city we will capture our final sunset shots of some of the city’s icons for the photo tour.
Day 12 WELLINGTON
Today you will be departing our photo tour group and preparing for your journey home. There will be time for you to say your final farewells to your fellow members of the photo tour group. STILLS Photo Tours are confident that the photographic knowledge you have gained on your journey with us will be reflected in your photos for a lifetime …
Depending on numbers partners and family are welcome to come and enjoy the sights and atmosphere of New Zealand while the photo tour group are out shooting, then rendezvous back at the hotel at night. Guided sightseeing tour of New Zealand or specific themes such as a gastro or adrenaline tours can be arranged for partners if required.
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