Tour date: February / March 2018
Tour Price: $11,000 ***INCLUDES RT AIRFARE from USA gateway city
Registration Deadline: TBC
Single supplement TBC
Sign-up early for M&M 10th Anniversary Discounts on ALL trips
- Photo tour dedicated to the specific needs & interests of photographers
- The great landscapes & glaciers of the South Island
- Capture awesome shots of Dusky dolphins and other wildlife
- Opportunity to shoot a variety of seals, whales and seabirds
What’s Not Included
- All hotel accommodations
- English-speaking guides
- Meals according to itinerary
- International RT airfare from USA gateway city
- In country air travel
- Ground transportation
- Admissions fees according to itinerary
- Professional photographic instruction
- Any Passport and Visa arrangements
- Early check-in, late check-out surcharge
- Additional drinks and other personal expenses (alcoholic drinks, laundry, phone calls etc.)
- Any services not specifically mentioned in the tour program
- Tips for guides or baggage handlers
- Airport Taxes
Tour Itinerary- subject to change (14 Days)
Day 1 CHRISTCHURCH - KAIKOURA
We depart Christchurch this afternoon and travel up to Kaikoura, arriving in the early evening. Stay the evening to prepare for early morning shoot Day 2. Orientation and intros.
Day 2 KAIKOURA
This morning we take an exclusive 2.5 hour sea cruise to photograph Dusky dolphins – natural acrobats who offer many fantastic photo opportunities. In the afternoon we have an option to join a whale watch or albatross encounter boat trip.
Day 3 KAIKOURA - PUNAKAIKI
After a sunrise shoot we leave Kaikoura and head for the famous West Coast and Punakaiki. The force of the ocean has carved the coastline into fascinating rock sculptures and we arrive in the afternoon at the most unusual of these formations: the Pancake Rocks.
Day 4 PUNAKAIKI – FOX GLACIER
We turn south along the coast this morning as we head for the glaciers. Under the shadow of the Southern Alps the West Coast glaciers are the most accessible in New Zealand, and still flow towards the sea. We arrive at the Fox Glacier Village by mid afternoon and hike around Lake Matheson where, on a still day, New Zealand’s two highest peaks, Mts Aoraki/Cook and Tasman, are reflected in the dark waters.
Day 5 FOX GLACIER
Today we take a short helicopter ride up onto the glacier, and then spend 3 hours exploring this ever-changing river of ice. This is an exclusively-guided tour for our group which allows us to dictate the pace of the expedition. After returning from the glacier there is time to relax in the village before we meet again in the afternoon to photograph the mountain surrounds as the sun sets. If the weather is suitable there will be an opportunity to take an optional chartered helicopter flight for some breathtaking aerial photography.
Day 6FOX GLACIER – QUEENSTOWN
We leave the glaciers and continue driving south. We then take the Haast Pass road east, travelling through a valley carved by glaciers, stopping along the way to shoot waterfall, forest and river scenes. Once over the pass we descend towards the Otago lakes district, photographing the mountain- bordered Lakes Hawea and Wanaka before arriving in Queenstown in the evening.
Day 7 QUEENSTOWN
An early start as we set out to capture the sunrise on Lake Wakatipu. We then continue on into the Mt Aspiring National Park. Moss-laden forests, crystal clear rivers and deep valleys provide us with exciting photographic opportunities from detailed macro to sweeping panoramas. In the early afternoon we return to the township where there is an opportunity to relax, do a spot of shopping or for a surge of adrenalin there’s the bungee jump and jet boating. We meet again in the late afternoon to photograph the remarkable mountain range.
Day 8 QUEENSTOWN - MILFORD SOUND
We leave Queenstown this morning and make our way to Milford Sound. The drive to the fiord is every bit as spectacular as the destination, and visitors are always overwhelmed by the grandeur of the landscape. We stop to photograph dramatic glacial valleys, expansive mountain vistas and forest-fringed lakes. No doubt at one of our stops we will be greeted by the cheeky mountain parrot, the kea. Later in the afternoon we arrive at Milford Sound and shoot the fiord as the sun sets.
Day 9 MILFORD SOUND – QUEENSTOWN
This morning we take a boat journey along the fiord and out to the Tasman Sea. As well as shooting this incredible landscape of sheer mountains, cascading waterfalls and untouched coastline it is possible we will see seals and dolphins. Once back ashore we spend the rest of the day photographing as make our way back to Queenstown.
Day 10 QUEENSTOWN - AORAKI/MT COOK NATIONAL PARK
It’s time to head north towards the heart of the Southern Alps and the home of New Zealand’s highest mountain: Aoraki/Mt Cook. We arrive at the Mt Cook Village later in the afternoon, in time to photograph the last light on Aoraki/Mt Cook.
Day 11 AORAKI/MT COOK NATIONAL PARK
After photographing sunrise in the Tasman Valley we return to the village for breakfast. We then spend the rest of the day exploring the area, including taking a 2.5 hour easy hike up the Hooker Valley.
Day 12 AORAKI/MT COOK NATIONAL PARK – CHRISTCHURCH
Another chance to photograph the first light in the Tasman Valley. After breakfast we make the return journey back to Christchurch. We take a scenic route past turquoise lakes and high country rural scenes, stopping to photograph along the way. We arrive in Christchurch in the mid-afternoon, in time to catch the departing flight.