Photographing New Zealand

When a close friend met the love of his life while escaping said life in New Zealand, I immediately became attracted to the small island nation.

New Zealand is, for lack of a better description, a more laid back and warmer version of Canada. The locals are friendly, there’s much natural beauty to take in, and it’s a great place to work, live, and visit.

Melissa and I visited New Zealand at the end of February, and we’ve both fallen in love. 

Te Mata Peak

Rising 400m above sea level, Te Mata Peak offers stunning views of HavelockHastings, and the larger Hawke’s Bay area.

Watching the Sun Rise

While waiting for the sun to rise (spoiler: was too overcast to see it), I took the chance to get some dawn photography going…

The View From Te Mata Peak @ DawnTaken at about 6:30 am.

The View From Te Mata Peak @ DawnThis one taken at about 6:40 am. Sun is coming up fast.

Mists Overtaking MountainsRolling mists encapsulating the mighty mountains. 6:41 am.

Overlooking Havelock & Hastings, NZLooking out at Havelock and Hastings. 6:45 am.

The Road to Te Mata PeakThe drive is almost as enjoyable as the view. Almost. 7:05 am.

With the Sun Out

Picturesque as the sun rises, gorgeous when the sun’s out. Te Mata Peak is a real gem.

Lou’s Lookout

Located just past the village of Tuai, about a 2.5-3 hour drive away from where we were in Hawke’s Bay, is a series of tracks that surround Lake Waikaremoana.

Melissa and I had fun tramping throughout, but the real winner was Lou’s Lookout. Signage states it’s a 30-minute one-way trip, but if you’re reasonably fit and don’t mind a bit of a sweat, it’s closer to 15 minutes.

The view is worth the short trek.

A Panorama From Lou's Lookout

This panorama fails to capture the scene. It was simply breathtaking.

Atop Lou's LookoutMelissa taking it all in.

A BMW at the Base of Lou's LookoutWhat’s that sign say beside the car? Can’t quite read it from here…

A BMW at the Base of Lou's LookoutAh, much better.

If you’re ever in the area, it’s worth the 15 minutes to reach the top.


Melissa found this guy along the way.

Shine Falls

About an hour away from where we were in Hastings/Havelock is the Shine Falls track. Worth a visit; the view is incredible throughout.

The Start of the Shine Falls TrackThe start of the track impresses.

Midway Through the Shine Falls TrackJust getting started.

A Break in the Canopy / Shine Falls TrackMuch of the track is enveloped in a natural canopy. This scene was taken in a small break in the canopy about mid-way through.

Shine FallsShine Falls itself – The height of these falls is not in any way properly represented in this photo.

Camel @ Shine Falls, NZMelissa and I standing on a rock about 10m away from the base.

6 Replies to “Photographing New Zealand”

  1. Cam, your post is absolutely beautiful. I’m really happy that you had a really good time in New Zealand. If we were ever to do a website about nature, we would probably want these photos as our hero images hahaha 😛

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