South Island - The Wild Landscape 12 Day Photography Workshop
Date: 1 September 2024 - 12 September 2024
Duration: 12 Days
Group Size Limit: 6 Photographers
The Wild Landscape New Zealand photography workshop is ideal for photographers wanting to capture the legendary vistas of the South Island. On this adventure we will be photographing an incredible variety of New Zealand's most-loved landscapes including: Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps, Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound, Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson, Moeraki Boulders, and the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. We will also photograph at hidden backcountry locations where few others venture.
And if all of these magical photography locations are not already exciting enough we overload the senses on our exclusive helicopter charter into the heart of the Fiordland National Park, where we capture powerful and original images of the monumental landscapes which very few have the privilege to experience.
This South Island photo workshop takes place on the cusp of Spring and temperatures are typically mild and comfortable. Each day of this workshop has been carefully planned, with the flexibility to choose our photography locations to take full advantage of the conditions and light. At this time of the year there are just under twelve hours of daylight, which makes it easier to keep your energy levels high.
This workshop is all-inclusive - we stay in quality lodgings which are comfortable and relaxing, and enjoy excellent New Zealand cuisine throughout our journey.
With a small group of only six participants there is ample opportunity for individual mentoring, making the mastering of new techniques and developing of your creative style easy and relaxed.
We welcome you to join us on this premium New Zealand photography adventure.
Day 1: Christchurch - Kaikōura
Our adventure begins this morning from the garden city of Christchurch. We travel north along one of New Zealand's most scenic coastlines, arriving into Kaikōura in the early afternoon. The small township is situated in a bay overlooked by alpine peaks which tower over the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. The spectacular juxtaposition of the mountains and sea offers us wonderful photo opportunites both in the afternoon and morning light.
Day 2: Kaikōura - Greymouth
We photograph the first light on the mountains and coast, and after breakfast depart for Greymouth on the West Coast. Our journey takes us through the expansive high country of the Hurunui District towards the alpine region of the Lewis Pass. We arrive at the seaside town of Greymouth in the early afternoon and take a short break to refresh before heading north along the scenic coast road to Punakaiki, in the Paparoa National Park. This region has the largest remaining lowland coastal forest in New Zealand and the vegetation here is lush and tropical in appearance. At Punakaiki we photograph the bizarre limestone formations which overlook the wild Tasman Sea. Known as the Pancake Rocks, they got their name due to water erosion giving them the appearance of large stacks of pancakes. On our return to Greymouth we dine at our favourite local restaurant.
Day 3: Greymouth - Fox Glacier
Today we venture further south along the West Coast as we enter the Westland Tai Poutini National Park, which was established in 1960. Here the mountains rise steeply above the coastal lowlands. Dense rainforest hides scenic lakes created by the retreating glaciers, and turquoise rivers wind their way out to driftwood-strewn surf beaches. We have ample opportunities to photograph as we travel. In the late afternoon we explore a hidden coast location where tall, sculptured Kahikatea trees are backed by the snow-clad Westland mountains. This lowland forest is also home to New Zealand's rarest kiwi: the rowi.
Our lodging for the next two nights is in the village of Fox Glacier and we arrive in the early evening, with a delicious dinner to complete another incredible day's photography.
Day 4: Fox Glacier
This morning we leave the lodge pre-dawn and take an easy walk around Lake Matheson to a clearing in the forest where New Zealand's tallest mountains Aoraki/Mt Cook and Horokoau/Mt Tasman are reflected in the tannin-stained waters. This scene is one of New Zealand's most famous landscapes and a wonder to experience. A relaxed breakfast at the nearby café will be very welcome after our early start.
This afternoon there will be a chance to take an optional helicopter flight for aerial photography, flying over the blue-ice formations of the upper Fox Glacier before continuing on to photograph the majestic Southern Alps in all their glory. The will be dependant on the prevailing weather conditions.
Day 5: Fox Glacier - Central Otago
We have one more opportunity to photograph first light at Lake Matheson this morning before we depart. After breakfast our journey travels south past the settlement of Haast and then follows the Haast River east through the Mt Aspiring National Park towards the lakes district of Central Otago. Once we are over the Haast Pass the landscapes begin to change as the land east of the main divide is in the rain shadow. We then travel alongside the azure waters of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea, before continuing to the heart of Central Otago, a land of expansive tussock plains, rugged hill-country and imposing rock formations.
Day 6: Central Otago - Moeraki
After breakfast we travel through rolling farm country as we make for the east coast fishing village of Moeraki. We make a stop in the historic town of Oamaru before continuing on, arriving in the early afternoon. Later in the afternoon we drive to the nearby Moeraki Boulders for last-light photography of these other-worldly spherical boulders which are embedded in the beach.
Day 7: Moeraki - Te Anau
We are at the Moeraki Boulders again this morning to photograph sunrise over these fascinating concretions. After breakfast we continue south to the lake town of Te Anau, which is situated on the fringe of the Fiordland National Park. This is New Zealand's largest national park, covering 1.2 million hectares. Most of the park is only accessible by air or sea, making it the most exclusive landscapes from a photographer's perspective. Also close to Te Anau are other hidden wilderness areas rich in photo opportunities. In the afternoon we drive into the backcountry to photograph the late light on the snow-draped mountains.
Day 8: Te Anau
We photograph sunrise along the shoreline of the mountain-lined Lake Manapouri, before returning to Te Anau for a late breakfast. In the afternoon we take a private helicopter transfer into the heart of the Fiordland National Park exploring where few, if any, have ventured before, to capture unique and powerful photographs of the grandeur and beauty of New Zealand's most formidable wilderness. This experience leaves even the most seasoned of photographers astounded at the sheer magnitude and raw majesty of the landscapes found here.
Day 9: Te Anau
Today we explore hidden backcountry areas which are a breath-taking blend of mountains, lakes and sprawling plains. We will choose our locations based on the weather and light conditions.
Day 10: Te Anau - Piopiotahi/Milford Sound
After breakfast we depart for Piopiotahi/Milford Sound at the northern end of the Fiordland National Park. The journey takes us along what many consider to be New Zealand's most spectacular road and we make stops to photograph dramatic mountains carved out by glaciers, lush rainforest, and crystal-clear rivers. Our last-light photo session will be on the shores of Freshwater Basin at the head of Milford Sound.
Day 11: Piopiotahi/Milford Sound - Queenstown
Another early start as we return to the shoreline to photograph the grandeur of the iconic Mitre Peak and precipitous mountains of the fiord in the moody blue hour, and as the sun rises. After breakfast we take a two-hour photography cruise through the fiord to experience this awe-inspiring landscape up close. While on the cruise we may also encounter the endangered Fiordland-crested penguins, New Zealand fur seals and dolphins. In the early afternoon we begin the return journey to Queenstown, arriving in the early evening.
Tonight we enjoy a sumptuous farewell dinner to celebrate the incredible adventure we have shared together.
Day 12: Queenstown - Departure
We are out early one last time to photograph sunrise together before returning to our hotel for a late breakfast and the parting of the fellowship.
The weather in New Zealand is subject to frequent change. We reserve the right to make last-minute changes to the itinerary to both take advantage of good weather and light and also avoid bad weather, as the elements permit. Our intention is to assess the prevailing weather and light conditions to determine where the best photographic opportunities will be.
$15,980.00 NZD double occupancy
$17,390.00 NZD single occupancy
All amounts are in New Zealand Dollars.
To confirm your place on this workshop we require a deposit payment of 50% of the total fee. Balance of the workshop fee is due on 1 June 2024.
Payments may be made by internet bank transfer or international bank transfer.
- All photography guidance and instruction throughout the workshop by Phillip Bartlett
- First-rate local field support
- Eleven nights lodging in quality, comfortable accommodations with private facilities
- Fully catered fine New Zealand cuisine from lunch on Day One to breakfast on Day Twelve
- Private charter helicopter at Fiordland National Park
- Photography cruise at Milford Sound
- National Parks and Reserves Department of Conservation fees
- All travel required to arrive at the workshop commencement location
- Any taxes, levies, insurances, Immigration, duty, visa fees where applicable
- Optional activities not listed as included in the itinerary
- Any personal items including alcoholic beverages, souvenirs and travel insurance
- Gratuities for the driver
Terms and Conditions
Please ensure you read our terms and conditions.
Did a recent trip with Phillip and top notch from start to finish, have been on many many trips with him and there is a reason--extremely well planned, top notch subject matter, and lots of fun. Highly recommended.
David and Wipada Salmanowitz
Capture New Zealand (Phillip Bartlett) workshops are excellent. They are meticulously planned and everything is taken care of. There is always a plan B should a change in weather cause a change of location. Phillip makes sure you are always at the right place at the right time for maximum photographic opportunities. You will see beautiful places off the beaten track that you would never find on your own. Phillip gives expert professional guidance to every individual and ensures everyone is getting the best out of every location. I highly recommend these workshops. I have done 7 trips with Phillip and they are always great fun and informative. You will go home with unique images and great memories.
I appreciate the professionalism with which Philip runs his business. Phillip provides expert photographic assistance tailored to the desires of each client. I was grateful for composition instruction exceeding anything I have received before. From arrival to departure, Phillip ensured a smooth and enjoyable experience. The accommodations were terrific, the food plentiful and delicious. And the coffee! What a treat the coffee was. The trip was a magnificent experience in terms of photographic opportunities and results. I hope to be able to join Phillip on a future adventure!
The South Island of New Zealand contains some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and being led around by someone so experienced in the terrain as well as reading the weather (I swear that Phillip works as a part-time meteorologist) gives you the best possible opportunities to capture amazing photographs. Phillip tailors his teaching style to your abilities and he has helped me a lot to refine the way I compose an image on the field. Being able to discuss and share ideas with a professional photographer throughout the workshop was invaluable - I now have a better sense of the overall aesthetic and style that I would like to put across in my work. Phillip has curated a list of accommodations that are comfortable, clean and spacious. There is always good food along the way and he knows where the best coffee and hot chocolate can be had. This was my first trip with Phillip and certainly not my last. I hope to join him for other adventures in the near future.
He took us to several well off the track locations that there is no way I would have known about or ever found – but yielded spectacular photographs. The second is that he gave us room to work, but was always on hand for questions or queries. I like to work at my own methodical pace and don’t require photographic instruction – but I often did want to know how Phillip as a local saw the shot in his minds eye and where he felt it worked best based on his experience with the area. To this end he was extremely helpful and I owe him a debt of gratitude in this respect as it has contributed to the quality of shots I was able to get. Many photographers often think the best way to shoot a new location is on their own, but those of us who have been to a new area with a good guide know that there is no substitute for local knowledge. And that local knowledge saves a huge amount of time (and time is money) and contributes to images of far greater quality. To this end Phillip was nothing short of brilliant – a better guide could not be had.
Read more feedback from our clients on our testimonials page.