Hunting for South Aurora. North and South Islands.
Photo Tour Location: New Zealand
Dates of the photo tour: 24.07 -06.08.2019
Participation fee: 3687 $ USA ( till 22 March -20%(2950$) and -50$ for each 1 friend )
Prepayment: non-refundable deposit — $ 500 USA
Two months before departure, pay 50 percent of the cost of the tour.
Number of days: 14 days / 13 nights
Number of participants: 10 people, min 8.
Type of photography: landscape and night photography
Type of tour: photo tour, car trip
Difficulty level: very easy
The professional level of the photographer: basic, knowledge of his camera, possession of manual camera settings
Photoguide: Elena Pakhalyuk
Guide: Sergey Permitin, Chairman of the RGC (Russian Geographic Society) in New Zealand
Accommodation: guest houses and hotels, 2 — 3-bed rooms, camps
Catering: cafe, hotel
Master classes in photo processing: in free time from photography, Lightroom / Photoshop
We will visit: Hunting for South Aurora! North and South Islands! Muriwai Regional Park, Mount Eden, Auckland, One Tree Hill, Whitakeri Range, Keri Waterfall, Piha, Muriwai, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua, Maori Village, Tarawera Volcano, Lake Wymangu, Wai o Tapu, Taupo Lake, Puarenga River, active volcanoes Ngaruhoe and Ruapehu, National Park Tongariro, Franz Josef Glacier, Okarito, Fox Glacier, Okarito, lake Wanaka, Arrowtown, lake Hawea, gorge Cardrona, Paradise valley, village Glinorchi, Skipper canyon lake Wakatipu, Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, Mount Cook National Park Mount Cook National Park,Mirror Lakes, royal albatrosses, fur seals, yellow-eyed penguins, Moaraki stones, Lake Pukaki, Lake Tekapo, Tazman lake,Cristchurch, Church of the Good Shepherd
Day 1. Arrival to Auckland New Zealand.
Passage of passport and immigration control and immediately from the airport departure to Muriwai Regional Park. Walk through the park. Lunch, champagne in a very beautiful place on the coast. The first acquaintance with the group! Transfers to the hotel, dinner at the hotel or at any restaurant of your choice (not included in the tour price).
First stop is the Waitekeri Range, a picturesque mountain range and watershed in the Auckland area, 30-40 km from the center. From the bird’s-eye view, you can admire a breathtaking panorama of both the water elements of the Pacific Ocean and Tasmanovo Sea. On the way, you will stop at the magnificent Keri Keri waterfall, the place where a huge number of Hercules scenes, Narnia and commercials were shot. Then you will arrive at Piha (20 km from Whitakeri), where you will have at your disposal a unique beach with black volcanic sand — a favorite place of surfers and kiters. You will see the Lion rock and admire the picturesque lake with blooming lilies, you can feed wild ducks. We conclude the day on Muriwai — the bird market of yellow-headed gulls (Ganet) on the background of a black sand beach.
Day 2. Auckland — the unofficial capital of New Zealand.
After breakfast, a sightseeing tour of the city. Mount Eden observation deck and the history of the founding of New Zealand. Visit several more beautiful panoramic sites, travel over the bridge and an overview of the main attractions. On the way from the airport you can admire a magnificent view from the highest point of Auckland One Tree Hill. Auckland — city tour. The business and shopping district “Golden Mile”, you will see the old buildings of the government and the university, the bridge over the bay, Domaine gardens and parks, walk up to the observation deck and look into the crater of the extinct volcano Mt.Eden, from where you can enjoy the breathtaking panorama of the city and “Two Oceans “
Return to the hotel at about 14.00.
Evening photography and nighttime . Location – the beach of the ocean.
Day3. Waitomo Caves and transfer to Rotorua.
Departure from the hotel early in the morning, for a unique photography of Waitomo caves! Only for our group the cave will be available for taking pictures. No other tourists interfering with the process!
Trip to the caves from the hotel is about 3 hours. You will get on a boat inside the cave and see a thousands of unique glow warms that attract various insects with their light and create unique luminous patterns that most resemble a starry sky and Milky Way . Considered one of the most amazing sights on the planet.
Next we will wade deeper into the caves,(Unique individual photography of the ALL system of caves early in the morning. Not included in the price. 130-170 USD dollars. Stock up on flashlights to illuminate. Flashes are CATEGORALLY FORBIDDEN!)
Two-hour drive to the village of Rotorua. Perhaps this is the most unique place during your tour. You will see streams of boiling water flying out of the ground or from the cracks of sidewalks to a height of 4–5 meters and the neighborhood of the city shrouding in white clouds. “All this terrain is boiling and bubbling like a colossal cauldron suspended above underground fire,” wrote Jules Verne about Rotorua in the novel Children of Captain Grant.
Hotel accommodation. Dinner buffet seafood (not included in the tour price).
Day 4. Maori Village and Rotorua.
After breakfast, you will visit the village of Maori, the only village in the world whose inhabitants continue to live in the same conditions as their ancestors lived many years ago. Maori Show Observation of two existing geysers, one of which every hour for 10 minutes spews a jet up to 25 meters high. Such a sight you can not see anywhere else !!!
During lunch you can eat corn and chicken cooked in a geyser. Walk along the trail along the mud valley.
Further visit to the observation deck, from where you will see two famous lakes of Waimangu: formed in the crater of an extinct volcano: “Green” and “Blue”. You will pass by Lake Tararavera and the guide will tell you the sad story of the lost village. Taravera volcano is one of the largest active volcanoes in New Zealand. Before the eruption of the volcano in 1886, its foot was called the “Pink and White Terraces” and was recognized as one of the eight wonders of the world. In 1900, the largest geyser ever observed on earth appeared here. Its column of water, stones and mud reached a height of over 400 m. The last eruption of the volcano was recorded in 1981. Interestingly, in 2011, two terraces were found at the bottom of the Lake Rotomahana, which were considered long ago to be destroyed by volcanoes, but Maori this day, those living in these places have forbidden to raise to the surface the found terraces.
The next unforgettable attraction of your trip will be swimming in a hydrogen sulphide creek in the primeval forest. You you can plunge into the natural spa, which nature itself has created for you. The attraction is free, but worth all the money, and only dedicated people can get to this place … 🙂
At the conclusion of this excursion day after dinner, you will take a walk through the unique forest of Sequoia, visit the night reserve — the only place in the world where you can see the famous Kiwi bird a stone’s throw away. Late in the evening you will return to the hotel, where you will find a well-deserved rest. Do not forget to free up as much space as possible on your flash drives !!! The number of photos that you take the next day, no doubt will be a record for the entire tour !!!
Unique Night Shooting of Geysers!
Day 5. Wai O Tapu. Wonderland.
Early in the morning after breakfast, handing over the rooms, you go back to Auckland. The first place you visit is a mud volcano. Everything is bubbling and bubbling. Clumps of healing mud scatter by tens of meters. The next place you visit will undoubtedly be the record for impressions — a trip to Lake Taupo, 80 km from Rotorua.
A two-hour walk through the most unique park of Wai-O-Tapu: a lake with champagne, an artist’s palette, a devil’s kitchen, smoking volcanoes, caves, waterfalls, the amazing River Puarenga, fed by hot and cold keys at the same time … It’s pointless to list, you need to see !!! To see something similar in Kamchatka, you need to walk to the point for 6 days … Lake Taupo is famous for crystal clear, icy underground springs rich in trout that come to the surface. The Geothermal Power Station (One of the THREE in the World) will appear before you as a Spaceship. If you wish, you will have the opportunity for EXTREME !!! — the opportunity to make a BANGY JUMP from a 65-meter high cliff into the waters of the Waikato River. (Not included in the price) But that’s not all !!!
An unforgettable Huka Falls — one of the deepest Waterfalls of the World — 270 cubic meters of crystal clear water per second — awaits you and you can admire the powerful shallows and cascades of sparkling water jets.
We head to Auckland Airport and depart early for Christchurtch in the morning.
Day 6. Christchurch. Pancake Rocks. Park Arthur-Paz
Breakfast. At 06:00 transfer to the airport, flight to the southern island in the city of Christchurch — the second largest city in New Zealand, the city of gardens (departure at 07:00 am). An hour on the road and you will find yourself surrounded by the Southern Alps. A short stop near the architectural monument of nature — Castle Rocks (Castle Rocks) — the game of shadows turns them into the fortress walls of the mysterious castle! Visit to Arthur Pass National Park. There will be a stop on the pass, you can admire the view … Even at the end of the last century, the journey by car from one (eastern) to another (western) shore could take up to 5 days. Now, thanks to the ten bridges built, this path can be overcome 20 times faster.
Visit the world famous sights — Pancake Rocks. In the sea mist you can watch the bizarre forms of rocks, like the 12 Apostles in Australia on the Great Ocean Road, but these are even steeper and more powerful. You will see a beautiful gorge, framed by steep limestone cliffs. Walk through the New Zealand jungle between palm trees, vines and prehistoric tree ferns.
Accommodation in the coastal town of Hokitika, known for its craftsmen — jade carvers, glass blowers and jewelers (arriving at 19:00).
Evening around the campfire on the bank of the Tasman Sea, meeting the sunset (optional) and night shooting.
Day 7. Wild West. Subtropical Glaciers. Franz Josef Glacier.
Hari Hari village. It landed here, more precisely planned, with the already absolutely empty gas tank, the first plane that reached New Zealand.
Franz Josef Glacier.
Town Franz Joseph Glace. Leaving things in the hotel room, we are accompanied by a qualified guide will go to the Franz Josef Glacier glacier. (Not included in the price. $ 40)
Beautiful easy and very specific route! Cracks, ice ridges, crystal abysses of faults will tickle your nerves. You will inhale the drunken-clean air of the mountains of the Southern Hemisphere. Throw out your cameras — they will not be able to convey all these wonders !!!
According to the Forbes magazine, the top ten glaciers on the planet included both glaciers from this region — Fox and Franz Josef. True, the Franz Josef Glacier glacier retreated almost three kilometers from the sea over the past hundred years, but still, the foot of the glacier is already in the subtropical zone at an altitude of only 240 meters above sea level. The length of the glacier is about 12 kilometers, and it begins its movement from a height of 2,700 meters. Moving further south. People are less and less, the trees are higher and higher!
Walk through the forest without a trail. You will see a real high New Zealand rain forest, such as dinosaurs saw it yet! New Zealand’s nature is completely unique, most of the local plants and animals are not found anywhere else on the planet !!! This archipelago so long separated from the ancient super-continents and was so long isolated by the ocean from the rest of the land, that evolution here went an independent way. Many of the local plants are very archaic; their kindred species on the continents died out millions of years ago.
You are waiting for photos inside the glacier? Take warm clothes!
Day 8. Fox Glacier — Queenstown.
Early rise. Shooting sunrise at Lake Metison with a reflection of the peaks of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman!
Breakfast. Then a small track and we will go to the observation deck and admire the breathtaking views of the Southern Alps, forests, glaciers and the highest peak of New Zealand and all of Australia, Mount Cook Mount Mountains (3.754 m). Only in the hours immediately after dawn you can see the fantastic Picture. Then — Heli-Heik attraction. The Ice River is 25 km long and 800 meters deep and moves at a speed of 5-10 cm per day !!! We will have a choice — either fly by helicopter or go on foot. You will be able to fly around Mount Cook and the adjacent glaciers by helicopter and save time on foot climbing. Moreover, a helicopter ride can include a large BONUS — landing on Tasman Glasier Tasman or Fox Glacier — the largest of the New Zealand glaciers, and the NC glaciers differ from all around the World in that they slip into almost the subtropical jungle !!! (Helicopter flight of $ 185 per person — Not included in the price) Now we will cross the Southern Alps from west to east, following the bed of the mountain rivers Haast and Makarora Makarora River. Very beautiful wild places. The forest grows on almost vertical rocks. You will see many waterfalls and snowy peaks. We will stop and walk along the path to one of the waterfalls. The forest here is completely different than on the coast. The roots of the trees do not immediately go deep into, but first snakes crawl along the surface. Just like you saw in the Lord of the Rings movie!
In the afternoon, we will reach the shores of Lake Wonaka Lake Wanaka, one of the most beautiful in New Zealand. A little further we will pass along the shore of Lake Javea Lake Hawea, after which the road will lead us again to Wonack and the resort town of the same name. This place will undoubtedly be in your heart. The view from here is just wonderful! Wonak is very popular as a base camp for climbers, snowboarders, aerobatics pilots and other thrill seekers. We are waiting for the shooting of the sunset and the night sky over Lake Wanaka! For this we have to spend the night in tents on the shore of the lake. It will be an unforgettably beautiful night in a hotel of 1000 stars!
Day 9-10. Queenstown and its surroundings
Early rise and shot of dawn on Lake Wonak. Breakfast.
Then we are waiting for the picturesque Paradise Valley (where numerous Hollywood films were shot), the village of Glenorchy, the Skipper Canyon, ArrowTown.
In one of the most idyllic places in New Zealand there is everything — immaculate bright green meadows, peaks of the sky propping mountains, cold and very beautiful lakes. It was in these parts that the creators of the movie «The Hobbit» decided to settle the werewolf Beorn, who helped Gandalf, Bilbo and the dwarves during their journey to the Lonely Mountain. Filming took place near the city of Queenstown on the South Island.
We are waiting for the beautiful views of the mountains and lakes! Shooting stunning sunrises and sunsets! And for lovers of stars — night shooting!
A bit about Queenstown. This is the mecca of New Zealand extreme tourism. Queenstown is full of life all year round. In winter, a popular ski resort, and at other times pedestrians and rafting, bungee jumping from helicopters and fixed sites; races on raging mountain rivers in high-speed boats; skydiving; climb the sheer walls and the like adventurism! Adrenaline guaranteed!
Those who do not like such entertainment will not be bored in Queenstown either. Beautiful views of Lake Wakatipu Wakatipu, Botanical Gardens, golf, many luxury jewelry stores, cable car to the top of a viewing hill, boat trips, horse riding — in short, the choice is yours.
Arrowtown resembles a toy settlement of the Old World. The houses here are small, without a single right angle; the roofs are lined with slate, the windows are tiny. Everything is clean, restored and very cute.
Queenstown wineries are unique wines and completely new taste sensations.
Skipper Canyon and Visiting the observation platforms of the Queenstown railway station — the panoramas and landscapes that open from these points cannot be described.
Sunrises, sunsets and the night sky — everything is waiting only for us!
Day 11. Expedition to Fjord of Vanishing Tops — Milford Sound on a sailing schooner (Not included in the price. 105 dollars)
We will spend an unforgettable time among the fjords! Take off the sunset and sunrise. If the weather gets better, then we are waiting for shooting the starry sky over the fjords!
The beautiful beauty of Queenstown — Te Anau Lake Te Anau.
On the way, you will see the wonderful mountain range (Yes, yes, that’s what it is called!) The Remarkables. Its dizzyingly steep slopes bite into the sky with a series of rocky peaks.
Te Anau is the gateway to Fiordland National Park Fiordland National Park.
Fiordland is a completely unique place of world importance. The walls of the gorges hewn up by glaciers abruptly break into the bottomless depths of the ocean, countless waterfalls crash against granite with myriads of diamond splashes, ancient ferns slowly spread hairy spirals of leaves, dolphins and seals chase flocks of silver fish, snow-white peaks of mountains are reflected in the black mirror of narrow bays …. .
From Te Anau we move towards the heart of Fiordland — Milford Sound. The road itself is famous for its views and bears the informal name of the Vanishing Avenue of the Disappearing Mountain.
We will stop at the lakes and go for a walk along the bottom of the gorge. Number of photos per day doubled !!! The views around are amazing!
To get to Milford, you need to drive through a long, narrow, dark tunnel. It is cut through an imposing vertical wall under Homer Saddle Homes; the length of the tunnel is 1270 meters; height above sea level 950 meters; no lighting, no facing no. Rough stone, utter darkness and water dripping from the walls!
During this time of waiting at a traffic light before entering the tunnel (15 to 20 minutes), you can gape at the stunts written out by Kea snow parrots. KEA — the most mischievous and intelligent birds on Earth. In size they are like two crows; The plumage is green above and the fenders are bright orange. Prepare tripods — we will shoot the parrots!
We come to Milford — the view that appears before you is 100% present on the covers of ALL photo-books about the beauties of New Zealand !!!
During the 2-hour cruise we will see bottle-nosed dolphins, fur seals, waterfalls, rocky islands, birds , and (if lucky) crested fiordland penguins. On the way back, our ship will stop at the underwater observatory. Amazing soft corals, flowers of the seas — anemones, openwork sponges, sea horses and various kinds of fish will appear before our eyes. And all of them — in their own natural habitat!
We return to the shore, loaded into the car, and again in the way!
A short walk to the amazingly beautiful stone chasm of the Chasm. Granite, overgrown with moss and lichen, hanging roots of lianas, rumbling mountain stream and huge trees will remind you of a fairy tale about hobbits.
Next, we’ll stop at two tiny Mirror Lakes. In calm weather, their watery surface will reflect the irresistible beauty of the surrounding mountains. You will see New Zealand diving ducks and cormorants. We will spend the night on the shores of the Fjords to photograph a beautiful sunset, night sky and sunrise.
Day 12. Edge of the Royal Albatross, Fur Seals and Yellow-eyed Penguins.
In the early morning after the Dawn photo session in the Fjord and a quick breakfast, we will go to the ancient City of Dunedin and further to the wonder of nature — Moeraki Boulders Stones. The origin of these perfectly round huge stones is still debated. Many people find it difficult to believe that nature itself, without human intervention, is capable of creating such perfect forms. Access to the balls depends on the tide, so we will vary our program, depending on the lunar cycle.
After that, we will go to the old lighthouse and the colony of yellow-eyed penguins and the New Zealand fur seal rookery located at its foot.
A twilight and night sky can surprise with its brightness on Moeraki Boulders!
We spend the night in Omaru — a charming place where the decoration of the streets are, unexpectedly for such a province, luxurious buildings of local stone — Limestone!
Day 13. TeKapo- Christchurch.
And again an early rise. We will go to the center of the Island to the High Plateau — Mackenzie Land and the glacial lakes of Pukaki and TeKapo and Majestic Aoraki (Mount Cook). The Southern Alps are geologically very young and one of the fastest growing mountains on the planet. We will take a walk to the observation deck of the glacial lake and you can admire the impressive beauty of the western side of Mount Cook. In the 50s, the famous Edmund Hillary, a New Zealander, the first ascender of the highest point on Earth — Mount Everest, practiced and climbed here. The road along Lake Pukaki and resume our movement to the north, to the blue-steel waters of Lake TeKapo Lake Tekapo. Our road now runs along the harsh rocky semi-desert. The variety of New Zealand landscapes is just amazing, a few days ago we were in the wet dense forests, now we are moving along a bare mountain plain! In the afternoon we arrive at TeKapo, here we will have lunch and a visit to the star observatory on the city of Jones and the Church of the Good Shepherd !!! — Shooting sunset and night shooting.
Then, from the semi-desert plateaus of the Mackenzie Country region, crossing the golden Burgy Burke Pass, we will go to the fertile Canterbury plains of Canterbury Planes. Following the scenic road winding along the Southern Alps, we will arrive at the final destination of our journey — the city of Christchurch. The road from the lake takes 2-3 Hours
Day 14. Transfer to Christchurch Airport.
NOTE! WE WILL DO VISA FOR YOU ( if you need a visa).
CLOTHES, FOOTWEAR, TOURIST EQUIPMENT
The weather is changeable, during the day it can be very warm up to + 22C degrees, at night it is much colder to + 5C, sometimes it can be in the mountains and freezing and snow falls (rarely, but such a miracle happens). At this time of the year, strong winds in the mountains are very frequent, especially at night, it can rain and fog. In line with this, MANDATORY! have the necessary supply of warm wind and waterproof clothing, a raincoat, and do not forget about beach accessories, as we will relax in the geysers.
IMPORTANT! Since we will have radial outlets, you will need a backpack (40-50l), where you put warm clothes, a raincoat, a thermos and photo equipment.
Be sure to have with you:
A small backpack (30-40l) for photographic equipment, spare warm clothing for radial outlets, for snacks and a thermos
Lightweight fleece gloves
Storm / membrane jacket in case of strong wind
Tourist running trousers
Warm sweater or fleece
A spare pair of warm socks
Comfortable running shoes
Flip-flops (for resting feet in the camp and for geysers)
Hygiene products, hygienic lipstick, plaster
Rubber Seat Pad
Bathing accessories for the beach (Valley of Geysers)
What it is desirable to have with you from Phototechnique:
Wide-angle and telezum lenses (the more photosensitivity, the better for night shots)
Trigger programmable cable (or you can remote)
Gradient filter (very desirable) 6-9 stops
ND filters 3-9 stops
2-3 flash cards with a total capacity of at least 64 GB
Photo backpack or photo bag
PowerBank for recharging a mobile phone
Included in cost:
Accommodation in guest houses
Accompanying Russian-speaking guide throughout the route
All entrance fees for the program
Flight between the islands
Fan Zone Concert Tickets
Auto-party after the concert
BBQ and champagne lunch first day
The cost does not include:
Tickets your city — New Zealand — your city
Entrance fees not included in the tour
Meals not included in the tour price.
For any questions please contact:
Member of Union of Wildlife Photographers of Russia
Chairman / Russian Geographical Society of New Zealand Inc, Auckland New Zealand
+64 272727100 /whatsapp
Be sure to coordinate flights with the organizers! We will help you in selecting the cheapest tickets and with a visa.
ATTENTION! Depending on the unpredictable weather conditions, as well as the general decision of the group, the program of the photo tour can be changed!
Join now! It will be very interesting!