Photographers Share New Zealand’s Most Scenic Locations
Calling all aspiring photographers! You can’t afford to miss this picturesque Listopedia from eight top photographers. Find out which of New Zealand’s fabulous fjords, beaches and mountains are their favourite shooting backdrops. Cameras at the ready for a trip through some of New Zealand’s most photogenic scenery.
Brady Dyer: Te Anau Fiordland
The Wellington-based photographer seeks beauty in everyday objects, whether he has a camera in his hands or not. However, Dyer claims that travel is his biggest inspiration due to the lasting impression it leaves. ‘When you surround yourself with unfamiliar locations you’re forced even harder to seek the small details, or natural beauty, in the world around you,’ he says.
Staying on Lake Manapouri, led Dyer to his favourite secret spot in the Te Anau Fiordland. Early one morning he took a two-hour helicopter ride over the dramatic landscape, an experience he stresses everyone should do at least once. He claims this is where you’ll ‘see some of Planet Earth’s most beautiful creations.’
Babiche Martens: The Blind Institute in Parnell
With an impressive portfolio spanning 15 years, the Auckland-based Martens originally hails from Amsterdam. She made New Zealand her home when she landed a staff role at leading fashion and lifestyle magazine, Viva. Martens loves to travel and has worked all over the world for brands like Louis Vuitton, Toni & Guy and Skoda. She’s won several travel photography awards, including the Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year in 2013.
Her secret spot is very unique – the Blind Institute building in Parnell, Auckland, which she says reminds her of Europe. ‘The greenery, architecture, brickwork and history of the building appeal to me,’ she explains. ‘It’s a great location that provides multiple options to work with.’
Chelsea Haworth: Bethells Beach
Award-winning photographer Chelsea Haworth is inspired by the rugged beauty of New Zealand’s west coast beaches. The best time to shoot? Sunset, says Haworth, when ‘the sky has incredible displays of blue, red, orange and pink’.
Her favourite secret location is Bethells Beach, a mere 30-minute drive from her studio. The diversity of this black-sand beach, which has an estuary and is surrounded by sand dunes and dramatic cliffs, is phenomenal, says Haworth. She adds that the journey to the stunning seaside spot is also breathtaking, with its verdant nature and rolling hills along the way.
Brett Stanley: The Otago Rail Trail
Born and bred in Australia, Brett Stanley spent a decade photographing everything from landscapes to fashion in New Zealand. Now based in LA, some of his most dramatic works depict vibrant underwater fashion scenes.
But he still has a few secret scenic spaces up his sleeve in the stunning New Zealand. His favourite place to shoot is around Otago on the South Island, where he feeds his self-confessed ‘cloud fetish.’ He calls the area around Omakau and the Otago Rail Trail, known for its unusual cloud formations, as ‘just astonishing’.
Tom Hollow: Lake Wainamu
A commercial photographer who lives in Auckland, Hollow has spent much of his career seeking out perfect backdrops in New Zealand. Finding it hard to pick just one spot, he lists the alpine scenery of Queenstown, the white sands of the Abel Tasman Track and the Kauri forests of Northland as some of his favourite locations.
However, it’s the varied landscapes close to Auckland that have impressed him the most – particularly the beautiful black sand dunes off Lake Wainamu, near Bethells Beach. They ‘serve as a perfect location for any commercial or fashion photography backdrop requiring contrast,’ says Hollow.
Lisa Harrington: Mudbrick Cafe Waiheke Island
The dedicated photographer behind the lens at Timeless Images Photography aims to provide their subjects with a portrait that reflects who they are, a big part of this is choosing the right setting. For those who are carefree souls, Harrington might recommend the sweeping sand dunes and wild waves of Piha or Muriwai Beach. For a more relaxed look the simplicity of a tree setting in the Auckland Domain is more appropriate.
Her favourite secret spot for composing dreamy wedding tableaus, however, lies in the gardens of the Mudbrick Café – perfect for capturing romantic memories of your special day.
Don’t let the name fool you, this elegant property on Waiheke Island is more European château than mud brick hut. Home to sprawling vineyards and painstakingly manicured gardens, the highly sought-after venue offers an abundance of splendid settings for your shoot.
Claire Mossong: Mount Maunganui
A creative soul who lives in her own piece of paradise, Mossong doesn’t limit herself just to photography. The all-rounder has expertise in branding, styling, production and painting. She says, ‘I believe creativity is endless and the unique blend of my background skills lets me pull different elements together to create something special.’
With seven years’ experience in photography, she has chosen her home, Mount Maunganui, as her ideal secret spot for photography in New Zealand. Affectionately known as ‘The Mount’ to locals, this peninsula juts out past Tauranga and is popular with surfers, golfers and day trippers hoping to bask on its stunning white-sand beaches. The distinctive peak at the end, Mauao, forms a dramatic silhouette for sunset snap from the beach, or ascend the 230 metres for views back towards the bay.
Daniel Allen: Abel Tasman National Park
Passionate photographer that he is, Allen was taking photos at seven and built his first darkroom aged 11. Raised in London, the successful creative is now one of New Zealand’s leading lifestyle photographers, having contributed to several books featuring everything from fabulous fashion to poignant pregnancy shots.
When it comes to landscapes, however, Allen can’t go passed the Abel Tasman National Park for his secret spot. New Zealand’s smallest national park is jaw-dropping with crystal-clear waters framed by lush green flora. You might even be lucky enough to capture majestic orcas playing in the bay.