New Zealand is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and photographers. With an incredible mix of mountains, coastline, lakes, and rivers, New Zealand has stunning beauty.There are hundreds of amazing photo opportunities unlike anywhere else in the world. We narrowed it down to our fourteen favorite spots.
Best Photo Ops in New Zealand
Cathedral Cove, Coromandel
Cathedral Cove is best during low tide / sunset to access the cave. It’s an easy hour walk, with several other beaches and viewpoints. Bring a head torch for the way back if staying for sunset. Check out New Chums Beach nearby.
Pouakai Tarns, Mount Taranaki
Pouakai Tarns is a 5 hour return hike. Windy conditions often do not allow for a reflection, but when they do, this is a special place.
Three Sisters and the Elephant, Tongaporutu
The Elephant was partially destroyed in the 2011 earthquake and no longer has its trunk. The Three Sisters nearby are also incredible to photograph. This beach is only accessible at low tide and very slippery on the way out. Also check out the White Cliffs Walkway nearby (low tide only).
Taranaki Falls, Tongariro
This gorgeous waterfall is only a 45 minute walk from Whakapaka Village.
It is best to enjoy this amazing beach during low tide to access the many viewpoints. Also, there are often seal pups swimming in shallow pools. Look for the cave in the middle of the beach and continue to the end of the beach for the best reflection photos (and free mussels).
Lake Rotoiti, St Arnaud
When in New Zealand it is almost required to get a picture of a pier. Lake Rotoiti has one of the best.
Hokitika Gorge, West Coast
The Hokitika River beautifully carves through a forest with the most extraordinary emerald green water. For those that are brave enough, jump from the swing bridge! The water is not cold, I swear…
Lake Matheson, West Coast
Lake Matheson is located near the Fox Glacier and is known to have excellent reflections of the mountains, especially for sunrise. The nearby Gillespie’s Beach is also worth a look.
Aoraki / Mount Cook
Mueller Hut is a 5 hour hike (return) that has panoramic views if the Hooker Valley and Mount Cook. Also check out the Hooker Valley Track. Mount Cook is known as the best place in New Zealand for astrophotography.
Roy’s Peak, Wanaka
Hike up to the famous Roy’s Peak for stunning panoramic views. The hike is roughly 4-5 hours return. Don’t miss the Wanaka Tree in town, especially for sunset.
Gateway to Paradise Drive, Queenstown
The drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy, also known as the “Gateway to Paradise,” is one of the best drives in the world. The views along Lake Wakatipu are stunning, with an excellent stop at the Bennetts Bluff lookout.
This 2-3 hour hike (return) treks through lush rain forest and leads up to this stunning alpine lake. Mount Christina and surrounding peaks towering above making this an unforgettable place.
No list in New Zealand could be complete without mentioning Milford Sound. Not only is the Sound itself picturesque, the drive in from Te Anau is one of the best drives in the country.
Nugget Point, The Caitlins
The short walk out to the lighthouse leads to an incredible display of huge rock formations. This is very unique lookout and one of our favorite coastal views in all of New Zealand. Also check out nearby waterfalls, McLean Falls and Pūrākaunui Falls.
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Did we miss your favorite spot? Comment below and tell us where are you favorite places in New Zealand for photography…
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