18 Most Photogenic Places on The South Island of New Zealand

From famous beaches, picturesque lakes and weird geological features. Find out what the best photography spots on the South Island of New Zealand are! #NewZealand #photography #Landscape
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It is seriously difficult not to fall in love with New Zealand, especially for a nature lover like me. When it comes down to landscapes I have never seen such diversity in such a small country. You can cross it from the east coast to the west coast in just few hours, but during those few hours you will get to see stunning waterfalls, beaches, snowcapped mountains, turquoise lakes and more. Maybe few hours won't be enough after all. 


After living in Queenstown - a place that I called my home away from home during last summer, I finally decided to leave what the locals call the Queenstown bubble and go on a road trip around the south island. A road trip that took me right back to......Queenstown, but that's a topic for another story. Back to the road trip. It was all about photography. During the 6 weeks I was on the road I wanted to capture the most photogenic and dramatic landscapes of the south island of New Zealand. Landscapes that make you want to gasp for air and leave you screaming for more. Have I succeeded? See for yourself!


If you are wondering what gear have I used to capture these photographs, then check out my complete gear list

18 Best Places to Photograph in New Zealand

1. Moeraki Boulders

Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand

A fiery sunrise over these large dragon eggs. Daenerys Targaryen eat your heart out.

2. St Clairs Beach - Dunedin

Saint Claire Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand

A nice beach stroll with view like this!!! Who could say no? For the best light, make sure you go there at sunrise and check the tide! You don't want to end up like me, with your shoes soaking wet. 

3. Purakaunui Waterfalls

Purakaunui Waterfall, Catlins, New Zealand

One of many great waterfalls in the Catlins region near the southern tip of the south island. 

4. Church of the Good Shepherd

Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo, New Zealand

The list wouldn't be complete without an astro shot from this gem. A must see for every astrophotography enthusiast! This little chapel is placed right among the international dark sky reserve in Tekapo. One of the stops on my two week road itinerary around the South Island of New Zealand. 

5. Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook, New Zealand

Crystal clear icy blue water covering 180 square kilometres, the north part of which almost touches the southern alps. 

6. Lupin Flowers in Tekapo

Lupin Flowers, Lake Tekapo

For once a year in the height of summer (December) lupin flowers bloom for around 6 weeks and look absolutely fantastic.

7. Wharariki Beach

Wharariki Beach, New Zealand

Now to the north of the south island, Wharariki (read: Farariki) beach at sunset is the perfect end to a days picnic. With a bit of luck you might spot some seal pups hanging around the place. 

8. Hooker Glacier Lake

Hooker glacier lake and Mount Cook, New Zealand

The glacial lake at the foot of Mount Cook is stunning at all times of the year, but winter is my favourite for taking photos. 

9. Mount Roy

Roy's Peak, Wanaka, New Zealand

An iconic point overlooking Lake Wanaka and one of the best day hikes on the south island of New Zealand.

10. Lake Matheson

Lake Matheson, New Zealand

Reflections galore, I could have spent days here watching the light bend over the mountains in the distance. 

11. Milford Sound

Mitre Peak reflections at Milford Sound, New Zealand

The most visited tourist attraction in the whole of Oceania. Milford Sound, which by the way is not actually a sound but a fjord, is an incredible place. It's a must do if you're in New Zealand and here's a list of travel tips with 8 beautiful photos that will inspire you to visit Milford Sound

12. The Remarkables

Sunrise over the remarkables, Queenstown

Aptly named as they are indeed remarkable. The iconic mountain range located next to Queenstown is also host to one of the best ski fields in the area. The Remarkables are one of the most photogenic spots in Queenstown. 

13. Bennett's Bluff, Glenorchy Road

Bennet's Bluff

A view point on one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand, that connect Queenstown and Glenorchy. The view point overlooks pig and pigeon islands and lake Wakatipu. 

14. Nugget Point

Nugget Point, New Zealand

The most photogenic nuggets I have ever seen in my life, no doubt about it!

15. Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall

Devil's Punchbowl waterfall, Arthur's Pass, New Zealand

The largest waterfall in New Zealand, the Devil's Punchbowl waterfall is 131m high and well worth a visit. Take your rain jacket and expect to get wet!

16. West Coast Sunset

Okarito, New Zealand, West Coast

On the beach, watching the sun go down, with my camera, a memory I'll never forget.

17. Franz Josef Glacier Valley

Franz Josef glacier valley

Although quickly retreating, the river that marks where most of the glacier used to be is a fast flowing photogenic place. 

18. That Wanaka Tree

Lone Willow tree, Wanaka, New Zealand

A symbolic willow tree just off the shore line of Lake Wanaka is rumoured to be one of the most photographed trees in the world.

Though New Zealand is a small country, if you do decide to come here, my number one tip would be to not to cram too many places in too little time. For a big photography enthusiasts like me, make sure you have your own transport, proper photo equipment and some spare batteries!


What's the most photogenic place you have visited in your life? 

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The most photogenic places I've discovered during my trip around the south island of New Zealand
The most photogenic places I've discovered during my trip around the south island of New Zealand

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I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.comI come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me somewhere in the mountains. 

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