Many flock from far and wide to soak up the awe-inspiring natural scenery New Zealand boasts. With picturesque views and dozens of Instagram worthy photo sites to capture, if you plan to travel to New Zealand from Australia, we’ve rounded up the top 10 must-see locations to visit during your trip abroad. Don’t forget to organise your international roaming plan in advance so you can share the best of your travel photography snaps with your friends and family in real-time.
1. Nugget Point Lighthouse, The Catlins
If you’re interested in mastering the art of travel photography — and ready to fill your camera roll with breathtaking images of distinct landmarks and native wildlife — Nugget Point Lighthouse should be at the top of your list. Perched above Captain Cook Rock and sitting beneath a steep headland lies the country’s oldest lighthouse. This attraction boasts sensational views of the ocean meeting the skyline and is also home to some of the world’s rarest penguins.
2. Mount Aspiring National Park, Otago region
With its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking views, the Blue Pools are a must-see if you travel to New Zealand to visit Mount Aspiring National Park. You can walk the one hour trail, and you’ll be able to cross swinging bridges as the chilly water flows through the rocky gorges. While you’re there, keep your eyes peeled for the neon-yellow Kea Birds — New Zealand’s mischievous native mountain parrot that often takes an interest in tourists’ backpacks.
3. Lake Pukaki, South Island
If you’re road-tripping to the South Island, the looming, snowy mountains of Lake Pukaki are breathtaking. Running along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin, it’s the largest of three alpine lakes. There are many lookout points around the shore where you can capture scenic images to add to your travel photography portfolio.
4. Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula
With the clearest and calmest waters to paddle in, Cathedral Cove has been shaped and eroded by the sea, offering incredible views of the country’s natural landscape. Visit in the summertime during the early hours of the morning and hire a kayak so you can view the sunrise in its golden glory.
5. Moke Lake, Queenstown
Located just 15 minutes from the bustling city of Queenstown, Moke Lake is framed by mountains and is a popular spot for hiking and camping. Walk the trail that leads around the entire lake, and face any direction while still having the best views of the northern and southern ends. If you visit during winter, you can capture the peaks when they’re covered in snow, making for the perfect image to add to your travel photography collection.
6. Mount Cook Village, South Island
Underneath the highest frosted-tipped mountain in New Zealand lies the Aoraki/Mount Cook alpine village. Boasting skyscraping, snow-dusted peaks and incredible views of the local village’s greenery, you can snap the perfect landscape image here — especially during the peak winter period. While the terrain can be challenging and the weather can change unexpectedly, various alpine walks near the village are perfect for beginners and fitness enthusiasts alike. If you plan to travel to New Zealand from Australia, don’t miss out on visiting this gorgeous coastline.
7. Lake Tekapo, South Island
An hour drive southwest of Christchurch, Lake Tekapo is famed for its gravel beaches, grassy areas and the gorgeous purple lupins that surround the crystal clear water’s edge. A prime photoshoot location, visit this man-made landmark during the early hours of the morning to see the sun peeping through the thick clouds.
8. Milford Sound
Many travel to New Zealand to visit this ethereal location. While it needs no introduction, it’s renowned for its natural beauty, cascading waterfalls, glacier-carved valleys and monolithic mountains that glow as the light beams through them. Don’t forget your wet weather gear — the conditions can change in a blink of an eye.
9. Lake Wanaka, Otago region
If you’re passionate about travel photography, you’ve probably heard of Wanaka. The picturesque lake can be explored in a kayak as you admire the rocky mountains, crooked trees and plush green farmland. This is one of the most famous photography spots this beautiful country offers. If you travel to New Zealand to soak up the scenery, this is a site you should consider adding to your bucket list of must-see destinations.
10. Roy’s Peak, Wanaka
For the ultimate scenic views and a long and winding day hike that will get your heart racing, make your way to the top of Roy’s Peak — a popular location for those who travel to New Zealand to admire the breathtaking landscapes. You’ll have a 360-degree view of both Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka, so it’s certainly worth the walk!
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