Southern Exposure Photography Tour

January 8 - January 22, 2017
15 days, 14 nights

Maximum 12 Travellers
2 Photography Intructors
Kiwi Tour Guide

Designed with our partners at BlueHour Photo Ventures and tailored specifically for photographers of all ability levels, this tour offers the very best of New Zealand’s stunning South Island, a photographer’s dream destination. We’ve carefully selected a variety of locations that take you off the beaten path to breath-taking landscapes where wildlife and nature abound. In order to experience these varied landscapes, we’re on the move most days and there are some days when we’re up early for dawn shoots. Under the expert guidance and mentoring of your photography instructors, Paul Nguyen and Allie Richards, you’ll take your photography skills and creative eye to the next level. Intended to include non-photographer partners and friends as well, this tour offers plenty of time to experience New Zealand’s wonderful food, wine, and laid back Kiwi culture. To take advantage of all this trip has to offer travellers should be able to walk unassisted over uneven surfaces for up to a kilometer (half a mile) carrying camera equipment.

Paul Nguyen earns a full-time living in photography, selling his work at shows throughout New England, performing private and public commissions, lecturing to camera clubs, and instructing. Paul captures images from around the world, and emphasizes preparation and perseverance above all else as the "secret" to creating great photographs in new locations. He readily teaches advanced skills to even beginner photographers, believing that anyone can learn any concept if it's explained properly. Paul's strengths are landscape and wildlife photography, using long exposures in low light conditions, and referring to himself in the third person.

Allie Richards is one of the most talented and knowledgeable young photographers you will ever meet. She is well-traveled, having photographed extensively throughout Europe and the Americas, and excels at capturing the essence of a destination through her powerful images. There's a story behind every shot Allie takes, as told through her travel photo blog. As a native and resident of Massachusetts, Allie will be one of your instructors on the New Zealand Southern Exposure Tour. She will teach you how to make inspirational and unforgettable images of all of your future travels.

Day 1: Christchurch – Kaikoura

  • Explore Kaikoura peninsula
  • Wildlife spotting

Day 2: Kaikoura – Flockhill Station, Arthur’s Pass

  • Cruise to watch whales/albatross
  • Appreciate limestone formations near Southern Alps
  • Enjoy sheep station lodging (Flockhill)

Day 3: Arthur’s Pass – Punakaiki

  • Hike easy alpine trails in Arthur’s Pass
  • Smile at your magical sunset shots of the unique Pancake Rocks

Day 4: Punakaiki - Hokitika

  • Gaze in wonder at galaxies of glowworms in an underworld adventure
  • Marvel at the intense blue waters of the Hokitika Gorge

Day 5: Hokitika

  • Wander the shops of Hokitika and appreciate local Maori arts and crafts
  • Cruise or paddle on New Zealand’s largest unmodified coastal wetland, feeding ground to multitudes of white heron
  • Appreciate sunset over a glacial kettle lake with fading light on the Southern Alps

Day 6: Fox – Wanaka

  • Option of a heli-flight with landing on Fox Glacier
  • Hike to the terminal face of Fox Glacier
  • Enjoy short native bush walks to waterfalls and glacier-fed streams and pools

Day 7: Wanaka

  • Fly in pre-dawn by helicopter to high country peak for stunning sunrise session over Lake Wanaka
  • Ride in 4WD jeeps on a high country tour with exclusive access to high country sheep farm and incredible views

Day 8: Wanaka

  • Free Day – Wanaka is a lovely lakeside town to relax for a day
  • Or enhance your trip - options include food and wine tours, scenic flights, tours to Milford Sound

Day 9: Wanaka - Queenstown

  • Spend the day in paradise, literally!
  • Photograph stunning Lake Wakatipu, Glenorchy, and the Paradise Valley

Day 10: Queenstown – Curio Bay, Catlins

  • Wander remote beaches and stroll through lush green forest to gorgeous waterfalls in this off-the-beaten-path region of New Zealand
  • Hunker down and spy penguins coming ashore at dusk after their long day at sea
  • Pinch yourself to make sure this is all not a dream!

Day 11: Curio Bay - Kaka Point, Catlins

  • Breathe in the slow pace of life in the Catlins
  • Explore caves, beachs, esturaries, and waterfalls, appreciating the diversity of photographic landscapes in such a small region

Day 12: Catlins – Cromwell

  • Wake early for a dawn session at a clifftop lighthouse, aware that you’re seeing the sun rise before everyone else in the world
  • Sip wines with lunch at a local vineyard
  • Explore a remote back-country valley on an evening 4WD sunset tour

Day 13: Cromwell – Mt. Cook

  • Experience a high country sheep station with sheep dog demonstration after a homemade lunch in the woolshed
  • Be amazed at the turquoise waters of Lake Pukaki, set against the dramatic backdrop of Mt. Cook

Day 14: Mt. Cook - Tekapo

  • Capture the majesty of New Zealand’s highest peak
  • Walk the valley floor surrounded by mountains and glaciers
  • Final night in the world's largest dark sky reserve

Day 15: Tekapo – Christchurch

  • Bid fond farewells and return to Christchurch for connecting flights home

Activities Included:

  • Pancake Rocks - Punakaiki
  • Lake Matheson Walk - Fox Glacier
  • Walk to Terminal Face of Fox Glacier
  • Short Native Bush Walks - Haast Pass
  • Vineyard Lunch and Wine Tastings - Otago
  • Hooker Valley Walk - Mt. Cook

Experiences Led by Local Experts:

  • Whale Watch/Albatross Encounter
  • Glowworm Cave Scenic Tour
  • Okarito Lagoon Boat or Kayak Tour
  • Heli-Flight Sunrise at Coromandel Peak
  • All Day 4WD Tour Wanaka High Country
  • Half Day 4WD Tour Nevis Valley
  • Dunstan Downs Sheepdog Display/Farm Experience


  • 14 Breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners

Price:NZ$8,995 based on double occupancy/twin share
Single Supplement: NZ$1,595

See current exchange rate below.

Accommodation: A mix of 3 & 4 star motels, lodges, and a B&B. On two nights we are in lodging that may require shared bathroom facilities (i.e. 2 or 3 bedroom configuration with a shared bathroom).

If you’re traveling alone, we can connect you with another single traveler for you to contact and decide if you wish to share. If you prefer your own room: Single Supplement is NZ$1,595

Enhance Your Experience:

  • Wanaka Free Day
    • Scenic Helicopter or Plane Flights
    • Biking
    • Wine Tour
    • Spa Visit

    ...the list is endless!

Is this trip right for you?

If you:

...then this trip is for you!

For a more detailed itinerary, Get in Touch!

Map of Photography Tour in New Zealand
All photos on this page courtesy of Paul Nguyen mother and baby seal on rocks west coast scenic shot pancake rocks at Punakaiki sunset view of Lake Matheson sunset view of Lake Matheson photographers shooting pictures in forest ferns in the New Zealand bush Nigel the sheep in his pen New Zealand Tui on branch