New Zealand Photography Workshop, May 2019


4th – 13th May 2019

4 available


Date and Time
2pm Saturday 4th – 4pm Monday 13th May 2019

Nine Nights


Workshop Leader
Melvin Nicholson

Workshop Attendees

Photography Locations
Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
Arthur’s Pass
Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo 
Lake Matheson, Fox Glacier
Milford Sound Fiordland National Park
Moeraki Boulders
Te Anau

Meeting Place
2pm Saturday 4th May 2019
Christchurch Airport

Nine nights accommodation (own double room, shared bathrooms)
Dedicated 1-2-1 photography tuition
Collection and drop off at Christchurch Airport
Full transport during the workshop in a comfortable minibus

All meals and drinks (except breakfast)
Return travel to New Zealand
Travel and camera insurance

Exertion Level
Easy / Medium – All locations within half a mile from the car, some much closer. Some slippery rocks and uneven ground and sandy beaches present. A reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required.

Welcome to this South Island, New Zealand Landscape Photography Workshop. This workshop has been specially created to allow me and just five photographers to explore, discover and marvel at the stunning sights and sounds that the south island of New Zealand has to offer. I have visited New Zealand on several occasions dating back to 2003 and I am constantly fascinated and enthralled by its beauty and friendly people.

I have put together a fully comprehensive itinerary with some outstanding locations to visit and photograph and a wonderful array of quality accommodation that offer up some outstanding views. From the mighty snow-capped peaks of Mt Cook that stands dominantly at over 12,000ft to the stunning vistas of The Remarkables near Queenstown which featured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. From the beautiful lakes of Wakatipu, Wanaka, Te Anau, Hawea, Pukaki and Tekapo to the dramatic coastal location of Moeraki with its spherical boulders, some dating back to four million years, there is something for everyone. Not forgetting the iconic, world famous and jaw dropping beautiful Milford Sound Fiordland National Park and Mitre Peak.

Come and join me and experience all that new Zealand has to offer. You can read a lengthy NEW ZEALAND BLOG that I have written on my most recent trip there back in September 2018.

Here is a detailed itinerary outlining our schedule. While the itinerary looks fixed, it is really only an indication of the locations we will be visiting and the decision to alter our plans depending on the weather and light will be taken if needed.

Day 1 – Saturday 4th May 2019
Locations: Christchurch Airport – Oamaru
I land into Christchurch airport days before the workshop starts and I would advise those attending the workshop to do the same to allow for jet lag. I shall collect everyone at 2pm, Christchurch Airport in a comfortable eight seater Hyundai Imax MPV (so plenty of space for luggage, clothing and camera equipment). We will head to Oamaru (3hr journey) stopping off to capture sunset before arriving at our motel. After we have dropped off our belongings and checked in, we will head out on our ‘get to know each other’ meal at a local restaurant in the town before retiring for the evening.

Day 2 – Sunday 5th May 2019
Locations: Oamaru – Moeraki Boulders – Aoraki Mt Cook National Park – Hooker Glacier Lake
Sunrise start at world famous and fascinating Moeraki Boulders. Back to Oamaru and one of their wonderful cafes for breakfast, check out and venture westwards to the stunning mountainous range of the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park and in particular our luxurious hotel for the next two nights, the Hermitage Hotel.

The Aoraki Mt Cook National Park is rich in glacial lakes and 12,000ft mountains. We will have a real opportunity to unwind and spend the next couple of days wandering along maintained gravel tracks to places such as Tasman Lake, Mueller Lake and for our sunset shoot today, the three hours round hiking trip to the extraordinary Glacier Hooker Lake which sits deep within several mountains with calm reflective water offering stunning reflections. An evening meal in the hotel to finish a wonderful day’s photography and travel.

Day 3 – Monday 6th May 2019
Locations: Mueller Lake / Lake Pukaki – Aoraki Mt Cook National Park – Tasman Lake
Another pre-dawn start to capture sunrise over either Mueller Lake or Lake Pukaki. Stunning scenery reflected in the calm water is what we are after capturing on camera. Breakfast back at the hotel before venturing out and discovering the area and there is plenty to explore. Sunset will be spent at Tasman Lake before returning back to the hotel for our evening meal.

Day 4 – Tuesday 7th May 2019
Locations: Lake Pukaki – Glendhu Bay, Wanaka
An early sunrise shoot at Lake Pukaki or if you would rather enjoy a lie in and join us for breakfast later instead, that is absolutely fine. Breakfast back at the hotel before checking out at 10.30am and heading south to Wanaka via the beautiful Lindis Pass.

Lindis Pass is a dramatic road that links the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. The actual pass sits at an altitude of 971 metres above sea level and for many months of the year, you can expect to see snow in this mountainous area. Having driven this pass myself, I can confirm that it really is spectacular. We will be stopping off on a couple of occasions to capture the surrounding scenery. On arriving into Wanaka, we will be checking into our hotel accommodation before venturing to Glendhu Bay followed by photographing the world famous tree on the shoreline of Lake Wanaka, just a five minute walk to our shoreline hotel.

Day 5 – Wednesday 8th May 2019
Locations: Wanaka Tree – One Tree Hill – Te Anau
Wanaka is famous for its lone tree in the lake. Positioned close by a car park, we can arrive on location for 7am, spend an hour capturing it at sunrise before breakfast and a visit to Bremner Bay before making the three hour drive to Te Anau via Queenstown.

Day 6 – Thursday 9th May
Locations: Te Anau – Milford Sound Fiordland National Park – Te Anau
Te Anau is the gateway to Milford Sound Fiorland National Park, where the mightily impressive 5,500ft Mitre Peak stands dominantly at the entrance to the Milford Sound bay. Milford Sound is truly an awe-inspiring location, made famous by its fiords but its views are breathtaking. We shall shoot sunrise at Lake Te Anau before breakfast, checking out and taking the gorgeous 118km drive to Milford Sound.

We will take our time exploring this outstanding stretch of road taking in the sights of Mirror Lake, Hollyford Pass, The Chasm and of course Eglinton Valley en-route to Milford Sound. Arriving at Milford Sound around 3pm, we shall spend the last part of daylight photographing the shoreline as the last throws of light disappear.

Once the sun has set, we shall take the drive back to Te Anau where we will be staying at the beautiful Explorer Motel and Apartment for a second night.

Day 7 – Friday 10th May 2019
Locations: Te Anau – Queenstown
We start the day with an hour’s photographing the sunrise over Lake Te Anau before stopping off at one of the many cafes in town for a hearty breakfast. Once we have checked out of the motel, we will make our way to the lively and energetic town of Queenstown. This is the party town of New Zealand but for us, we will be staying a couple of miles outside the town centre in the beautiful Heritage Hotel. We will be staying in Queenstown for the next two nights so it will provide us with an excellent base to discover and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.

Once we have arrived and checked into the hotel, we shall be venturing 450 metres up to the top of Queenstown at Bob’s Peak via a gondola where a sunset session from high up over the town will be followed by a meal in the restaurant. This is sure to be an unforgettable way to be introduced to Queenstown.

Day 8 – Saturday 11th May 2019
Locations: Queenstown – Glenorchy – Bennett’s Bluff
While the town sleeps, we shall rise and be positioned on the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu at 7am ready for sunrise and the first light illuminating the peaks of Walter and Cecil. Back to the hotel for breakfast before taking the breathtaking 45 minute drive to Glenorchy.

Glenorchy is a rustic town surrounded by magnificent snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes and rivers, ancient beech forests and at the edge of Mount Aspiring and Fiordland national parks, the frontier town of Glenorchy has provided the backdrop for many films, including The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

We shall spend the day in and around this area including a visit to Blennet’s Bluff en-route back to the hotel after the sun has set. If you would prefer to spend a leisurely 90 minutes on the 105 year old beautiful coal fired TSS Earnslaw steamship around Lake Wakatipu, the cost is £35.00. This will be a day to remember as we immerse ourselves in some stunning landscape photography.

Day 9 – Sunday 12th May 2019
Locations: Queenstown – Lake Hayes – Lake Hawea/Lake Wanaka – Fox Glacier
Our penultimate day will see us capturing sunrise over Lake Wakatipu, surely the best way to spend a Sunday morning. After breakfast and check out at the hotel, we will head towards Fox Glacier stopping off at Lake Hawea for a quick photography session en-route. The four hour journey to Fox Glacier is very picturesque but the views that await us at the stunning Lake Matheson for sunset will be epic. This beautiful lake offers up reflections of the 12,000ft Mt Cook and a low setting sun will illuminate the mountains perfectly (see photo below).

Our final evening together to relax and enjoy recently forged friendships on what will be an amazing recital of our experiences in New Zealand. To finish off a fantastic workshop, a walk to see the glow worms on the Minnehaha Walk nearby. Sounds just about perfect to me.

Day 10 – Monday 13th May 2019
Locations: Lake Matheson –
Our final full day in New Zealand will start back at Lake Matheson which after last night’s sunset shoot, should give us an perfect opportunity to capture the mountains reflected in the water. After check out of the hotel we will head to Christchurch Airport via the stunning Arthur’s Pass.

Flights are not included in the tour price and cost between £750 to £1,000 from Manchester to Christchurch including 7kg cabin and 30kg hold luggage allowance.

I shall be flying with Emirates and landing a few days before the workshop starts followed by staying on in New Zealand a further few days after the workshop.

I will be collecting all five workshop attendees at 2pm from Christchurch Airport Saturday 4th May 2019.

All hotel and motel rooms are double en-suite

Day 1: Saturday 4th May 2019 
Oamaru, ASURE Ambassador Motor Lodge

Day 2: Sunday 5th May 2019
Mt Cook, Hermitage Hotel

Day 3: Monday 6th May 2019
Mt Cook, Hermitage Hotel

Day 4: Tuesday 7th May 2019
Wanaka, Edgewater Hotel

Day 5: Wednesday 8th May 2019
Te Anau, Explorer Motel and Apartments

Day 6: Thursday 9th May 2019
Te Anau, Explorer Motel and Apartments

Day 7: Friday 10th May 2019
Queenstown, Heritage Hotel

Day 8: Saturday 11th May 2019
Queenstown, Heritage Hotel

Day 9: Sunday 12th May 2019
Fox Glacier, Te Weheka Boutique Hotel

Our mode of transport for this tour is a new eight seater Hyundai Imax MPV (or similar). This will ensure that there is plenty of space for us all including luggage, clothing and camera equipment.

Tripadvisor Reviews ( Read all reviews here )

I joined Melvin on his New Zealand Recce Tour in September 2018. It’s a country that has been at the top of my list to photograph for many many years – well it is one of the most desirable countries on earth to photograph, and it certainly didn’t disappoint!

I joined Melvin in Sydney and then flew into Christchurch and from the outset it was clear he was very passionate about his approach to his work. This was a thirteen day trip with so many locations on the itinerary which had been meticulously researched prior to the trip. On one of our first days we chatted about the possibility of photographing Nugget Point lighthouse that evening for a sunset shoot that was not on the itinerary. Bear in mind this was late afternoon and a six hour return drive but that was not going to deter, and off we went – which incidentally returned some fantastic images.

I really can’t praise Melvin enough for the meticulous work in preparing this trip – from locations, hotels, meals, transport and his infectious humour!

I believe this workshop is due to run around April time next year and I would without a shadow of doubt recommend it to anybody who wants to photograph some of the most incredible locations in the most photogenic country on earth – with a fabulous guide and photographer.

I came away from this epic trip with so many fantastic images and I returned with a new friend. Thanks Melvin for a brilliant trip and for the fun and laughter.

The memories of this trip I will cherish for ever…

Ed Rhodes – UK
Sunset over Glenorchy from Bennett's Bluff, nr Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand, Melvin Nicholson Photography
Sunset Over Glenorchy from Bennett's Bluff, Queenstown, New Zealand