Category Archives: Queenstown

The Road from Queenstown to Glenorchy

Is this the most beautiful drive in the world? I wouldn’t argue if you thought so! We spent about an hour at this special spot on the road between Queenstown and Glenorchy watching the colours change as soft, puffy clouds floated over Lake Wakatipu. Naturally I took way too many photos and had all kinds of problems choosing the one I liked best, haha classic first world problems!

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New Zealand Photo Adventure with Trey Ratcliff

Well that was fun! Big thanks to Trey, Curtis, Karen, Scott and everyone else who made this New Zealand photo adventure so awesome! I made some great new friends and it was cool seeing parts of NZ that I hadn’t been to before. I feel like I really improved my technical knowledge, composition and post-processing skills over the week and I’m looking forward to putting them into practise! These are a few of my favourite shots from the trip 🙂

Moody MilfordThe Primordial LakeThe UFO Landing SiteThe Perfect NZ SunsetThe Mysterious Glowing TreeMonkey CreekQueenstown from High AboveA Pond at the HillsThe DuelLake Wakatipu UFOMilford CloudsLady Bowen FallsMonkey Creek CloudsQueenstown Garden BridgeFunky CloudsBendemeer HayBendemeer HillsClassic NZ LandscapeGlenorchy Lake HillsBendemeer WarmthKorean PrisonJumper at the HillsThe RemarkablesA Glenorchy PathA Glenorchy SunsetDeer Park FieldsThe Winding RoadThe Wolves GatherEarly Morning on Lake WakatipuBendemeer UFO'sSunrise on Lake WakatipuGlenorchy WatersGlenorchy ReflectionsWide Open SpacesEarthynessWool Shed Stars

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Bendemeer Moments

Man this place was so photogenic I’m tempted to refer to anything similar from now on as a “Bendemeer Moment”, I probably won’t but still, this place was amazing! As I mentioned in an earlier post, Bendemeer is a residential development near Arrowtown and Lake Hayes. We caught it on the perfect night where the colours and light changed dramatically every few minutes while the sun slowly dropped below the horizon.


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Stars Over the Wool Shed

We wrapped up an amazing photography adventure of New Zealand’s deep south with some food and drinks at a conveniently tricked out wool shed. Naturally with so many photographers in attendance it wasn’t long before we were all outside gazing at the Milky Way. It took a bit of experimenting but this might be the first time I’m happy with a photo I’ve taken of the stars, it’s something I really want to get better at and I’m pleased to be making progress!


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The Perfect New Zealand Sunset

So this is why people want to visit New Zealand! It had already been the perfect evening exploring the countryside outside Queenstown but it was about to get more perfecter! 🙂 I could tell this sunset was going to be something special so I wanted to find the perfect spot to watch it happen. I jumped fences, ran through fields, climbed hills and finally settled at the location you see below. Just a mesmerizing moment.


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The Primordial Lake

While exploring the beautiful surroundings at the Bendemeer Estate I came across this amazing lake. It felt like the kind of place where all sorts of wondrous biological processes were taking place.


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Funky Clouds near Lake Hayes

As the night went on the clouds got more and more interesting. These funky clouds near Lake Hayes look like blobs of paint thrown against a wall, and I love them for it.


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Bales and Bales of Hay

To finish our incredible Queenstown adventure we went to a residential development near Arrowtown and Lake Hayes called Bendemeer. It’s a stunningly gorgeous spot and we definitely hit it on a good night, the first photo I took (after jumping a few fences) was of these hay bales and things only got better after that!


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A UFO Over Lake Wakatipu

On the way back to Queenstown from Milford Sound we stopped alongside Lake Wakatipu to take photos of some strange lenticular clouds. This one looked like a UFO!


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A Night at Deer Park Heights

We saw a little bit of everything up at Deer Park Heights, an abandoned North Korean prison, all kinds of different animals, the Remarkables mountain range, an incredible sunset and 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside. I wish I’d taken more photos of the prison but the epic sunset was impossible to resist on the other side of the hill. Just a great night with a great bunch of people.


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High Above Queenstown

Watching the sun go down over Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown from high above was such a great experience. I took a lot of photos of the setting sun but I think my favourite was this one from later on.


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Two Sides of a North Korean Prison

OK before you start thinking I did time in a North Korean prison, I’d like to point out that this is an old movie set from some cheesy 80’s movie. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, how awesome is it! An abandoned North Korean prison set just sitting there above Queenstown! We took photos from different angles and it was fun to see what we could come up with. Always keen to hear both sides of the story, I paired a sun drenched shot of the front with a darker, grungy one from the other side.


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The Remarkables, Living Up to Their Name

Last night we were high above Queenstown at the top of Deer Park Heights taking photos of anything and everything up there (more on that later). This shot is of the aptly named Remarkables as they bathe in the late sun.


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Sculptures & Landscapes at The Hills Golf Course

Much more than just a golf course, The Hills is home to incredible sculptures and some beautiful landscapes. If that sounds perfect for photography, well, it is. We were out there for sunrise and it was fantastic, I could go on all day but I think I’ll let the photos do the talking, hopefully they do it justice!


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One Against Wolves

Well this was a nice surprise. Another early start took us to The Hills golf course in Arrowtown, owned by New Zealand jeweller and entrepreneur Michael Hill. The course features some amazing sculptures and one of the first things we saw were these fantastic wolves being held at bay by a lone warrior, very cool.


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Over the Boardwalk at the Glenorchy Walkway

Glenorchy is only around 40 minutes from Queenstown and it just happens to be one the most scenic roads you could ever imagine so it’s well worth the trip! We went out there to check out the Glenorchy Walkway around sunset and it did not disappoint! It was fun exploring the lagoon and there were lots of great photo opportunities. I even processed a shot in black and white which is quite rare for me. I quite like the look but don’t often use it myself, this was a nice contrasty scene though so I think it worked.


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A Lovely Bridge at the Queenstown Gardens

I was trying to think of a better way to describe this bridge but I kept coming back to the word lovely, and it is. We walked around the Queenstown Gardens for an hour or so, finding unique angles of the bridge and other interesting scenes. This shot didn’t stand out to me much at first but like a good song, it’s grown on me over time.


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Starburst Sunrise Over Lake Wakatipu

On the first morning of our photography adventure in Queenstown we took a leisurely stroll around Lake Wakatipu, stopping for lots of pics and listening to handy advice from Trey. There was a beautiful starburst sunrise which I had trouble processing, sometimes it’s hard to bring out the beauty of such a scene in a photo but with a few Lightroom tweaks I eventually got close enough 🙂


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Fire Dancers at Trey Ratcliff’s Place

From hiking in South America to fire dancers at Trey Ratcliff’s place in the space of a few days, life is crazy and I love it. After a quick turn around from Patagonia I’m in Queenstown, NZ for a truly once in a lifetime photography experience with the legendary Trey Ratcliff. You might have seen some of his work before and if you haven’t, stop reading now and check out his fantastic Stuck in Customs website! There’s about 20 of us in the group and last night we all went along to Trey’s house for dinner. It was great talking to others interested in photography and the night was a blast! Trey is a really nice, down to earth kinda guy and he’d arranged a special treat for us, fire dancers! It wasn’t the easiest thing to shot but it was more than entertaining and a great way to start the adventure. I didn’t have the greatest angle but I quite liked how this shot turned out.


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