Flying into Queenstown, I wasn’t sure what to expect. We did some research of course, but the natural marvels we encountered far exceeded our imagination and set NZ apart from all other destinations we’ve visited. Part of the credit certainly goes to the country’s Department of Conservation, which strictly manages and maintains its pristine national parks – which interestingly enough covers almost 50% of the entire South Island (check out this incredibly “green” map). What this means for any avid / aspiring photographers out there is a wealth of breathtaking landscape photography opportunities. I certainly racked up quite a shutter count during my trip..
In my opinion, the beauty of New Zealand is really two-fold – and lies in its designated viewpoints/landmarks and also in its conventional natural landscapes. A quick perusal through TripAdvisor will quickly produce a list of the main attractions that should make it into your itinerary, but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t plan enough leeway to experience everything else in its periphery. Some of my best memories from our trip were outside of the landmarks, and were in the journey itself as we traversed across NZ’s eclectic landscapes and climates.
Speaking of climates, NZ has some of the most fickle weather you will ever encounter. There are 4 seasons of course, with Summer starting from December to February, and winter from May to September; but with an average of 15 days of rain throughout the year, it’s difficult to predict what you’ll face. However, NZ has a way of giving you a unique experience regardless of the weather, so my advice would be to brave the challenge and embrace the unpredictability!