1. Moeraki Boulders, Otago
Thought to be around five million years old, the unusual Moeraki boulders are wonderfully picturesque, especially at sunrise. You can find them 40km south of from Oamaru and 76km north of Dunedin.
2. Cape Reinga, Northland
Right at the top of the North Island, take the Te Paki Coast Track to the iconic Cape Reinga Lighthouse and capture a photograph of the unsettled waters just off the coast where the Tasman Sea and South Pacific Ocean clash.
Cape Reinga Lighthouse
3. Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Rotorua
On the way from Rotorua to Taupo make sure you take the time to see New Zealand’s most impressive geysers, mud pools and colourful geothermal springs.
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Champagne Pool, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
4. Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo, Canterbury
The Church of the Good Shepherd, in the town of Tekapo, is inside the world’s largest Dark Sky Reseve where you can visit the Mt. John Observatory to view the vast expanse of the Milky Way. If you time it just right you might even be able to observe the Aurora Australis.
Church of the Good Shepherd with Aurora Australis
5. Mitre Peak, Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park
Every corner of Fiordland National Park is absolutely beautiful but no photo album is complete without Mitre Peak in Milford Sound.
Mitre Peak, Milford Sound
6. Emerald Lakes of Tongariro National Park from the Tongariro Crossing
The 20km Tongariro Crossing isn’t easy but it’s worth it. On the way you’ll find the best spot to photograph the Emerald Lakes as well as amazing views of Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe in Tongariro National Park.
Emerald Lakes, Tongariro National Park. Image Credit: Destination Great Lake Taupo
7. Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park from the Hooker Valley Track
Home to Aoraki Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain, this national park has incredible mountain ranges, glaciers, and rocky terrain. From the Hooker Valley Track you can see all of these on a short half day-long walk.
Hooker Valley Track, Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park
8. Lake Wanaka from Roy’s Peak
Starting 6km from Wanaka, the 2–4 hour trek up Roy’s Peak is well worth it for the views of beautiful Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. Or if you prefer you can stay at ground level and capture the iconic crooked tree.
Lake Wanaka from Roy's Peak
9. Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu from Coronet Peak
Queenstown is stunning all year round and to do it justice you’ll want to walk or take the Skyline Gondola up Coronet Peak to capture the panoramic views.
Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. Image Credit: Destination Queenstown
10. Abel Tasman National Park
One of New Zealand’s easiest multi-day hikes is the Abel Tasman Track but you don’t need to hike the track to experience the golden sands and crystal clear waters of this National Park. Golden Bay and Kaiteriteri Beach at either end are just as beautiful, or you can take a boat or helicopter to the beaches along the track.
Abel Tasman National Park. Image Credit: Tom Jastram/Shutterstock.com
11. Cathedral Cove, Coromandel
There are so many beautiful beaches along the Coromandel peninsula but the unusual rock formations of Cathedral Cove, featured in the Narnia film, Prince Caspian, are not to be missed.
Cathedral Cove at sunrise
12. Mount Taranaki from from Pouakai Tarns
There are several view-points for capturing Mt. Taranaki peaking out from the clouds. With only a 2.5 hour hike, Pouakai Tarns is the most popular and you’ll understand why when you see the mountain reflecting back at you in the ponds.
Mt Taranaki from Pouakai Tarns
13. Purakaunui Waterfalls, The Catlins, Otago
Near the southern tip of the South Island, the Purakaunui Waterfalls are just one of many beautiful waterfalls in the quiet Catlins region.
14. Dunedin Railway Station
The Baroque-inspired architecture of the Dunedin Railway Station make it one of the most photographed buildings in the Southern Hemisphere. The Taieri Gorge Railway and The Seasider run from the station and inside you'll also find the Otago Farmers’ Market.
Dunedin Railway Station
15. Lake Tekapo in December when the lupins are in bloom
The bright blue glacial waters of Lake Tekapo make a stunning image all year round but if you’re lucky enough to be there in December you can capture the lake surrounded by pink and purple lupins.
Lake Tekapo in December