If you’re road tripping around New Zealand you’ll see plenty of great places to stop for a holiday snap. In fact, you could easily fill your entire Instagram feed with photographs of beautiful scenery or tourist activities. But if you really want to impress your followers, sometimes quality outweighs quantity and that means carefully curating not just the shots you take, but where you take them.
To help find some of the best spots, we’ve put together our favourite photography locations throughout the country.
1. Lake Tekapo, Tekapo, South Island
Lake Tekapo is the trifecta for photography. Not only can you snap shots of the stunning lake itself, you can photograph the historic stone Church of the Good Shepherd on its shores, and if you visit on a clear night, capture extraordinary images of the night sky.
Part of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve , there is little light pollution, making it one of the best spots to shoot for the sky. If you’re really lucky, you may even see The Southern Lights.
Hire your vehicle from Thrifty Christchurch Airport – Tekapo is a 3 hour drive away.
2. Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, South Island
A little over an hour from Tekapo is New Zealand’s tallest and most Instagram worthy mountains, Aoraki/Mt Cook.
Whether you shoot it from the village, the shores of nearby Lake Pukaki, or from one of the many challenging tramping tracks in the national park, you’re sure to get an awe-inspiring shot.
3. Huka Falls, Taupo, North Island
Take 220,000 litres of fresh water, churn it up and force it through a mere 20 metre wide gorge in just one second, and you have the thundering, powerful Huka Falls
As one of the most visited and photographed natural attraction’s in New Zealand, it’s safe to say it should be on this list.
4. Roy’s Peak, Wanaka, South Island
Another popular spot for photography, Roy’s Peak offers the chance to capture breath-taking panorama views of Lake Wanaka and its surrounding peaks. You’ll feel on top of the world, but you will have to work for it, getting to the famous peak is a decent hike!
Collect your vehicle from Thrifty Queenstown Airport – Wanaka is an hours drive away.
5. Mount Maunganui, Tauranga, North Island
Known by kiwis as “The Mount”, Mt Maunganui is beachside town overlooked by Mauao, an extinct volcanic cone at the end of the town’s peninsula. It’s popular with walkers, runners and photographers out to capture beautiful sunrises over Tauranga harbour and the Bay of Plenty coastline.
6. Cardrona Hotel, Wanaka, South Island
Made famous by Speight’s Southern Man beer ads, the historic Cardrona Hotel is the perfect spot for an iconic tourist photo. It’s one of New Zealand’s oldest pubs and is situated on one of the most spectacular stretches of road in the world, the Crowne Range Road between Wanaka and Queenstown.
Be careful though, the road can be dangerous, especially in winter, so if you’re hiring a car from us, please consider adding chains to your booking, and if you’re not sure how to fit them, we’re happy to give you advice.
7. 90 Mile Beach, Northland, North Island
90 Mile Beach runs from Ahipara to Scott Point, and while it’s long, it’s not quite 90 miles long, and actually offers (a still impressive) 55 miles of photo opportunities.
Capture the sunset over the sea or take an action shot while “surfing” the famous sand dunes.
8. Christchurch City Centre, South Island
Christchurch’s renowned street art including murals and sculptures doesn’t just brighten up the city centre, it presents a chance to add some flair to your feed and inspire your inner artist.
9. Napier, North Island
Another one for city lovers, Napier’s many art deco buildings gives fans of interesting architecture plenty to shoot. Following the destructive Napier Earthquake in 1931 the city was rebuilt in the style, and is now one of the most comprehensive Art Deco styled towns in the world.
10. Abel Tasman National Park
An hours drive from Nelson lies some of the most beautiful beaches not just in New Zealand, but the world. The golden sand and turquoise water make for a stunning backdrop whilst you stroll the tracks from bay to bay.
Take the water taxi up through the park for views of wildlife and the world famous Split Apple Rock.
Now you know where some of the best places are, find out how to get the best photos with our tips for taking Instagram worthy photos here.