I have been able to align the planets today and confirm a trip to New Zealand for ten days in June this year. I had originally planned on July but other work and office commitments necessitated pulling the trip forward by a few weeks. It will be almost two years to the day since I was last in the South Island of New Zealand and I am very much looking forward to going back – it has been far too long between visits. At this stage I have no real itinerary as yet – just a loose idea in my head of places I want to visit for photography. I will endeavour to put together some sort of plan and itinerary over the coming weeks to ensure I maximise my time there.
Based on my last trip to New Zealand in 2009 I will definitely be taking my entire photographic kit with me as there are wonderful landscape photographic opportunities in New Zealand regardless of lens focal length or camera. I will be moving from location to location in a rental 4WD so weight and bulk will not be too much of an issue. In any case, I prefer to have all of my lenses available even if some of them may actually get little or no use. On my last trip to New Zealand I left my 300mm F2.8L IS lens at home and although I was able to make do with my 70-200mm F2.8L IS with 1.4X Extender I would have preferred to have the 300mm when photographing the Whales and Sea Lions at Kaikoura.
Two definite ‘must-visit’ locations for this trip will be Fox Glacier – which is probably my favourite part of the South Island and the famous Moeraki boulders. The Moeraki Boulders are a number of huge spherical stones, found strewn along a stretch of Koekohe Beach near Moeraki, a small settlement just south of Hampden on New Zealand’s Otago coast. The boulders weigh several tonnes and are up to three metres in diameter. I have not visited this part of New Zealand before nor photographed the boulders so am very much looking forward to this part of the trip. Once I work out exactly where I am going and what my plans are I will post an itinerary of the locations I intend to visit.