So I simply couldn’t wait for my second post about the trip, because frankly, New Zealand Photos kick Australia Photos’ butts! What I encountered in New Zealand were some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen and I could only hope to do them justice in pictures. It actually went without mention in my last post that I felt practically crippled without my 24-70mm F2.8 zoom lens and my SB900 among other equipment. I was traveling as light as possible, but thankfully took my 70-200mm F2.8 in spite of its considerable weight.

We actually entered into New Zealand through the airport at Christchurch, where my husband had the genius idea to rent an RV and drive the entire length of the South Island, end at Milford Sound, then drive back to Queenstown in time for our flight to Auckland… IN THREE DAYS.

As we drove South we stopped along the roadside to take our first pictures by the ocean, when we noticed that we were far from the first people to stop to admire this particular spot. Someone also left an especially “punny,” and accurate rock here in the next set of photos.


The one place we did stop for a considerable amount of time was Arthur’s Pass to see the Franz Josef Glacier, which had to walk several miles to in order to really see properly. Of course I went WAY off the beaten path and climbed down some unstable rock piles to get this photo, which made a very happy photographer.


Little did I know that my string of beautiful photo opportunities had only just begun! All on one memory card I had one gorgeous photo after another, and I quickly started calling it my lucky memory card! It started with a scene we passed, and then passed again because I made my husband pull over and go back for it, haha.


Then later, while my husband was in the bathroom of a local Subway in Wanaka, I saw another scene start to form right out the window, a view which they had so thoughtlessly blocked with a promotional sign for their Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich! Hubby had the keys to the car, where my camera was, in the bathroom with him at the time, so I had to wait for him to come out while I watched the time limit on this scene fast expiring. When finally he emerged, I snatched up the keys, bolted to the car and across a two-lane highway to set up my camera. When hubby came chasing after me, we posed in front of the scene and this picture was born!


Next up is a picture from the Franz Josef Glacier that I left out earlier, because I thought it went better in the sequence here.


I survived multiple panic attacks while barreling down narrow roads overhanging cliffs in our way-too-wide RV going 100 kilometers an hour, but by the third day, we had made it to Te Anau. We planned to get up early in the morning to drive as far up to Milford Sound as possible before having to double back for Queenstown to make our flight to the Cook Islands. We only got a little way passed the first lookout on the trail when, unfortunately, we had to turn around. I was happy we made the most of the few stops we had, and I guess we’ll just have to go back to New Zealand someday to see the rest of the fjords.


My husband said he liked this second one because it reminded him of Jurassic Park… so I went with it in post process.


After quietly moping over the missed fjords for the majority of the through the ride to Queenstown, hubby managed to cheer me up a little by pulling over for this fantastic view. Even with my mega-zoom lens, I still had to get on top of his shoulders to shoot past the shrubbery that would have otherwise spoiled this photo.


While I’d love to share more photos from Auckland, we were only on the North Island for one day, and we spent it black water rafting through the Waitomo caves, where personal cameras are not allowed. That didn’t stop me from taking this photo of the hotel bed I was SO HAPPY to see after three days of living in a camper though haha.


The whole point of planning the Cook Islands as part of our trip was to give us an opportunity to just sit back, and do nothing on an island somewhere for five days — exactly what we DIDN’T get to do on our Western Roadtrip honeymoon. I took a few pictures of our bungalow when we got there, but after that, “nothing” really involved RESISTING THE URGE to bring my camera with me everywhere I went, or trying to anyway. These last photos were among the scant few that were taken during our five-day relaxathon.


Don’t mind the little crabby friend who we found in our bathtub one afternoon. And if he didn’t have so many friends out there, I’m sure I would have enjoyed this GORGEOUS beach just a little bit more 😉


We did go scuba diving in the Islands, for which I did bring a small under-water film camera, and I’m waiting to get them put on a disc. If any of those turn out, I’ll be sure to share in a future blog. For right now, though, I’m excited to be getting back to photographing my favorite of all subjects: people in love!