2023 - Winter and Astro Photography Tour
- Duration: 10 Days (approx.)
- Product code: PSGCCT
You will start this spectacular tour by joining Glen Howey and Joel Staveley for an Astro Masterclass Workshop, based at Mt Cook. The village is located within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, the world's second-best area for viewing the night sky. Designed to extend your skills in both Astro and timelapse photography, the workshop dates have been picked to ensure a new moon and winter offers the best conditions for astrophotography. During the workshop we will visit a private observatory, to learn more about the night sky and photograph the constellations.
For the next phase of this tour you will have Ken Wright join you on this adventure. On this part of the tour, you will have the opportunity to capture Canturbury's High Country and the Southern Alps at its wintery best. The itinerary takes you through the Canterbury High Country, past Mount Somers, and further inland to the Ashburton Lakes. This is a remarkable area of placid lakes and high country wetlands, all set in the huge basin between the Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers, both of which drain the central Southern Alps. You will then find yourself immersed in the majestic beauty of the Southern Alps, capturing snow-capped peaks from Mt White’s High Country Station.
Capture to Print Masterclass Workshop: Our Astro Masterclass offers a mixture of both tuition and post-processing sessions to help you create some stunning photographs of the night sky. The workshop concludes with printing two of your best images as 16x22" fine art prints.
Winter Landscapes: Highlights; the snow-covered mountains of the Southern Alps, the braided Waimakariri River, the limestone boulders of Castle Hill, Devil’s Punchbowl Falls and Lakes Heron & Clearwater, plus amazing frosty and/or snow covered high country landscapes.
Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.
The snow-covered mountains of the Southern Alps
The braided Waimakariri River
Lakes Heron & Clearwater
Frosty high country landscapes
LOCATION: Queenstown - Christchurch
Mt Cook National Park
Day 1 - Queenstown - Mt Cook National Park
We will pick you up early from Queenstown airport or hotel or you can meet us in Mt Cook at lunchtime. After assembling in our comfortable conference room at the Hermitage Hotel, we will run through an introductory programme of advanced camera setup for astrophotography and cover workflows on panoramic and timelapse photography. In the evening we will head out for our first sunset and night time shoot in the Dark Sky Reserve on the shores of Lake Ohau.
Day 2 - Mt Cook National Park
We will spend today exploring Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. The day will be taken up alternating between locations in the park and covering and doing some timelapse and panoramic photography. We will have dinner at Mt Cook village, heading out after dinner to capture the Milky Way above the Southern Alps before a late return to our accommodation.
Day 3 - Mt Cook National Park
We will spend this morning in the hotel conference room to offer some group critique of the photographs from the last days and in-depth post-production to bring out the best in your Astro images along with a tutorial on making a timelapse sequence. This afternoon we will venture further afield to explore more of the beautiful Mackenzie Country including the shores of Lake Ohau and Lake Pukaki. Tonight we will visit a private observatory to learn more about the night sky and photograph the constellations.
Day 4 - Mt Cook - Tekapo
Depending on how late we stayed up last night, there might be an option for a sunrise shoot to capture some of the first morning light across the southern alps. We will help you process your two best images from the workshop and produce a finished 16x22" fine art print of them to take home. We then head to Tekapo for the next stage of our tour.
Day 5 – Tekapo
Today we will spend the day in the beautiful lakeside town of Tekapo, famed for its iconic church on the lake which we will capture, framed with the milky way tonight.
Day 6 - Tekapo - Ashburton Lakes
Today we head for Ashburton Lakes. This is a remarkable area of placid lakes and high country wetlands, all set in the huge basin between the Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers, both of which drain the central Southern Alps. Much of the area is protected as the Hakatere Conservation Park, and it is the home to such rare species as the Crested grebe and other wetland birds. Sunset will be spent photographing Lakes Clearwater and Camp, arguably the finest of all the Ashburton Lakes. We drive back east for 30 minutes to our hotel, where we will also have dinner.
Day 7 - Ashburton Lakes
After an early breakfast, we return to the Ashburton Lakes, hoping for a good frost to photograph, and perhaps even some ice on the lakes. At sunset, we may visit Lake Heron, to photograph this large lake with the distinctive Mt Sugarloaf beyond it.
Day 8 - Ashburton Lakes to Mt White
This morning we depart Ashburton and head north towards Christchurch, with a late lunch at Springfield. Our itinerary takes us through the Canterbury High Country, past Mount Somers, and further inland to Mt White.
Day 9 – Mt White
The day begins with an early sunrise shoot before returning to the lodge for breakfast, The rest of the day will be taken up alternating between locations on the station to capture some of the amazing high country terrain and make the most of our time here, the day will end with us heading out in the unimog to capture sunset over the terraced high country landscape with mountain backdrop.
Day 10 - Mt White - Christchurch
Our last day sees us capturing another sunrise and hopefully more icy landscapes around the Station. After breakfast at our hotel, we pack up, and have a last review session before making our way back towards Christchurch. If conditions are suitable, we may stop to capture local waterfalls en route. By late afternoon we arrive in Christchurch in time for late afternoon flights.
4 days’ tuition by Joel Staveley and Glen Howey
6 days’ photography guiding by Ken Wright & Shaun Barnett
Night Sky Tour at private observatory
3 nights accommodation at The Hermitage in a twin room (single upgrade available)
2 night Accommodation at Mt White Station in a twin room (single upgrade available)
4 nights hotel accommodation - mostly 3✩ twin room (single upgrade available)
9 cooked breakfasts, 1 lunch & 2 dinners
E-book on masterclass workshop topics
Two 16x22" Fine-Art Prints from the Epson SC-P800
Use of Benro filters kits
Use of Samyang Ultra-wide lenses
Trial of Nikon cameras & lenses
Conference room for processing & printing
Transport during the tour
Free access to our Online Essential Landscape Photography Course
Carbon Offsetting with a Native Tree Planting
DOC (National Park) Concession Fee