Tag Archives: North Island

My Favorite New Zealand Beach Shots

Beauty sits everywhere you turn in New Zealand, which includes of course whenever you are on a beach. From the Tasman Sea and remote West Coast to the beaches lying just outside the hearts of Christchurch and Auckland, I’ve had the chance to enjoy many grains of sand and beaches along the waters of the “The Land of the Long White Cloud”.

Some of my favorite New Zealand beach shots and experiences are below. Part of the adventure and fun was just in getting to some of the more remote spots. I can never seem to put the camera down and there is almost always no one else around. No matter the weather they are all just as beautiful.

I’ve shared some of these before, with some new and alternate photos mixed in. Who is ready to visit New Zealand and hit up the beach?! Well without further ado:

Okanto Beach along the West Coast - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

It doesn’t get much more remote than the village of Okanto and this Tasman Sea beach front along the West Coast.

Piha Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Looking down at the breathtaking Piha Beach, my favorite Auckland day trip destination.

Sumner Beach in Christchurch - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Sumner Beach in Christchurch, a popular spot for locals along the east coast. Volcanic rock dots the landscape.

The Pines Beach, Christchurch - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

You’ll find wide open beach along Pegasus Bay at The Pines Beach. Christchurch lies off in the distance.

Shakespear Regional Park, Auckland - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Out on the open Shakespear Regional Park beach just outside Auckland.

Shakespear Regional Park, Auckland - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Get away from the hustle and bustle at Shakespear Regional Park and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula on the North Island.

Bethellls Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Admiring the surf and blue waters of Bethells Beach on the North Island.

Bethellls Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Walking the volcanic sand of Bethells Beach near Auckland. Watch out for that quick sand!

Beachfront in Wanaka - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Walking the early morning Wanaka beachfront along Lake Wanaka.

Opoutere Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

No one else around on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula at Opoutere Beach

Queenstown beach, Lake Wakatipu - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Starring out at the turquoise waters of Lake Wakatipu, along the beach in Downtown Queenstown.

Opoutere Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Looking out into the Pacific Ocean and Hikunui Island from Opoutere Beach.

Where have some of your favorite photos come from in your time on New Zealand beaches?

Auckland: A Million Skyline Looks.

Continuing the series of highlighting skylines I’ve captured brings us next to Auckland. New Zealand’s biggest city and skyline offers photographers water shots, a hilly topography and views of the largest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere, Sky Tower. You can capture the heart of this city in every place imaginable from up-top dormant volcanoes to peninsulas kilometers away.

I thought I’d share some larger, enhanced versions of photos I took and used in my original Auckland skyline post from a few years back, plus some additional ones. Well without further ado.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from Mount Eden

The Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Mount Eden.

Auckland skyline, Auckland Harbour Bridge

The skyline as seen when heading across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Auckland skyline, Auckland Harbour Bridge

The skyline as seen when heading across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Auckland skyline from Devonport and North Shore

Head to Devonport and the North Shore to see the skyline from across Waitemata Harbour.

Auckland skyline from Devonport and North Shore

Head to Devonport and the North Shore to see the skyline from across Waitemata Harbour.

Auckland skyline along Tamaki Drive

The Auckland skyline views along Tamaki Drive.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from Mount Eden

The Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Mount Eden.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Princes Wharf

Viewing New Zealand’s largest city skyline from Princes Wharf.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - SkyTower

Randomly looking up at the Sky Tower and other tall buildings.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from up-top Sky Tower

Checking out the high rises up-top Sky Tower.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from up-top Sky Tower

Checking out the high rises up-top Sky Tower.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from up-top Sky Tower

Checking out the high rises up-top Sky Tower.

Where would you recommend going around Auckland to capture its skyline?

A New Zealand Drive Along the Firth of Thames.

Roadtripping around New Zealand is beautiful no matter where you are at. Driving along the southern and southeastern shores of the Firth of Thames is no exception.

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

firth-of-thames-nz-002

The North Island stretch of road just south and west of the town of Thames, along State Route 25, features picturesque views of the rocky shoreline, mountains sitting off in the distance across the Firth and more.

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

firth-of-thames-nz-005

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand
You will want to get out of your vehicle often to enjoy the water views, just like the sheep do.

Firth of Thames, North Island, New Zealand

Also a part of New Zealand’s Pacific Coast Highway, this part of the country is easily accessible from Auckland. It is about a ninety minute drive, making it great day trip option. As you approach Thames you will be entering the Coromandel Peninsula.

Tip: Continue on along State Route 25 past Thames and you will embark on a 150 km drive around the hilly and forest-covered peninsula, winding up along the Pacific Ocean.

Coromandel Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand

What other New Zealand day trip options would you recommend from Auckland?

The “Magical” Place in New Zealand for me is…

When a lot of people think of New Zealand they think of Lord of the Rings, which showcases one magical scene after another. Road tripping around the country in real life gives off that same feeling.

While driving the North Island, an off the beaten path spot instantly became the “magical” place in New Zealand for me. That place is the Kerosene Creek hot springs.

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

The Kerosene Creek hot spring is a place that makes me dream. It’s a place that makes you put all your worries aside. It’s a place that makes the body feel relaxed sitting in a hot thermal pool alongside a waterfall. It’s a place I got to experience with my best friend.

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs, waterfall

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

To get to Kerosene Creek drive along State Highway 5 in-between Rotorua (30 kilometers from) and Taupo (55 kilometers from) and turn onto Old Waiotapu Road. Go about two kilometers, on gravel not in the best condition, and park alongside the road. There will be minimal signage. Once on foot it will be a ten minute or less walk along some lush native bush.

There is the elATLboy! 🙂

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

You feel like you are in a fairy tale, a million miles from nowhere.

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

The great thing about Kerosene Creek is that it is free! Because you are in the middle of nature you won’t find a restroom or a place to change. When you are ready to hop in it’s very easy to sit in the pool as it is shallow all around. The water temperature was perfect for us, though I hear it can vary depending on how much rain it gets. Also, the creek does have a bit of a smell, hence the Kerosene name. 🙂

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, New Zealand, hot springs

It was a great place to soak in (literally) with my best friend. I hope to get back to the “magical” place for me in New Zealand again soon. It is definitely classified as a #NZMustDo!

What is the “magical” place for you in New Zealand? What other hot springs would you recommend around Rotorua?

Standing alongside Owharoa Falls in New Zealand.

New Zealand is home to countless scenic waterfalls, one such being Owharoa Falls on the North Island.

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls sits on the Taieri Stream and within the Karangahake Gorge right off State Highway 2 about half-way between Paeroa and Waihi.

It’s actually made up of three waterfalls with the most accessible being only a five minute walk away from the main parking area. You can also see the falls as part of a walk/hike along the seven kilometer Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway.

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls is a staircase waterfall with a trapezoidal shape and stands is six meters tall.

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

It was a 90-120 minute drive from Auckland, making it a great day trip option. A fun experience standing alongside Owharoa Falls, with swimming next to being another plausible option.

Owharoa Falls, Waihi, New Zealand, waterfall, North Island

What waterfalls would you recommend checking out in New Zealand?