Where to go in North IslandWhither to go on the North Island
Featuring a beacon around every nook and cranny, up to 90 mile long sandy shores, large sandy dune areas and more than you can afford on your own back-country cabins, New Zealand's North Island should be blowing some breeze into your photo socks. There is a general agreement among most scenic photographs that the South Island is the winner of the competition.
For me the North Island and the Southern Island are different units. North is more tropic, luxuriant and greener. On the other side the southern part is more hilly and rocks. In New Zealand, like the whole wide open sky, the rising and setting of the day is in the eastern part of the country.
That means that all places on the eastern coastline are generally better for dawn and accordingly the places on the western coastline are better at dusk. We' re gonna get to "what's where" in a second. When you are on your New Zealand route, be sure to have a look at my full New Zealand Travel Guide!
Beginning with the summit of the summit, Cape Reinga lies as far north as possible on the continent. If you look from the road to the right of the light house, you can see where the Tasman Sea joins the Pacific Ocean. Here also begins the Te Werahi Track, one of the best walks on the North Island.
The Mount Taranaki, or Mount Egmont, as the Europeans used to call it, is situated near the west coast. It' about a 2.5-hour walk to the ponds, but since the Pouakai Hut is one of New Zealand's best outdoor cabins, why not stop there and see the pond at sundown?
The Te Paki sanddunes are not exactly Wadi Rum or the Sahara, but if you are looking for a great place to take pictures, don't miss it. Just a few minutes on foot from the parking lot you have more than you can stand, probably in places where there is no need for it!
Once you are standing up in the right place, the wind promenade offers a direct view of the striking beacon. Since no hiking is necessary, it is the simplest place and summit to get on this schedule, but the possibility to go there has its price. Nestled in the Hawke Bay district of Te Mata Peninsula just South of Hastings, a town on the North Island eastern shore, Te Mata is known for its innumerable vinyards and world-class wines!
You are about in the middle of the 20 km long intersection and the best place to take a picture of it is right on the way. It is the most difficult item on this schedule to get to, but it is rewarding to do anything. Odds are you'll be going to Auckland when you visit the North Island on a highway tour, and although I think you should leave the town as soon as possible, I realize that you'll have to stay there for a day or two to recover from jet lag or to get used to the 100% air moisture that Auckland often has.
Auckland' s photo points are generally dominant in the Sky Tower, and the peak of Mount Eden is no different. Approximately 30 minutes on foot from the next parking lot, the peak is a great place to catch the scenery of Auckland. The peaks here in New Zealand turn out to be very photoogenic.
Mount ", as the local people call it, is a 45-minute walk along the east coastline in the immediate vicinity of the center of Tauraunga. Half-moon cloaks extend as far as the eyes can see and two small islets are located directly off the coastline. Rising out of the ocean like the Basalt Stacks in Reynisfar, Iceland, they are a great place to see the sundown.
They can be reached by travelling north from New Plymouth for an hours and taking a quick stroll to the shore. One of my favorite towns on the North Island is Rotorua. Tapotupotu Bay is another hottest photographic point far to the north near Cape Reinga. It is also the home of the best camp site where I spent the night on the North Island.
The place is an integral part of my four-week travel route through New Zealand. Certainly this is the most popular photo place on the North Island, so you need to use some photo-shop capabilities to make your image look like the one above. Located on the Coromandel coastline, just a few short miles from Auckland, it is a small town on the eastern seaboard.
Hahei is the nearest city with all the important characteristics, with a few guesthouses, a campsite, a small store and a few cafes. It is only 10 minutes from the Cathedral Cove parking lot and another 30 - 45 minutes of hilly walking to the shore along a broad cobbled road with an interrupted section of promenade and wood stairs.
Whakatane is a small, vivacious city known as "The Gateway To White Island", with a very scenic Wairaka sculpture and a wonderful shoreline. Tauranga Valley is a small valley just north of the Bay Of Islands. It is very near to a great walk on New Zealand's North Island St Paul's Rock.
These places, I think, represent what North Island is all about - luscious, gentle coastal mounds that go further than the eyes can see. Here are some of my favourite photo points the North Island of New Zealand has to show. Do you plan a journey to New Zealand soon?
Be sure to check out my free New Zealand travel guide with photo spot advice, walking and rucksack guide information and many self-drive routes to explore! Some years ago, during one of my travels to Scotland, I purchased my first ADSLR and my adventures began with my photographing.