I have become one of those annoying people who stick a camera device infront of anything nowadays. There’s so much to snap at here and the sky is constantly shifting it’s impossible not to. With views coming out of your ears you’d be forgiven for just standing in the town centre for the whole of your holiday and taking photos, but there are a few sneaky places to go and get your socks and your boots fully blown off.
The middle bit of Sam Summers Loop
Head out of town towards Glenorchy and you’ll come across Mnt. Crichton car park. Park up there and head over the road to the Sam Summers loop. Half way round is a little view out towards Lake Wakatipu and Lake Dispute. The whole loop takes about 2 hours, and don’t forget the little squeeze through in the rock. You’ll know what I mean when you see the sign….
High up on Edinburgh Drive is the vista that rivals no other. Park up and breathe it in. I’ve seen it in all the seasons and I have to say an icy Winter’s day can’t be beat. But then I go on a Summer’s day and it gets me everytime. Take a picnic and just relax.
Top of the Crown Range
The Crown Range road is one of the most gorgeous drives in the country, and the highest sealed pass in the country (not the highest sealed road as many think). Call me biased but I think we claim the win for the highest most photographable place on the planet.
Every day the sky looks completely different (and I’ve ridden, driven and stalked my way up there on many many occasions). It’s a tough one to ride up but take your car up there on a stormy day and your camera will be grinning from ear to ear. Another note is the top of the ‘zig zags’ (first bit of the road from Queenstown side) is also a gorgeous view.
Drive out along the road to Glenorchy and you come to Bob’s Cove. A little car park and trail lead you to some of the greenest water on the planet and oh so clear. You can swim, run, walk your way around the trail all the way back to 12 Mile Delta if you should wish. Sit here a while and if you’re lucky and the water is high enough, the TSS Earnslaw sometimes comes all the way into the cove.
Grey Street/ Lake Avenue, Frankton
Into the depths of Frankton streets and this one is a corker on the right evening. Looking straight down the lake towards Fernhill and you get the most unbelievable sunsets. (I haven’t managed to bag me a sunrise yet). It’s so lovely to see all the way down towards the end of town and it’s usually very quiet. Park up your car and just sit.
If you’re staying in town or hanging around eating ice creams there’s no way you’ll miss the beach at the waterfront. There’s always room to sit and just look out at the mountains (from there, Cecil and Walter from the beach) and the sky changes within minutes. The weather can also change which makes for 1) an interesting day when you’re in your bikini and suddenly it’s dropped by 10 degrees and 2) the sky can be sullen and moody one minute and clear blue the next. Get down there for the sunsets and they will seriously blow your mind. And they’re free. Whoop!
Sawpit Gully Walk
Park up your car in Arrowtown and head down to the river. There’s a great valley of trails out of the centre of Arrowtown to walk and run and this one is so good for photos. Head left (like I do) or right towards Mace Town and you got yourself a lovely 8k loop that takes in views of Big Hill, Arrowtown and at one point, Lake Hayes. It’s hilly but worth it for your snapping. If you go either way you get a zoooooom downhill for your efforts at the end.
Looking up at the hill from Ballarat Street you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a movie. There’s a gondola, people throwing themselves off the hill in little parachutes and zooming down on a zipwire (cleverly hidden in the trees). I work near here so I love to stand and see what’s moving around in the sky while I’m there. Be careful though, if you look up to much you’ll pull your neck out.
Arthurs Point Road
Heading to Arrowtown through Arthur’s Point is a veritable feast for the photographer. The jet boat goes through the gully down there and the water changes colour depending on the weather. Not many places to stop but you can pull over into the carpark after the first bridge or pop down to where the jet boat starts and snap away. There’s also a cafe if you’re thirsty.
Heading up to the ski field on the Remarkables Road there’s a pull over where you see this (below). I hadn’t been up there in years until an Instameet last year and I was gobsmacked that I hadn’t took my car up there on tour. You can see so much including the airport runway and the mountains beyond for a truly breathtaking morning. Head up there at night too if you have the capabilities and camera and get the lights in.
Fancy taking more photos with us? We have a photography group now in Queenstown and Christchurch! Snappers is for anyone who has a camera or camera device (phones are fine). Get in touch here!