Travel Plans – New Zealand


This is a big year for me, well as far as travel goes and lots of plans are being made. I am in the process of planning a trip to New Zealand and once it is over I am going to Tasmania again later in the year.

Travel Plans – New Zealand

My trip to New Zealand has been in planning for a few months now and I’ve only just realised that it is less than two months away. I need to get on top of everything for it.

We are going to be doing 16 days around the South Island. We are hiring a car and driving ourselves around. That will allow us the time we want.


We are going to start the trip flying into Christchurch and then doing a loop around the island ending up back there to fly home.

I know that 16 days won’t be enough, but it is going to be good to see it regardless. I’ve wanted to go to New Zealand for a few years now. So it is exciting. Really, it isn’t any more expensive to go to than Tasmania is. Well maybe a little more, but not a lot.

What we will be seeing

Of course, there are things that you just have to see when you go anywhere. I’m not naive enough to think that I will get some of the best photos of New Zealand that have ever been taken. We are travelling and the conditions of the area will dictate what is possible for photography.

When I am travelling I try to enjoy what I can, and I like to take photos of the places. If I can get one or two images that I am really proud of that is often enough. So there are many places that I am hoping to get those couple of shots, but it won’t stress me if I get what everyone else does when they go there.

We will be seeing the Wanaka Tree. It was high on my list of places to go. The other one was Milford Sound.

We are going to be doing two boat tours while around Te Anau. A cruise on Milford Sound and then another one on Doubtful Sound. The second is a surprise for me. I hadn’t heard about it before, but from what many people have told me it is going to be incredible. We are doing our tours through Real Journeys. They also run a glow worm tour and we have booked to do that as well which should be fun.

real journeys

They are the main ones for me. Of course, we are doing a lot of other things and I will fill you in more as we move closer to the time we are leaving.

What gear I am taking

As with most major trips I take like this, I have contacting suppliers to see what I can borrow for my trip. Here is what I have so far.

Fujifilm Australia

I have spoken to Fujifilm Australia and they have agreed to loan me camera gear for the trip. They are loaning me the X-T3 and three lenses, the XF10-24mm, the XF100-400mm and finally, the XF18-135mm. I think the three lenses will cover everything I need for the trip. The camera is exciting, as I won’t be taking any of my Nikon gear with me so, it will be good to see if I miss it. At this stage, I’m fairly certain that quite a bit of my gear will be up for sale when I get back. It seems like a really good time for me to convert to mirrorless, I think I am ready. The trip will be a good indication.


Wacom Australia are going to loan me the MobileStudio Pro 13 for the trip once again. That will help me process my photos while I’m away. I want to blog throughout the trip so getting photos ready will be very important. I used the MobileStudio Pro on my last trip to Tasmania and loved how I could use it anywhere. I could even sit in the car and work on stuff. Fantastic.



Other gear

I’m also talking to other companies about the possibility of a camera bag, tripod and maybe some Samyang fisheye lenses for the Fujifilm X-T3.  I will also have a Fujifilm X-T20 with me as well. It is on loan from a friend.


The trip is coming together and I’m starting to get really excited about it. As most of you know I’ve struggled with my photography mojo for the last few months. Even contemplated going back to drawing and painting. I have thought about bringing my easel back in for easier access.

The blogging here again is really helping with my motivation which has been great. I am also starting to get really excited about this trip and taking photos, so hopefully I will be ready to take lots of photos when I go.

There will be more posts as the weeks are counted down. I really want to try and blog each day while away so you have


You might be interested in …


  1. New Zealand is one of my most favorite countries I’ve been to and I think road tripping is the perfect way to explore it:) check out my posts on Queenstown, Christchurch, and South Island Itinerary if you need any recommendations!

  2. Hope you’re loving it! I’m blogging about my trip round the country too- there’s so much to do and see and all the people are wonderful, aren’t they!

  3. I hope you enjoy your trip! I have always wanted to take one of those glow worm tours and cannot wait to see any images you take. I appreciate you listing the gear you are taking. I’m always curious about what other people pack as they travel. Safe travels and enjoy the adventure!

    1. I did enjoy it, thank you. Yeah, unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos in the glow worms cave, so it was one to just enjoy. Good, the gear is important.

    1. Yeah, unfortunately we are just doing the south island. We decided to give it our full attention. It is like Tassie, every time I go I do another bit. Thank you.

  4. Bet the photos are going to be incredible. I was lucky enough to visit New Zealand for 7 weeks in 2016 and it was amazing! One of my favorite trips.

    1. You never really know, but I hope I will get some good ones. Seven weeks would be incredible, I know 16 days is going to be too short.

  5. Just came back from New Zealand and it was the most amazing experience! Can’t believe how gorgeous the entire country is. Every part of it is breath-taking. You’re going to have an amazing time.

    1. I have to say I am expecting that, I think I will fall in love with it. I’ve even suggested to my husband that we move there, lol. I think I will too. thank you Molly.

  6. Leanne, you will adore NZ. It is simply stunning. I think you should take a little detour out of Christchurch and spend at least a day in Akaroa. It is gorgeous and you would find plenty of inspiration.

    1. Thank you Carol, I think I will fall in love, might not want to come back, lol. We are spending the last couple of days there, so it is something we can look at, I don’t think we have firm plans there at this stage.

  7. You will love your trip, I have to put New Zealand on another year, as Scandinavia was my place last year. I own the Fujifilm T3, just upgrade from T1 model — a great travel camera and the lenses are lighter. A good choice. The colors are superb! Wishing you lots of great experiences, be safe.

    1. I have been to Scandinavia, well really only Denmark, we lived there for a few months when my eldest daughter was a baby. Thank you, I am really looking forward to giving the camera a good try, I think I am going to want one. YOu have a good trip as well.

  8. We will be starting our NZ trip on Monday, doing 4 weeks in a motorhome just on the North Island. Contrary to your months of planning, we have hardly done any. We prefer to travel not planning more than three or four days ahead. I can see that if you want to take specific photos, you have to plan for that. But leave yourself some time to follow some unexpected hints you will get from other travelers.

    1. We looked at the North Island, but we both decided we wanted to do the south more. We will have some time for that sort of thing, but my friend likes to plan, so I have let her, it will all be wonderful, she has done a fabulous job. Thank you Erich, and you enjoy NZ as well.

    1. Hello Leanne. Your website looks good. Is it also your blog now too? Just wondering, as when I click on your blog icon, it takes me to your website. However, I don’t see a “Comments” option now. Is there another way to keep in contact with you when I want to leave a comment on your work? Thank you….always enjoy seeing your work. Nawfal.

    2. Yes, this site is my website with the blog attached to it. It should take you to the blog, but this theme is a bit dodgy, I might have to look into getting a new one. YOu can only comment under each blog post. You can subscribe to the blog and you will get an email when I do a new post. I hope that helps.

  9. Wow, Leanne. It looks like things are happening for you. I love my Fujifilm XT2, and might purchases an XT3. I’m kind of hanging out for an XT4 anticipating such an iteration will have IBIS. I envy your mobility as I have been playing nursing-aid for the past 5 months with surgery #4 scheduled tomorrow.

    1. Thank you Don, they are, I will see what is available after my trip. The trip will really determine what I end up doing.
      I’m sorry to hear about the mobility. We should catch up soon.

  10. I went in October 2012 with my son and daughter and traveled a very similar route. We loved seeing the yellow eyed penguins on the Otago Peninsula outside of Dunedin. And the Dunedin Botanical Gardens were beautiful!! Absolutely loved Queenstown!! Did a “Lord of the Rings” horseback tour in Glenorchy (organized in Queenstown) went to Flame in Queenstown for dinner afterward – outstanding!! Absolutely loved the Mt John Observatory Tour (Earth & Sky Tours) in Lake Tekapo as well as our time photographing Church of the Good Shepherd. Hope you have a wonderful time!! Can’t wait to see your two favorite pictures!! lol

    1. Will have to let my friend know about the Otago Peninsula, I think she would love that. All sounds fantastic, we are planning on a few of those things, but to be honest, I’m not sure exactly what we are doing. I’m a lazy planner and I let me friend plan most of it, she has done a great job I think. Thank you.

  11. I am excited to follow you on your trip, Leanne! I was in New Zealand in 2014 and it was incredible. I blogged every day. If you would like to read my posts and see photos, please visit “musinwithsusan” and look in the travel section.

  12. That will be a great trip. Doubtful Sound is wonderful and the trip to get to it. Such a pity that you aren’t coming up to the north part of the South Island but maybe next time. Central Otago at that time of the year will be awesome.

    1. Thank you Cushla. I am looking forward to Doubtful sound cruise. Yeah, we did look at that area, and maybe the North as well, but we just can’t do the whole place in 2 weeks. Just means we will have to come back.

  13. Hey, Enjoy, we spent a year over in the South Island, and it is spectacular (with the right weather lol). You have planned well, although you should look at not stopping at Hokitika, carry on to Greymouth the drive up to just below Westport is some of the best in NZ, with the Pancake Rocks walk on the way as well. The sunsets on the coast are spectacular but it also Rains a lot… Personally, I think the Wanaka Tree is over rated lol so many more amazing places. Map in the drive up over Crown Range from Queenstown to Wanaka, the Cardrorna Hotel is old historic and great to stop in at. You also look as if you are going out to Lake Tekapo and back in to travel down the east coast, a recommendation would be to go Lake Tekapo, ( stay at the Caravan Park in a glamping tent if you want a different experience) and book into the Hot Pools there. Carry on down to Alexandra/ Clyde Area, and then loop back out to Invercargill or Dunedin (if you’re really keen on those two cities) the east coast is nowhere near as spectacular as Central Otago (Alexandra area). That way you will also see the beautiful Mt Cook area, if you can get into Mt Cook (often the weather is unforgivable) and do the Hooker Valley walk to the Glacier it is truly worth every minute. You will love Clyde for it’s old buildings, and a good place to stay in Alexandra is the Asure Avenue Motels. Also, Fox Glacier & Franz Joseph Glacier walks are worth taking the time to do. Franz Joseph hot pools private spas with their shared platter is a great treat, especially after you might have done fraz & fox glacier walks 😊
    You are on the right trace with Milford Sound, but drive yourself in, the drive in is better than the cruise itself. Leave early morning though so you avoid the bus loads of tourists. You’ll have so many places you’ll want to stop and take in the view. Real Journeys are very good.
    If you have time from Queenstown head out to a place called Glenorchy, again the drive is good, the wee town is surrounded by mountains and the Dart River Jet Boat tour is worth every cent if you had the time. Go on Bookme and get the cheap ticket deal to the Skyline Gondola & Restaurant, great meal, great views and the gondola ride included. Bookme is a great site for NZ cheaps tickets, you’ll probably get your swim tickets for Tekapo there too.
    I have heaps of information on my website or send me an email if you want any other info . There is so much to see in the South Island. Have fun. Fingers crossed for okay weather.

    1. Oh a yeah would be amazing. I know I can’t control the weather, but I will still be happy. I don’t let bad weather let me down, you just get different images. I guess the truth is that there are so many places to go, and we have found what interests the two of us. I hope it won’t be the only time we go. We have planned on going doing the gondola and eating at the restaurant. You have made some great suggestions, unfortunately, ours is pretty much locked in and all our accommodation is booked as well. I’m sure others will find what you have said useful as well.
      Thank you Leonie.

  14. Wow how exciting for you , I absolutely love Nee Zealand and there are so many photo opportunities it will blow your mind … enjoy… what date do you get there … Liz

    1. Thank you Liz, I have wanted to go for so many years, so it is nice to be finally going. It looks beautiful in photos, and I know you are right. We are arriving on the 26th of April.

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