A photographer’s love letter.
Mark Clinton | AUSTRALIA
What made you want to go New Zealand?
This was actually my 4th time back to NZ however in the past I’d only ever been during Winter. The idea was for a summer road trip around the South Island spent both surfing and hiking before landing in Wanaka for the New Years festivities which was later dubbed #churtothemaxtour (pointless nz slang). The team consisted of both a crew of south island locals and friends from home in Sydney, but the star of the show was no doubt the caravan.
What makes it such a good place for photography?
The South island’s a photographers dream and to date my favourite destination. With Christchurch/ Queenstown being only a 3-hour flight the contrast doesn’t feel real when flying into the Southern Alps. Also, the variety of landscapes between such small driving stints is insane. Every corner has its own vibe.
What’s your favourite shot from the trip? And why?
Perhaps not the most mind-blowing photo from the trip, but this was taken on one of our final nights while camping on the West Coast. We celebrated with beers, a fire and all the leftover fireworks from Guy Fawlkes night – a night dedicated to someone trying to blow up parliament (meaning fireworks are legal to buy on this particular day in NZ).
Although not visible in the photo the full moon was working overtime, allowing full vision of Mt. Cook several hundred metres away.
Any particular tips for photographers heading to the south island of New Zealand?
Hire a van in either Christchurch or Queenstown and drive the ring loop – it’s the best way to see everything while being on your own schedule.
Honourable mentions to Arthurs pass, West Coast, Wanaka, The Catlins and Milford Sound!
Where has it inspired you to go next?
Funnily enough, that trip in summer sent me right back to New Zealand – ha! Since January I’ve made another 4 trips across the ditch to visit my friends and spend more times skiing around the mountains. New Zealand is an absolute must for anyone looking for beautiful scenics!
Mark Clinton | Urth Ambassador
Mark is blessed with an appetite for adventure and the ability to awaken a sense of awe in the wild places he travels. Although from Sydney, Mark tends to gravitate to colder corners of the globe driven by an understanding of the drama these raw unpredictable places provide.