Wildlife photo opportunities in New Zealand (South Island)

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Wildlife photo opportunities in New Zealand (South Island)

Postby Gordon Laing » Wed Feb 21, 2007 2:29 am

Hello there! I thought I'd answer Thomas's question about wildlife photo opportunities in NZ under a new subject heading!

There are many opportunities to photograph wildlife in New Zealand. As Thomas mentioned, there's easy access to an Albatross colony at the end of an attractive peninsula in Dunedin, lots of spots around South Island coast where you may glimpse seals or tiny penguins, and of course the whale watching made famous near Kaikora. There are also lots of dolphins, especially when you go whale watching, or on boat tours in the Fjords or around the Bay of Islands.

I was lucky enough to see penguins, seals, dolphins and a weka during a wonderful overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound in the Fjordlands last year. Here's some pics, all taken with a 70-300mm lens.

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It's also easy to get off the beaten track when hiking and be confronted by many tiny birds. During a lovely hike on the Dart track last weekend, I was surrounded by loads of what looked like little green wild budgies! Here's a crop from a photo taken with the Nikkor 18-135mm on a D80.

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Postby Thomas » Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:10 pm

Yeah, nice tips Gordon!
I've heard that the Albatrosses only fly when the wind is strong enough. So you better visit (and photograph) them on a windy day!
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Water protection?!

Postby Thomas » Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:16 pm

Whales, seals, penguins, etc.
All those animals living in the sea. Plus the strong wind you have (at least in NZ or also in Europe). Are there any hint and tips with regard to protecting your gear from the salty breeze?
I once heard a man complain in a camera shop that his camera stops working as soon as he is staying at the sea. I suspected that his camera already has some salt inside (from a previous trip) which is hygroscopic and shorts the sensitive circuits in your cam.
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Postby cybermystic » Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:46 pm

I lived for a couple of years in Takapuna (North Island) - the birdlife (as well as the clear dark skies) are second to none.

If you go on a wildlife phototrip there - you're unlikely to come back (or, like me, you're daft if you do :D )

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