When you visit this enticing bubble that is Queenstown there will be copious photo opportunities. Having lived there for 6 months I had the pleasure of photographing this place from lots of wicked spots. Here are some of my favourites:
The Skyline Gondola
The Skyline Gondola is one of the easiest places to get to (if you don't mind paying the gondola fee of $32) or one of the hardest if you want to walk it through the forrest. It's a 5 minute walk from Fergburger in town then probably a 30 minute walk up a steep incline. The best way to do it is to pay the extra and get 2 Luge Runs thrown in with your gondola ride at $45. When you get to the top you can eat in the restaurant or just have a coffee and take in the mind blowing views. You can literally see every corner of Queenstown from up here.
If you're feeling brave enough, there is a Bungy jump that not many people know about as its overshadowed by the Nevis Bungy and the Kawarau Bridge Bungy BUT the Ledge Bungy will certainly test your nerves and you get some super cool photos of you soaring high above Queenstown. Go on a clear day for the best shots to impress your famalam!
Here's a shot of me doing a night Bungy at the Ledge - so terrifying!
Watch the video of my fist day working for Bungy in Vlog Episode 16
We spent a LOT of our time sitting down by the lake watching the ducks and the boats and the piss heads. It is a sensational spot, and yeah, Lake Wakatipu IS that blue. The sunsets down here are something else and it is the perfect spot to get a few beers and relax, especially in the summer, just don't be a dick and leave all your rubbish! This is a screen shot from a drone shot from Vlog Episode 27.
One of the not so obvious places to get great views and snaps of QT is off the back of a boat! If you've got some spare cash and you want to do an activity as well then we would 100% recommend doing this - the views are something else and you don't get any opportunity to look back at the town like this. We did ours with http://www.paraflights.co.nz/ and the guys are really friendly. If you're going with someone like Aimee just reassure them that there are no giant jellyfish in the lake, what they are seeing is actually just the shadow of the parachute ... watch us take flight in Vlog Episode 33.
Whether you visit here on a clear evening and get to see the mesmerising Milky Way (check the time of year) or on a crisp sunrise, the Queenstown Gardens is a class place to walk around and photograph. Cecil Peak sits right in front of you and when he's dusted with a bit of snow he looks wicked!
If you're more of an early bird than a night owl then the sunrise on a clear day is just as banging. This time of the morning there is nobody about and Lake Wakatipu is ridiculously still with no jet boats flying about - serene!
If you're one of those nutters who LOVES to hike then Queenstown hill is the crème de la crème of views. It takes about 30-40 minutes if you're a 'normal' person, about 1.5 hours if you're dragging an Aimee Bannister but if you're a nutter then 20 minutes power hiking. The views will blow your socks off and you'll want to sit up there forever. There's a reason we chose this photo for the front page of our website - it's one of our favs! Watch Aimee moan all the way to the top in Vlog Episode 25.
Looking towards Frankton this second photo was part of a timelapse we were shooting for that vlog. It doesn't matter if you've got a huge DSLR, an iPhone or a GoPro - you're going to get a mint photo. To be fair to Aimee it was super windy up there that day so we didn't have much time up there!
Another idea to get a great photo is scaling QT hill in the dark to hunt the stars. I did a mission one night with a good friend of mine Jordan from http://www.undersoulphotography.com/ who is by far the God of Astrophotography in Queenstown, if not the world. Going out with Jordan was a huge inspiration as he is just shit hot at everything he does. Jordan shot this one of me on Queenstown hill on a freezing winter's evening (just before I lost 6 1/2 toes) :
Deer Park Heights
Another one of my all time favourite days was when I got to see Deer Park Heights. Now, before you get excited you can't go here. Ever. The only reason I was extremely lucky was that a friend of a friend's family OWN the land, that's right they OWN a mountain in Queenstown and they let us up there to take some photos! There is a few ponds dotted about and this one was my favourite as you could see The Remarkables reflected in it. The views of Queenstown itself are just epic and you can see Lake Wakatipu stretch out all the way to Glenorchy. This is actually one of the scenes shot in Lord of the Rings. Soz.
You can't go here... But you can watch some drone footage of it in Vlog Episode 28
If you're in Queenstown you're going to get a boom photo wherever you are. It's as simple as that. On the second day after we arrived in QT we were staying with a friend and there was a huge dump of snow over the mountains, I snapped this the same evening off the balcony:
When we were lucky enough to land our own house on Queenstown Hill we had outrageous views from our balcony and we were able to see the sky in a hundred different colours every week.
One night there was an Aurora show, just over Cecil Peak. It was COLD and I was too lazy to go out and shoot so I just put a zoom lens on and managed to get this snap:
This place really is a photographers dream, it's everything you'd want in a place - vast mountains, crystal clear blue lakes, the Southern Lights (If you're lucky) and incredibly colourful and dramatic skies.
What are you waiting for? GET TO QUEENSTOWN NEW ZEALAND!!
If you need some more convincing, check out our New Zealand story (Our QT adventures start in Vlog Episode 10!)
Remember, keep Kinging-It and always Rule Your Own World!