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Milford Sound Guided Tour

  • Milford Sound is a big day wherever you start from, if you travel by bus you do a lot of sitting and you have no flexibility, if you drive you also miss out on local knowledge and you have to drive! Parking is severely limited for most of the day in Milford Sound.
  • I aim to bridge the gap between bus and car. People often speed past all the best spots completely oblivious to their value.
  • Enjoy exploring photo opportunities along the way, perhaps stopping at Te Anau Downs for an historic hut, Boyd Creek, Lake Gunn, some places that may not be obvious.
  • Cruise on a small boat with Mitre Peak to get closer to the waterfalls and to maximise the chance of seeing dolphins, seals and penguins.
  • Walk through forest and alpine terrain 1 to 1 ½ hours from the Divide to Key Summit for unrivaled alpine views. Walk down 1 hour and return to Te Anau with as many photo stops as required on the way.
  • Some average level of fitness is required and the walk to Key Summit may not be for everyone, in which case we have some less demanding options with perhaps more diverse photo opportunities. Key Summit may not be advisable in all seasons or bad weather.
  • Milford Sound is very busy in the middle of the day and nearly deserted in the early morning and evening. The light may be best in the evening except in summer when the early mornings can be good too.
  • Weather forecasts are available from Metservice, YR and Metvuw.
  • Tide tables are available here. Photo opportunities are more diverse at low tide, in calm weather high tide can provide some serene classical views.
  • Speed up your planning with the easy on data Milford Guide Web App or download the offline version from the App Store or Google Play.
  • I carry spring water, tea and coffee, some snacks and fruit.
  • Maximum group size is 5.
  • Pickup is from your accommodation in Te Anau or surrounds.
  • Price is NZD 159 per person.
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Mavora Lakes Guided Tour

  • Mavora Lakes are a hidden gem, they have a beauty that is all their own. I love taking people to Mavora most of all. This is a good time of year to visit, with calm weather. They are equally good in clear and cloudy weather.
  • I think that leaving Te Anau at 1:30 pm usually gives the best light.
  • Visit the Kiwi Burn for a short photo wander in the forest. The dappled forest light is enchanting. We cross an interesting and potentially vertiginous swing-bridge across the Mararoa River.
  • Take a peek at the Remarkables and the Upper Oreti.
  • Enjoy a nature walk along the South Lake, Manawapopore, or down the Mararoa River. It is possible to walk up to 13 km but we generally do much less. We will spend time observing the friendly Fantails, Robins and Riflemen, Black Swan, etc.
  • We visit the North Lake, Hikurangi, and then return home with many photo stops in the fading light.
  • I carry spring water, tea and coffee, some snacks and fruit.
  • Maximum group size is 5.
  • Pickup is from your accommodation in Te Anau or surrounds.
  • Price is NZD 129 per person.
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Coastal Southland Guided Tour

  • There is a lot to see and explore. An 8:30 am departure makes most sense.
  • We go to Lake Hauroko and walk a short and easy forest loop.
  • Walk on the South Coast Track, Te WaeWae Bay, Blue Cliffs, picturesque cribs around the Waiau River Mouth, Tuatapere, Gemstone Beach, Orepuki, Monkey Island, Cosy Nook, Garden Bay and many other places along the coast until Riverton. Visit Te Hikoi, the Riverton Museum.
  • There are so many options on the coast and we can’t do everything so what we do and where we go depends on your interests.
  • We are likely to return to Te Anau at 5-6 pm, travelling through less visited rural and back-country Southland.
  • Food is available to purchase in Tuatapere, Orepuki, Colac Bay and Riverton. There is a restaurant/cafe in Orepuki that comes highly recommended.
  • Maximum group size is 5.
  • Pickup is from your accommodation in Te Anau or surrounds.
  • Price is NZD 129 per person.
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Dark Sky Night Photography

  • For a 3-4 hour night photography trip we visit spectacular light pollution free locations along lake Te Anau, Te Anau Downs, Boyd Creek and the Eglington Valley. I do have some tripods that I can lend out for the evening. Explore techniques such as painting with light and astro photography or simply enjoy the stargazing.
  • Weather dependent.
  • Best during the long nights of winter, autumn and spring.
  • Departure is 9 pm.
  • Maximum group size is 5.
  • Pickup is from your accommodation in Te Anau or surrounds.
  • Price is NZD 129 per person.
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Start Planning Now! Contact David