April 16th - 30th, 2020

Autumn in April on the South Island of New Zealand is a photographer’s dream location! Follow the color—landscape photography at its best!  Daily excursions to the colorful villages outside Queenstown including Arrowtown, Cardrona, Twizel, and Lake Wanaka. A scenic drive to Milford Sound with an overnight cruise. Morning 4×4 adventures to an old mining town and heli tours over the braided rivers and Mount Cook with glacier landing. Star gaze in one of the darkest places in the world. An evening and morning shoot of the mystical Moeraki Boulders. Fly by charter to Marlborough wine country. Indulge in the ever-changing hues of the vineyards as you sip on renowned wines. Savor the culinary cuisine. Beyond the beautiful landscapes, photograph local dusky dolphins at sunrise on our own chartered vessel. Non-photographing spouses welcome!

Meet Daniel and Tanya Cox

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Travel Plan
Helpful Information
Explorer Testimonials
  • 2020 New Zealand Ultimate Autumn Foliage Photography Tour Travel Plans


    Saturday, April 18

    Arrive any time of day and take a taxi to the Crowne Plaza Queenstown, right in the heart of Queenstown. On the shores of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu beneath the Remarkables Mountain range, Queenstown is known as the adrenaline capital of the world. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of relaxing, too.

    Crowne Plaza Queenstown, our waterfront hotel, is the ideal spot to recuperate from jet lag and get accustomed to life in the southern hemisphere. Watch sunset and sunrise from your room’s balcony, or enjoy the restaurants and shops within walking distance of the hotel. We’ll spend three nights at the Crowne Plaza.

    Sunday, April 19 (B, D)

    Morning sunrise right from your balcony. Enjoy a free day in Queenstown before meeting up with the group in the late afternoon for a welcome dinner. There is a lot to do in Queenstown: wander downtown shops and restaurants, learn about the region’s culture and heritage at a museum/art gallery, or relax and enjoy the views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

    We’ll meet in the hotel lobby in the early evening. For transportation to dinner, we’ll jump on a gondola and watch the city disappear and the views stretch across Lake Wakatipu to the mountains as we ascend. Group welcome dinner to follow.

    Monday, April 20 (B)

    It’s your choice this morning: visit the historic gold mining town of Macetown in 4×4 vehicles with Dan, or join Tanya late morning for wine tasting at some of the nearby wineries in the Otago Valley known for its Pinot Noir.

    Macetown 4×4 safari guests will get an early start. Four-wheel drive vehicles will be used to access and photograph the stunning scenery along the way to Macetown. The rocky, unsealed road heads up the steep-sided Arrow gorge and crosses the Arrow River and its side creeks 22 times! Macetown was abandoned after the gold rush of 1862 and is now a Department of Conservation reserve. Needham’s House (the old schoolmaster’s house) and the bake house have been faithfully restored by the Department of Conservation.

    The wine tasting guests will depart mid-morning for wine tasting and vineyard photography in the Otago Valley. The central Otago area is home to some of the world’s best pinot noir and impressive, aromatic white wines. Wineries may include PeregrineWinery, Brennan Vineyards, Mt. Difficulty Wines, Gibbston and Tanya’s favorite, Mt. Rosa Wines 🙂

    Dinner is on your own tonight. This is an opportunity to explore Queenstown’s nightlife along the waterfront.

    Tuesday, April 21 (B, D)

    After breakfast, we depart on our private bus and head west to Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park. There are many photographic opportunities along the way. Without stops, the drive is about 4.5 hours. We’ll board the Milford Mariner for an overnight cruise in this beautiful waterway. We’ll view the fjord’s spectacular rainforest, waterfalls, mountains, and wildlife from our boat. A very special evening is planned including a small skiff boat ride around the fjord before sunset for photography and to possibly see seals and dolphins. Dinner onboard the Mariner and private bed/bath accommodations for all guests.

    Wednesday, April 22 (B, D)

    We will board our private bus mid-morning and work our way to the historic town of Clyde. Photo stops along this beautiful drive.

    Stay two nights at Olivers Central Otago.

    The historic Olivers Lodge opened a new chapter in its fascinating history when the building underwent an authentic restoration, reflecting its significant place in the chronicles of the Central Otago region.

    The original stone complex, located in Clyde’s historic precinct, was built by Benjamin Naylor in 1869 as a general store, servicing the prospectors who sought their fortunes during the Otago gold rush. Sensitively restored buildings including an elegant homestead, the old store, coach sheds, stables, and barns. Landscaping highlights the original central courtyard and gardens.

    Eleven rooms, divided into Stables and Lodge accommodation, superbly blend the old with the new creating a contemporary ambience integrally linked with bygone days.

    Thursday, April 23 (B)

    Today we’ll have time to explore one of the most beautiful areas for fall colors. Reds, yellows, and golds cover the hillsides on this picturesque road to the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown. We’ll walk together among the many well-preserved buildings used by European and Chinese immigrants dating back from the gold mining days. This is a great place to shop and stop in at a little cafe for lunch. After lunch, we’ll stop to watch and photograph the extreme sport of bungee jumping—said to be invented in New Zealand—at the colorful Shotover River and gorge. We will return in the afternoon to Clyde where you will have some time on our own to explore this quaint colorful town in wine country.

    Friday, April 24 (B, D)

    Off we go to Lake Wanaka! Here we will find so much jaw-dropping beauty to fill our memory cards, including the famous Wanaka Willow—a beautiful tree with an interesting history—in the lake. You’ll have some time to venture through this bustling lake town.

    Continue our journey with a scenic drive to the Aoraki/Mount Cook alpine region, toward the brilliant colors of Twizel, the largest town in the Mackenzie District.

    Get settled into the mountain-view rooms at The Hermitage Hotel in Aoraki/Mount Cook. We’ll spend two nights here. Enjoy views of the village’s sky-scraping peaks, phenomenal glaciers, and permanent snow, all beneath a stunning star-studded sky. Tonight we’ll photograph the sun setting with Mount Cook before dining at the hotel’s Alpine Restaurant.

    Saturday, April 25 (B, D)

    It’s an early morning as we shoot the sunrise over Mount Cook right outside your hotel room window.

    Our morning activities will be high in the sky or beauty from down below. Each guest will make the choice to take a helicopter flight with a glacier landing or to hop on a chartered boat for a ride to the Tasman Glacier.

    Surrounded by seemingly endless mountain ranges, this scenic helicopter tour will get you up close to the highest peaks to find the ultimate view of the braided rivers.

    The Tasman Glacier terminal lake is a fascinating glacial encounter. We will experience the Tasman Glacier, its rapidly growing terminal lake, and spectacular mountain views from a special boat. Icebergs of every shape and size periodically tear away from the glacier allowing you to touch and taste the 300-600 year old glacial crystals. Please note: There is a flat 20 minute walk to where you get on the boats along with an incline stretch to the launch area.

    We will reconvene this afternoon to head out on our bus to work the beautiful roads of color and mountains. You are welcome to as a second option stay back and walk the trails and photograph another sunset at Mount Cook.

    Sunday, April 26 (B, L, D)

    Breakfast and sunrise shoot this morning. Today we drive to the to the famous 60-million-year-old Moeraki Boulders, stopping along the way to photograph more spectacular scenery.

    During our evening shoot, we will admire the unusually large, spherical Moeraki Boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach.

    Dinner is at Fleurs Place on the waterfront of Moeraki Bay. Their specialty is fresh fish caught from Moeraki Bay fishing boats. Handwritten menus of today’s catch with your choice of home-made sauces and local vegetables.

    We’ll spend the night at the historic Mill House, which was originally a flour mill. This is a small, family-owned inn close to the boulders. Its location allows us easy early morning access with little travel time.

    Monday, April 27 (D)

    You have to get going early to catch the sunrise! Today’s morning shoot is at the Moeraki Boulders. Grab some coffee and breakfast in the cafe near the boulders at your leisure.

    For the next part of our adventure, our group will fly by private charter mid-morning to the beachside of Kaikoura. The afternoon is free for exploring Kaikoura. This seaside settlement has a rich history and culture. Kaikoura is located on a rocky peninsula, protruding from lush farmland beneath the mountains. Grab a lunch in town on your own. In the waters off the peninsula, a complex marine system provides an abundantly rich habitat for marine mammals and seabirds, making it an ideal place for getting close to nature.

    Group dinner at a restaurant inspired by seasonally available, locally produced ingredients—flavorful dishes and uniquely Kaikoura. Tonight we stay at The White Morph. Set on the Esplanade, The White Morph enjoys commanding views of the ocean right to the distant horizon and mountains.

    Tuesday, April 28 (L, D)

    We’ll rise and shine for another early morning—this time to photograph the aerobatic dusky dolphins! Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and muffins are provided on the boat.

    After watching the dolphins play for awhile, we’ll drive down the road to Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine growing region and home of world-renowned sauvignon blanc.

    Tonight we will dine at the Hans Herzog organic winery. Bring your camera! The sunset should be beautiful over the vineyards. We will learn about the wines grown in this region and wine taste before dinner. An award-winning team of masterchefs will spoil you with delicious market-fresh cuisine served in the most decadent environment and with personal service to make you feel totally pampered.

    Two nights at Marlborough Vintners Hotel

    Wednesday, April 29 (B, L)

    We’ll take a morning walk to shoot the sunrise around the hotel and the changing-color vineyards before returning to the hotel for a late breakfast.

    Today we’ll stop by one of New Zealand’s newer wineries, the Saint Clair Family Estate. Here we’ll delight in some wine and cheese, and of course photograph the vineyard with the umber hills rolling in the background.

    Next we visit Spy Valley Wines, located up the road from a U.S. government listening post (hence the name). Be careful what you say… The award-winning architecturally designed winery will catch your camera’s attention.

    The best for last 🙂 Our late lunch and wine tasting is at Brancott Estate. This is where the first sauvignon vines were planted in the Marlborough Valley, founding the now world-famous wine region. We will photograph the colorful hillside vineyard in the late day light.

    Thursday, April 30 (B)

    All good things must come to an end. Depart Blenheim at your leisure.



    • Guest Limits

      11 Guests Maximum

    • Trip Cost

      EXPLORER RATE: 7911 per person, based on double occupancy


      Single Supplement: 1200

      Pricing in US dollars

    • Deposit

      $2000 Per person due at time of booking
      Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover, or check accepted

      Deposits are non-refundable. If cancellations are necessary, we require this request in writing. We will do our best to resell your space. Only if we can resell your space, we will refund (minus deposit and discounts given to sell your space). No partial refunds are possible for unused services.

    • Installments

      May 1, 2019: $3000 per person first installment
      October 1, 2019: Final payment

      Check only for first and final installments. Please make check payable to Natural Exposures and mail to:

      Natural Exposures

      810 N. Wallace, Suite E

      Bozeman, MT 59715

    • Included

      • Meals (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner) where indicated in itinerary
      • Accommodations for 12 nights, including one night on Milford Sound Mariner
      • Private transportation vehicle and charter
      • Activities on the itinerary include heli or boat tour, 4×4 tour, private charter dolphin tour, wine tastings, photographing Moeraki boulders, gondola
      • Internal charter flight Omarau – Kaikoura (weather permitting)
    • Not Included

      • International flights/airport taxes
      • Travel/emergency evacuation insurance
      • Miscellaneous personal expenses
      • Excursions/activities not on itinerary
      • Immigration, passport, visa/duty fees
    • Flights to Book

      April 16, 2020
      Fly from U.S.

      April 18, 2020 (+2 days)
      Arrive Queenstown (ZQN)

      April 30, 2020
      Depart Blenheim (BHE) any time of day—arrive same day in U.S.

    • Travel Insurance

      Travel/emergency evacuation insurance is not required for this photo tour, but we always recommend purchasing it for any trip. We recommend one or more of the following, depending on your needs:

      Global Rescue

      Allianz Global Assistance 
      (use travel agency ID F203564)

      Insure My Trip

    • Terms & Conditions

      Natural Exposures cannot control nor is responsible for abnormal weather, natural disasters, or any other disaster that might affect the trip. Travel insurance should be purchased to cover any missed flights or medical problems that may affect/delay your travel. National Parks have the right to change our itinerary.

      By booking a trip with Natural Exposures, you agree to the following CANCELLATION AND LIABILITY POLICY

  • Accommodations for 2020 New Zealand Ultimate Autumn Foliage Photography Tour

    April 18-20, 3 nights
    Crowne Plaza Queenstown
    Crowne Plaza Queenstown Hotel is an award-winning hotel that overlooks the breathtaking Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range. It is conveniently located just minutes from the Queenstown town center, and across the road from Crowne Plaza Queenstown is the popular Steamer Wharf—home to great dining, bars, and entertainment.

    Complimentary Wi-Fi and threesixty Restaurant and Bar onsite

    April 21, 1 night
    Milford Sound Mariner

    April 22 and 23, 2 nights
    Olivers Central Otago
    The historic Olivers Lodge opened a new chapter in its fascinating history when the building underwent an authentic restoration, reflecting its significant place in the chronicles of the Central Otago region.

    The original stone complex, located in Clyde’s historic precinct, was built by Benjamin Naylor in 1869 as a general store, servicing the prospectors who sought their fortunes during the Otago gold rush. Sensitively restored buildings including an elegant homestead, the old store, coach sheds, stables, and barns. Landscaping highlights the original central courtyard and gardens.

    Eleven rooms, divided into Stables and Lodge accommodation, superbly blend the old with the new creating a contemporary ambience integrally linked with bygone days.

    April 24 and 25, 2 nights
    The Hermitage Aoraki Mt. Cook
    The Hermitage is located within Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. All rooms have ensuites, tea and coffee making facilities, satellite TV, IDD telephones and fridges. Wireless Internet is available in all rooms.

    April 26, 1 night
    The Mill House
    Built from locally quarried huge stone blocks by German settler Ernst Diehl in 1879, the Mill House is a former historic flour mill. It is the ideal spot to stay while you enjoy the many local attractions.

    April 27, 1 night
    The White Morph
    A luxury, quality self-contained hotel, The White Morph Heritage Boutique Collection offers some of the best accommodations in Kaikoura. Set on the Esplanade in iconic Kaikoura, The White Morph enjoys commanding views of the ocean right to the distant horizon and mountains and gives you access to all of the region’s many experiences. All rooms are fully equipped for your every need.

    Free unlimited Wi-Fi, guest laundry room, outside washing line, and guest computers in lobby with printer.

    April 28 and 29, 2 nights
    Marlborough Vintners Hotel
    In the heart of Marlborough lies Marlborough Vintners Hotel which offers the highest standard in luxury accommodation in a peaceful and picturesque vineyard setting. This 5-star hotel has a well-earned reputation for style and sophistication delivered with warm hospitality.

    The Vintners Room Restaurant has a reputation throughout the region for its New Zealand inspired cuisine with a European twist focusing on fresh paddock to plate philosophy utilizing the freshest ingredients from our own garden. And, of course, no visit to Marlborough would be complete without sampling the fine wine. Select from their personal wine list, featuring some of the best vintages from local well-known cellars and boutique wineries in and around Blenheim. Their knowledgeable staff are always on hand to offer advice.

  • Helpful Information for 2020 New Zealand Ultimate Autumn Foliage Photography Tour


    A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for stays of up to three months. You do need to have a return ticket from New Zealand to show the gate agent to board your flight to New Zealand. If you stop through Australia on your way to New Zealand, you will need a visa for Australia. This is very easy to obtain online. This visa would be needed if you stay overnight or a transit visa if your layover is long between flights.

    For the latest updates on New Zealand entry requirements, please visit the US Bureau of Consular Affairs website.


    We’re happy to offer flight suggestions closer to the trip time. Remember to fly into Queenstown and home by way of Auckland. Time zones and days vary—you can lose two days or gain one full day depending on which direction you’re flying; pay attention to your arrival date.


    There are no required vaccinations to enter New Zealand. However, it is best to be up to date with your routine vaccinations and to visit with your doctor before the trip to discuss your personal needs.


    New Zealand English is the dominant language, spoken by most New Zealanders. Official languages are Māori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Māori is used only in New Zealand and nowhere else in the world, and New Zealand became the first county to declare sign language as an official language in 2006.


    New Zealand’s unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$/NZD).


    NZST (New Zealand Standard Time)
    UTC/GMT +12 hours

    May vary +/- one hour with daylight savings time.


    New Zealand is a food and wine lover’s paradise! Cuisine is largely driven by local ingredients and seasonal variations; dishes are primarily influenced by Māori/Polynesian, European, and Asian cooking methods.

    Lamb, venison, and a variety of seafood are common in New Zealand dishes. Fresh seasonal produce—such as kiwifruit and kumara (more than a sweet potato!)—is abundant in New Zealand. Award-winning blue cheese and soft creamy cheeses are also produced in New Zealand.

    Foods you may want to consider while on the island are New Zealand pavlova (a popular meringue-based dessert covered in whipped cream and fresh fruit) and Kiwi meat pie (soft pastry filled with minced meat—variations come with cheese, gravy, bacon, and egg). Your New Zealand experience is not complete without the traditional takeaway meal of fish and chips! And if you do get the chance, try Māori hāngī (meat and vegetables in flax/leaves cooked in a fire pit dug deep into the ground) which is usually prepared only for special occasions.

    Don’t forget—New Zealand is home to 376 wineries and features world-class sauvignon blanc (some say the best in the world!) and chardonnay wines. Can’t forget the pinot noir! Be sure to try at least one—a perfect complement to any meal!

    Have a question?

    Have a question about this tour? We're happy to answer any queries you may have.
  • Testimonials from Natural Exposures' Explorers

    • "If you ever want to travel to another country and you want to go first class, travel with Natural Exposures. They are number one in showing their guests the best time ever in the classiest way. I would recommend Natural Exposures Tours to everyone. If you want to go in style, go with NE!"

      Michelle Duggan, Massachusetts

    • "Tanya and Dan’s logistic skills provide a seamless photo tour where one can truly enjoy the experience. With unlimited photographic opportunities Dan’s instruction has taken my photography to a higher level."

      Linda Henry, Oregon

    • "I just wanted to again thank you for a wonderful week of photography and relaxation away from the office. It was a really a good group."

      Sue Wolfe, Texas

    • "What a trip
      What a group
      What a fabulous everything
      To our next encounters with nature"

      Maud and Leon Soriano, Florida

    • "Tanya/Dan are a dynamic duo! There are not enough adjectives in the dictionary to cover the entire breath of their combined strengths. Fair, attention to detail, supportive of everyone’s needs, ability to get things done, did I mention down right good people, and on and on. We hope there will be a trip in the future that we could take advantage of."

      Corbett Alley, Arizona

For additional information please contact Tanya at photo@naturalexposures.com or by telephone at (406) 556-8212

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