In days gone by, our cameras helped us to preserve our own memories in order to look back and reminisce, or share those memories with loved ones. Nowadays, with smart phones and social media, everyone is either a photographer, a model, or both. Our cameras are more than just for us, they’re our way to show the rest of the world what we’re up to. Do you crave to find your next epic Instagram shot? There are lots of places on New Zealand’s South Island that offer just that… epic backdrops, epic close-ups, epic food, epic experiences. We’ve listed ten of our favourites below. But please remember, take time to put your phone away and take in the beauty that surrounds you. The memories last much longer and you’ll view them more fondly.
This geological rock formation in Tasman Bay looks exactly like… you guessed it, an apple cut in half. It’s almost as if the 242-tonne granite mass accidentally slipped from the gardens of heaven, only to land 50 metres off shore from one of the most picturesque places on Earth. If you can snap yourself between the two boulders, you’re onto a winner. Take a look at the latest #SplitAppleRock posts.
Tunnel Beach has risen to Instagram fame for its ruggedly romantic appeal and air of secrecy. Your best angle could be perched high above, or gazing through the gap as it’s beaten by wave after wave. We think it’s worth walking downhill to the spectacular, rocky coastline, where a hand-carved rock tunnel leads you a secluded beach at the base of the cliffs. See the latest #TunnelBeach on Instagram.
This indoor market, located in the heart of Christchurch and overlooking Avon River, is an Instagrammers playground. This precinct, along the adjacent Riverside Lane, is home to over 120 boutique retailers, restaurants, cafes and bars. The best part is, when you shop and dine here you are supporting local businesses. You’re going to need multiple visits or a big appetite to capture all the sweets and treats that catch your eye. You can drool over #RiversideMarket on Instagram.
Just a 12-minute drive from Split Apple Rock is Kaiteriteri Beach in the Tasman Bay. We’ll admit, as Aussies we have pretty high standards when it comes to beaches. But with Kaiteriteri, our Kiwi friends sure have delivered. Golden sands and sparkling waters, and a lovely spot to unwind after you’ve been working up a sweat hiking (or Instagramming) in Abel Tasman National Park. See the latest from #KaiteriteriBeach on Instagram.
Take a one hour walk through lush native bush to reach one of the most picturesque spots in the Nelson Tasman region. Cicadas and the sweet song of birds provide the soundtrack to your journey, the thundering of the falls building to a crescendo as you glimpse the crystal pools below. Make your way 20 metres down and snap your shot as are naturally glistened by the soft spray of the fresh waters. You can see shots taken at #WainuiFalls.
The Blue Pools of Wanaka are a natural wonder of pure glacial water, spectacular mountains forming the backdrop in the distance and rich beech forest in the foreground. It’s an easy walk to get to the pools, with photo opportunities the whole way, including a boardwalk and two swing bridges. You can take a dip, but be warned, the water temperature is roughly nine degrees Celsius… year-round. They are glacial waters after all. See what others are posting at the #BluePoolsWanaka.
Let’s stay in Wanaka a little longer and talk about a tree. The most famous tree in NZ and easily the most photographed. A lone, crooked willow tree, symbolising hope and endurance, sits in the shallow waters of Lake Wanaka. Sometimes the waters are shallow enough to walk out to the tree, however it is incredibly delicate and travellers are asked to be respectful and stay off of its fragile branches. There are lots of photos of #ThatWanakaTree on Instagram.
The Ben Lomond walk does require a good level of physical fitness and it can get challenging in parts. The return journey can take between six and eight hours to complete. If that’s a little strenuous you can opt for Ben Lomond Saddle which is between three and four hours return. Those who make the trek to the top will be rewarded with the most spectacular views. On a clear day you can see spot Mount Earnslaw/Pikirakatahi and Aspiring/Tititea some 70 kilometres in the distance. Check out #BenLommondSummit on Instagram.
Past visitors to Queenstown are likely to tell you you have to go to Arrowtown. This quaint little gold-rush town sits beside the Arrow River. Some call it cute, others call it delightful. We call it charming. With over 60 historic buildings and more than 20 restaurants and cafes, you are bound to take hundreds of pictures. Although we think this town is best experienced with your phone away as much as possible as you imagine yourself back in the days of yore. Take a look at #ArrowtownNZ for inspiration for your next shot.
Kaikoura means “eat crayfish” in Maori, so it goes without saying that the produce from the region is nothing short of delicious. There’s are lots of seafood caravans dotting the shoreline, but none more famous that Nin’s Bin, run by a local family since 1977. Choose from crayfish or mussels, and complete your epic shot with the famous blue and white caravan in the background.
#NinsBin will get your tastebuds tingling and your creative juices flowing.
Image credit: Graeme Murray. Tourism New Zealand.