Friday, July 08, 2005

Pack the Cameras and Head for Auckland!

If you want a unique photo shoot, consider a trip to the other hemisphere and taking in the sights of Auckland, New Zealand. Do remember first of all, that because of its location, New Zealand will be having summer when you most likely will be leaving winter in the states, and vice versa, so be sure to pack your bags for the weather that Auckland will be having and not the weather you will be leaving behind.

Because of its renowned nightlife, Auckland is a popular vacation destination, but there will be plenty of things to keep you busy with your photography equipment whether or not you will be taking in any of the nightlife.

One of your photo shots should definitely be of the tallest tower in all of the Southern Hemisphere. It is called the Sky Tower and it is more than 1000 feet high. You will get some excellent photos of the jumpers from here, too. Yes, the Sky Tower offers a jump by wire. It isn't a bouncing drop like a bungee would be, so you should be able to snap some fantastic pictures.

If you take pictures of concerts and other live entertainment as your subject, try the Victoria Park Market area. It is near the Sky Tower in downtown Auckland and live acts are often found performing there.

Are your favorite subjects to photograph animals or underwater species? If so, the Auckland Zoo houses many animals and is divided into sections. These are the Pridelands, the Wetlands, the Rainforest, an aviary, an Asian elephants area, and a Kiwi Tuatara House to name a few parts of the zoo.

For the aquatic shots, Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World takes you on a mobile walkway where you will see penguins, sharks, and in fact more than 2000 creatures that live under or near the water. This is a fantastic opportunity for some unforgettable photographs.

If you enjoy the pictures you can get at a living museum, the Howick Historical Village is located about half an hour from Auckland. Life in mid to late 19th century New Zealand is depicted. The costumed guides found here will not mind having their picture taken while performing their work.

For some shots that you would not be able to find in most other locations, plan to visit Auckland's Volcanic Field. There are about 50 volcanoes here that are no longer active. The two major peaks are Mount Eden and One Tree Hill. There are parks here where you will see various forms of wildlife but the best photographic opportunities will be the volcanoes themselves.

While you are visiting One Tree Hill, stop in at the Stardome Observatory. It is a planetarium that shows countless stars, comets, the galaxies, etc.

You may choose to take one of the ferries that are offered to visit a nature reserve or two located on small islands in the area. There are caves to explore (naturally there are some excellent photo shoot opportunities here!) and lava flows. The views are awesome but you need to remember to wear proper footwear and dress accordingly when visiting the islands. Carry water along with you as well. Be prepared for the "sun meets lava" high heat.

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