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North Island, New Zealand: Stunning photography spots

By Rosamond Chung 2 December 2020

Known as one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world, New Zealand’s North Island is often underrated compared to its island neighbours to the south. Being underrated has its upsides though—these insta-worthy spots are not as packed and allow for better photo-taking opportunities. So come look through the best spots to take some amazing photos in this beautiful country.

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Photo Credit: Tyler Devine (via Unsplash)


Lying on the east of the North Island, Coromandel is known amongst most Kiwis as a place with stunning views and beaches. The famous Cathedral Cove is a definitely must-see spot even if it takes 40 minutes to get there by foot. During your walk to the cove, you can wander around and try to find some hidden gems. If this isn’t enough to excite you, go check out Karangahake Gorge which has gorgeous lakes, lush mountain views, and abandoned tunnels.

Cathedral Cove, Mares Leg Cove, Hahei 3591, New Zealand

Karangahake Gorge, State Highway 2, Karangahake 3674, New Zealand

Photo Credit: Daniel Chen (via Unsplash)

Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park is known for some of the most diverse groups of landscape in the North. The most well-known spot is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing; which is a 20-kilometre hike that will show you all the epic scenery—rainforests, glacial valets, crater lakes, lava fields, etc. Since this is a rather long and demanding hike, it is best to start early so you have enough time to finish and also capture some sick shots!

Tongariro National Park, Manawatu-Wanganui 4691, New Zealand

Photo Credit: YC Chang (via Flickr)

Mclaren Falls Park

Located outside of Tauranga, this spot is perfect to check out in the autumn if you want some amazing colour contrast in your pictures. One of the main highlights of the park is the waterfall track which leads you to see glow worms after dusk. This spot is not only beautiful but you can also camp, fish, and kayak throughout the year. So be sure to take some amazing pictures in one of the best botanical collection of trees in NZ.

McLaren Falls Park, 190 McLaren Falls Road, Omanawa 3171, New Zealand

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

Photo credit: Aaron Birch (via Unsplash)

Redwood Rotorua

Although Rotorua is known for its amazing adventure-seeking activities, the redwoods in the Whakarewarewa Forest are definitely worth checking out if you want to feel immersed in nature. There are over 56,000 hectares of forest that are available to explore leisurely. Not only is this place great for a run or walk, you can also make use of its well-known network of mountain biking lanes.

Redwoods Rotorua, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3074, New Zealand

Photo credit: Nikolai Vakhroushev (via Flickr)

Taranaki Falls

Considered one of Tongariro’s best short walks, this loop allows for you to see spectacular natural sights like the falls which tumble 20 metres into a pool. The falls reigns over an ancient lava flow that erupted over 15,000 years ago. After taking some shots at the waterfall, you can continue down to the Tama Lakes Track. Enjoy this short walk through the variety of landforms and forests while enjoying views of mountains and waterfalls.

Taranaki Falls, Tongariro Northern Circuit, Manawatu-Wanganui 4691, New Zealand

Photo Credit: Bernard Spragg (via Flickr)

Te Paki Sand Dunes

Only a short drive away from Cape Reigna, the sand dunes are a great photo spot if you want to pretend you are in the Sahara without the dryness. Many come to this spot to race down the slopes or to find interesting formations for some amazing photos. Grab your camera and take some photos of your friends flying down the dunes with the beautiful blue skies as the background.

Te Paki Sand Dunes, 47 Te Paki Stream Road, Cape Reinga 0484, New Zealand

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

By Rosamond Chung 14 November 2020
By Manasee Joshi 12 November 2020
Photo credit: Ashish Ansurkar (via Unsplash)

Cape Reinga

This is at the top of the north island and is considered as the end of the world. Home to a cute little lighthouse, this is a perfect spot to take some beautiful shots of the Tasman Sea meeting the Pacific Ocean. Come visit this spot either during sunrise or sunset for some beautiful lighting and views of the magnificent sea.

Cape Reinga 0484, New Zealand

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Growing up in Hong Kong, Rosamond is a recent high school graduate who is in the middle of her gap year. She has always been interested in capturing little moments and stories in the places she goes to. Whether it’s her love for film photography or her obsession with making playlists, you will always see Roz with a camera around her neck and lo-fi bops playing on her headphones. Follow her adventures on Instagram.