Not only is New Zealand home to some of the most stunning scenery on the planet, but its rugged tracks and wild weather thrill visitors with surprises around every corner. We recently spotted this gorgeous engagement photo shoot by Maz of Black Bird Tale and we're struck by the vivid imagery and the story behind the couple’s two-day road trip with their photographer.
From snow-capped mountains to the wild golden summer grasses in the valley, Mount Cook shines supreme in this photo series. Straight from the photographer, here's the scoop on all things Queenstown and photo worthy.
Words and Photography by Maz Pedersen of Black Bird Tale
When Steffi and Andy contacted me to capture their engagement photos at Mount Cook I knew straight away that I really wanted to work with this couple. They were adventurous and really wanted to go off the beaten track to get gorgeous photos. We spent two days shooting in the surrounds of Mount Cook and Queenstown. The whole experience was like a two day road trip where we stopped along the way to take photos all while having an amazing time and enjoying the spectacular scenery that the South Island of New Zealand has to offer.
The Mount Cook photos were taken along the Hooker Valley Trek which is a 3 hour trek that goes right near Mount Cook. Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is a rugged land of ice and rock. Walking one of the tracks is the best way to experience the untouched land. Picturesque icebergs, glaciers and majestic mountains had me reaching for my camera at every turn.
The full Hooker Valley walk takes 4 hours return. Start at the Visitor Centre or White Horse Hill campground/carpark (at the end of Hooker Valley Rd off State Highway 80). The track leads up the Hooker Valley, along the Hooker River and ends at the glacier lake, where there are amazing views of Aoraki/Mount Cook on a clear day.
The Hooker Valley track is mostly flat and well formed but some sections are rocky or muddy, and there are three swing bridges to cross. Be prepared for changeable weather conditions. Although Steffi & Andy’s shoot was done in the middle of summer (January) we were incredibly lucky that it snowed the day before the shoot so we had beautiful snow capped mountains as our backdrop!
The second day we drove up into the hills that surround Queenstown. Everywhere you look there is amazing scenery! We stopped in the cute little town Arrowtown which has a wealth of quirky little shops and hidden gems. The rest of the day we spent driving the hills around Queenstown for photos with the beautiful long golden grass and mountains in the background.
Photography: Black Bird Tale
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