Interesting locations for photographers
New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington is both compact and full of life, set on the edge of an interesting harbour and surrounded by rolling hills. Wellington is full of great places for photography, from the historic buildings and churches, to parks and gardens.
Wellington is home to the national museum, as well as theatre, dance, performance companies. Wellington has a vibrant night life, as well as abundant restaurants and coffee shops.
Wellington Cable Car
In my oppinion the most iconic pictures of Wellington are from the top of the cable car ride. The cable car is a great way to get to the botanical gardens with all it’s photographic opportunities. As well as the park, once at the top you can also visit the cable car museum or the national astronomy centre.
Wellington Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens lie in the center of the city with a number of different entrances into the park including the cable car. Opened in 1869, the park is a beuatifully matured and well maintained place to relax or wander arround with a camera.
The gardens being popular with portrait and wedding photographers as well as nature photographers. A couple of the photographic things to look for are the views accross Wellington, the lookout across the duck pond, the wrought-iron gates of the main entrance and the peace garden waterfall.
From a botanical points of view some of the highlights are the Lady Norwood Rose Garden, with a huge varieties of roses, the herb garden, the begonia house and the Maori herb beds.
Mount Victoria Wellington
Mount Victoria, is a great wellington lookout point and can also be one of the windiest. A winding road, signposted ‘Lookout’, runs up from Oriental Bay to the Byrd Memorial just below the viewing platform. From the the summit 200m up, there is a magnificent panorama of the city, harbor, Hutt Valley and Cook Strait.
Aotea Lagoon Wellington
Close to Porirua, Aotea Lagoon is a lovely park with rose gardens, water features, shade house, miniature ride-on railway, fishing and recreational areas. My favourite part of Aotea Lagoon for pictures is the wooden archway leading into the rose garden – a beautiful frame for portrait photos.
When the sun is not too harsh the fishing jetty and also the bridge over the water fountains are great spots for people pictures.
Battle Hill Wellington
Historically named as the Site of one of the last battles between Maori and colonial forces in the Wellington region. Huge area ( 500 hectares ), with a couple of lovely walks through native bush and beautiful panoramic views to keep any landscape photographer happy.
Battle hill farm is the site for a large number of events and school visits as well as being very popular with campers. The winding stream and wooden bridge provide a couple of good opportunities for snapping a few kids portraits while they play.
The Nice thing about Wellington zoo is the ability to get quite close to some of the animal without having glass or bars in your pictures. The clever use of platforms and height means you can get great pictures of Lions, red pandas and other animals.
Wellington zoo has a good variety of animals comprising over 100 different species including sun bear, chimps, Red Panda, Sumatran Tiger, giraffe and closer to home animals such as Tuatara and Brown Kiwi. My favourite would be the meer cats where you can get in almost touching distance, making for some great shots.
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary has some interesting photo opportunities for native wildlife, but you need to have some patience to get the shot. The sanctuary expanded it’s buildings in 2010 and has a lot of information on New Zealand wildlife, providing a great place to learn.
There are also other photographic opportunities by the lake, with a quaint turretted control building making a nice picture.
Red Rocks Wellington
Red Rocks is on the south coast of Wellington, an ancient volcanic formation between the footpath and the sea, Small amounts of iron oxides give the rocks their distinctive colouring.
Pack your telephoto lens as during Winter there is a unique wellington wildlife sight, with a colony of seals making its home at Sinclair Head. You can start the walk from Owhiro bay parade, Island bay.
Antrim House Wellington
Antrim House is a small unexpected treasure in the middle of Wellington and another good photo opportunity. Although Antrim is dwarfed by the surrounded by high rise buildings it still manages to maintain a quiet sanctuary with nice lawns and trees and grand stairs leading up to the house.
The house itself has many fine features, ornate ceilings and stained glass windows with a beautiful wooden staircase. Antrim house is owned by the New Zealand Historic Buildings Trust and you can look on their website for more information.
Old Government Building Wellington
One of the largest wooden buildings in the world, the old government building built in 1876 is an impressive sight. A four story building in the Italian Renaissance style. The building is now used by the Law society, but has sections open to the public on most days. Both the outside of the building and the magnificient wooden stairs provide ample photo opportunities.