Let's throw it back to the beginning of 2020 before all these travel restrictions existed...


At that time I had been home from my trip to New Zealand for exactly 1 month. I've been wanting to do a brief blog about the highlights of that trip since then, and I thought this would be a GREAT time to do it while we are all CRAVING a vacation elsewhere in the world. So, here are 10 of my highlights from my time spent in New Zealand to satisfy your craving for a little while. Or maybe make it worse...

Highlight #1: Quality bonding time with Ben, Julia, Claire and Isaiah.


For those of you who don't know, the purpose of my trip to New Zealand was to visit my brother Ben, his wife Julia, my niece Claire, and my nephew Isaiah. They moved there so Ben can complete his PhD, and it was so sweet to see their new home and spend time with them after not seeing them for 8 months.

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Sumner Beach in Christchurch

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Farewell Spit in Golden Bay

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Lavender Farm in Kaikoura

Highlight #2: Lake Pukaki


Lake Pukaki gets its bright blue color from the finely ground minerals in its glacier-fed waters. I road-tripped a few hours to this lake with my parents. We enjoyed the breathtaking view, had good chats, and shared a delicious picnic. It was unbelievably quiet with no tourists in sight. A photographer's dream!!! With such a quiet location, it was only appropriate that my Dad play the air guitar to maintain the peaceful silence. The SURPRISE BONUS in this little trip was the wildflower field we found on our drive.

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo
New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo
New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Highlight #3: Akaroa


Akaroa is a town on Banks Peninsula, Southeast of Christchurch. It is situated in a beautiful harbour overlooking bright blue waters where rare Hector's Dolphins can be seen. Unfortunately I did not see them... BUT I did enjoy a walk beside the gorgeous water and shared some fish and chips for lunch. This was the day I learned that the sun in the Southern Hemisphere is stronger because I got TORCHED.

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo
New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Highlight #4: Kaiteriteri Beach


We stopped at this stunning beach on our way from Golden Bay to Christchurch. When you find a beautiful beach your first thought should be: DANCING PICS!!! At least, mine was. So, I made my parents dance on this beach and I think it's safe to say that Dad enjoyed the embarassment of a beach full of confused people more than Mom did. Also, I've heard professional photoshoots are not as popular in New Zealand, so I think we did a good job of identifying ourselves as foreigners that day.

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo
New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo
New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Highlight #5: Wharariki Beach


On our trip to Golden Bay we visited Wharariki Beach, the most northern tip of the South Island of New Zealand. It also just so happens to be the windiest beach I've ever experienced. I thought it was incredible, but Claire and Isaiah were terrified as they approached a seemingly fun beach and were instantly whipped in the face with windblown sand. Not pictured here is them asking to go home. If you plan to visit this beach, check the weather forecast first!!!

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo
New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Highlight #6: Golden Bay Holiday House


We took a little road trip up to Golden Bay and stayed in a beach front condo for a few nights. If you think that photo on the far left is a large painting of a stunning beach on the wall, it is actually the view from our condo's living room window!!! We spent the majority of the time either eating or laying in the sand. An added bonus was that I somehow managed to convince my brother to do a mini couples shoot with his wife on the beach!!!

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo
New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo
New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Highlight #7: Sunsets!!!!


I looked out the window of our Golden Bay condo and saw this beautyyyyyyy sunset, so naturally, I asked my parents to come down to the beach with me for a photo session. They were very willing models!!!

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo
New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Highlight #8: Sumner Beach


This beach is only a 15 minute drive from Ben and Julia's house in Christchurch!!! We spent New Year's Eve here, had some fun in the sun, then enjoyed dinner on the beach with the whole gang.

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo
New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo
New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Highlight #9: Port Hills


The Port Hills are a range of hills in Canterbury where we found a stunning lookout spot beside a delicious hilltop cafe. This seemed like a good spot to do the "Bucking Bronco" prompt until we discovered Julia is a bit scared of heights. Turns out, being piggy backed and shaken around at the edge of a steep hill is not viewed as a "photo op" by everyone! Here we have a photo of Julia, both terrified and cracking up about how funny the prompt was.

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo
New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Highlight #10: Capturing the pure JOY between my parents


I'd have my parents model at almost every spot we went to. They were more than happy to be EMP's "mature models". For the record, they came up with that title, not me! What is clear in all of these photos of my parents is genuinely joyful moments they share on a regular basis.

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Golden Bay Holiday House

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Walk to Wharariki Beach

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

Farewell Spit in Golden Bay

What an AMAZING trip with so many memories made!!!! I felt SO rested after this adventure! Until next time, and YES there will definitely be a next time!!!! Once it's safe to do so ;)

New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

HOST SHOUTOUTS:

  1. Delicious home cooking by Julia Moerman
  2. "Special s'mores" by Ben Moerman
New Zealand travel photography Esther Moerman Photo

P.S. If you're looking for outdoor headshots for your business, give EMP a call if you want to look as good as this sheep. You better believe his lavender farm will be getting more visitors once he pops this up on the website.