Fantail Falls on the Haast River

Fantail Falls on the Haast River

Driving to Queenstown from Franz Joseph is wonderful 5 hour drive down the west coast and through Mount Aspiring National Park. Approximately half way to Queenstown, an hour away from Wanaka, is Fantail Falls. This 23 metre waterfall is well worth seeing as it drops into the crystal clear water of the Haast River. To capture the river in the foreground I got the camera as close to the water as possible. Typically I would have zoomed into the waterfall itself but in the photograph I wanted to show the river and nature that surrounds the falls. This waterfall is only a few minutes walk from the carpark just off State Highway 6. Whilst the waterfall is on the opposite side of the river you don’t need to cross the water to get this great view. There were a couple of people swimming in the river. Nearby was a fallen tree on the river bank covered with small piles of stones which people had placed there.

Maruia Falls

Driving through the South Island from Nelson towards the west coast we had to stop here. Maruia Falls is easily accessible from the road (State Highway 65). Its an ideal picnic stop. A couple of hours drive away from either Greymouth or Hanmer Springs. The height of these falls is 10 metres. When I first arrived I was disappointed at the cloudy weather and didn’t think I could take a good enough photo to share online. Exploring the area I was able to get down close to the water. The rocks shown here in the foreground weren’t very big but add much needed interest to the composition of this photograph.

Shine Falls

Deep in the forest is this spectacular 58 metre high waterfall. It’s about one and a half hours drive north of Napier in the Hawke Bay region of New Zealand. After rough gravel road for the last 6.5km to the carpark. Then a 45 minute walk from there. It was amazing to come across such a huge waterfall on the Boundary Stream. The viewpoints are very close to the waterfall itself. Making it a challenge to capture on camera. So close in fact my camera couldn’t capture the full height at a 24mm focal length. You can’t get further back due to the forest. Sadly I didn’t bring a super wide angle lens with me. The spray from the waterfall soaked myself, the camera and tripod. So between each frame I had to wipe down the lens. In the end this is two photographs combined together in post processing.

Maraetotara Falls

About 40 minutes drive south of Napier is Maraetotara Falls. Close to the site of the old Havelock North Power Station. It’s a short 10 minute walk from the road. That said the access to where this photograph was taken was far from ideal. Certainly far from accessible. It’s a tiered waterfall with a height of 15 metres. When we went in the morning there was only one other couple. They had been for a swim in this crystal clear water. There’s also a view down on the falls from the left side. As we were leaving a dozen or so people turned up with a BBQ so clearly it’s a popular swimming spot with locals.