Snapshots of New Zealand

It started as a silly joke and cheap attempt to win air tickets to Auckland, New Zealand for a Singapore Airlines contest.

As I have never visited New Zealand, I have no photographs of the country to participate in the contest. So I shamelessly sent some messages to a few friends who live in New Zealand or visited the country in the past and 'begged' for some photographs. To my surprise, my friends graciously shared their favourite snapshots of the places which they visited with friends and families. As a result, I re-connected with friends whom I have not met in years as I collected their memories of New Zealand. Since I have accumulated so many gorgeous photographs now, I decided to showcase them and my friends' talented photography skills here.

Enjoy your journey through New Zealand with these images and narratives.

And thanks to all beautiful souls for your photographs and perspectives!


  Alphra Lavender farm in Kihikihi by Jesse Whitehead of  Ryukyucam    A beautiful family in middle of a beautiful Alphra lavender farm in Kihikihi, a small town located in the Waikato region. 30 minutes ride from the farm is Jesse’s hometown Hamilton, a city in the North island of New Zealand. He is the first Kiwi I got to know well and I am always very amazed by how down-to-earth and kind he is. He reminded me that there is no need to “assess” every assignment and live in the moment. 

Alphra Lavender farm in Kihikihi by Jesse Whitehead of Ryukyucam

A beautiful family in middle of a beautiful Alphra lavender farm in Kihikihi, a small town located in the Waikato region. 30 minutes ride from the farm is Jesse’s hometown Hamilton, a city in the North island of New Zealand. He is the first Kiwi I got to know well and I am always very amazed by how down-to-earth and kind he is. He reminded me that there is no need to “assess” every assignment and live in the moment. 

  Raglan estuary on the West Coast of the North island by Jesse Whitehead of  Ryukyucam

Raglan estuary on the West Coast of the North island by Jesse Whitehead of Ryukyucam

  Lake Taupo, Shino and the swan by Jesse Whitehead of  Ryukyucam

Lake Taupo, Shino and the swan by Jesse Whitehead of Ryukyucam

  Mt Maunganui on the east coast of the North Island by Jesse Whitehead of  Ryukyucam

Mt Maunganui on the east coast of the North Island by Jesse Whitehead of Ryukyucam

  Wellington Cable Car by Jesse Whitehead of  Ryukyucam

Wellington Cable Car by Jesse Whitehead of Ryukyucam

  Hamilton's cherry blossoms and happy family by Jesse Whitehead of  Ryukyucam

Hamilton's cherry blossoms and happy family by Jesse Whitehead of Ryukyucam

  Auckland Tower and nightlights by Jesse Whitehead of  Ryukyucam

Auckland Tower and nightlights by Jesse Whitehead of Ryukyucam

A truly remarkable panoramic shot of The Remarkables by Nicholas Lee (photographer of Furry Photos)

Who was on Coronet Peak in early Autumn and captured the subtle shades of colours. The Remarkables mountain range and Coronet Peak are not just well known ski regions but also popular for off-season activities. Do you know that The Remarkable was featured as the slopes of Dimrill Dale in the Lord of the Rings where Aragorn led the Fellowship to Lothlorien after the Mines of Moria? Both The Remarkables and Coronet Peak are located in Otago, a south-eastern region on New Zealand’s South Island, which entices adventure and nature lovers with its dynamic terrain of mountain ranges, lakes, beaches and diverse wildlife! 

  Along Kingston Road heading to Queenstown by  N icholas Lee (photographer of  Furry Photos )

Along Kingston Road heading to Queenstown by Nicholas Lee (photographer of Furry Photos)

  Mount Cook by  N icholas Lee (photographer of  Furry Photos )

Mount Cook by Nicholas Lee (photographer of Furry Photos)

  Picturesque panorama of Milford Sound from Peace Boat by Edu Villa   A Japan-based international NGO and NPO that promotes peace, human rights and many other social causes through its main activities on global peace voyages. This inspirational photo is shared by free-spirited Edu, a Global English Teaching programme coordinator of Peace Boat, whose mission is to spread the peace message and joy for language learning around the world. On Peace Boat’s 96th voyage, the ship sailed through the magical Fiordland National Park with a spectacular fusion of mountains, waterfalls and wildlife. 

Picturesque panorama of Milford Sound from Peace Boat by Edu Villa

A Japan-based international NGO and NPO that promotes peace, human rights and many other social causes through its main activities on global peace voyages. This inspirational photo is shared by free-spirited Edu, a Global English Teaching programme coordinator of Peace Boat, whose mission is to spread the peace message and joy for language learning around the world. On Peace Boat’s 96th voyage, the ship sailed through the magical Fiordland National Park with a spectacular fusion of mountains, waterfalls and wildlife. 

  Peace Boat at Auckland Harbour by Edu Villa

Peace Boat at Auckland Harbour by Edu Villa

  Mount Cook by Charlotte Maple Megret   The amazing French girl so well-travelled and wise beyond her years kindly showed me a stunning view of Mount Cook. The tallest mountain in New Zealand at 3742m is also known as Aoraki which means cloud piercer in Māori. The National Park is home to majestic peaks and glaciers, and provides adventure-seekers a range of alpine activities to choose from. 

Mount Cook by Charlotte Maple Megret

The amazing French girl so well-travelled and wise beyond her years kindly showed me a stunning view of Mount Cook. The tallest mountain in New Zealand at 3742m is also known as Aoraki which means cloud piercer in Māori. The National Park is home to majestic peaks and glaciers, and provides adventure-seekers a range of alpine activities to choose from. 

  Sea Lion at Lake Tekapo by Charlotte Maple Megret

Sea Lion at Lake Tekapo by Charlotte Maple Megret

  Lake Tekapo and amazing-jumping ladies by Charlotte Maple Megret

Lake Tekapo and amazing-jumping ladies by Charlotte Maple Megret

  Pohara Beach in the South Island by Chiaki Bolam-Smith   Nestled along the arc of the Golden Bay in the town of Takaka, Pohara’s sandy beach stretches for miles during the low tides. Another endearing Kiwi friend, Chiaki took a mesmerising shot of the sunset. I had the privilege to enjoy some evocative sunsets with her during our voyage around the world. Spending time with her is as splendid as admiring sunset on a pristine beach. Some of the kindest and wisest folks I have met are from New Zealand. Perhaps there’s something about the landscape or even sunset that brings out the best of humanity.

Pohara Beach in the South Island by Chiaki Bolam-Smith

Nestled along the arc of the Golden Bay in the town of Takaka, Pohara’s sandy beach stretches for miles during the low tides. Another endearing Kiwi friend, Chiaki took a mesmerising shot of the sunset. I had the privilege to enjoy some evocative sunsets with her during our voyage around the world. Spending time with her is as splendid as admiring sunset on a pristine beach. Some of the kindest and wisest folks I have met are from New Zealand. Perhaps there’s something about the landscape or even sunset that brings out the best of humanity.

  Wharariki Beach by Chiaki Bolam-Smith

Wharariki Beach by Chiaki Bolam-Smith

  Franz Josef Glacier by  Yoshitaka Minami    A magnificent World Heritage area located in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park on New Zealand’s South Island. Franz Josef's cloak of ice once flowed from the mountains right to the sea. After eons of retreat, the glacier is hidden inland now. This stunning shot was captured by Yoshi who spent 10 months in New Zealand on the working holiday programme. The overwhelming natural beauty of the glacier is mirrored by Yoshi’s overwhelming sense of adventure and resilience as he travelled all over New Zealand. 

Franz Josef Glacier by Yoshitaka Minami

A magnificent World Heritage area located in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park on New Zealand’s South Island. Franz Josef's cloak of ice once flowed from the mountains right to the sea. After eons of retreat, the glacier is hidden inland now. This stunning shot was captured by Yoshi who spent 10 months in New Zealand on the working holiday programme. The overwhelming natural beauty of the glacier is mirrored by Yoshi’s overwhelming sense of adventure and resilience as he travelled all over New Zealand. 

   R eflection Lake by    Yoshitaka Minami

Reflection Lake by Yoshitaka Minami

  Wanaka by  Yoshitaka Minami
  A view of New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty near the lake house of  Yosumi Daisuke    A mobile bohemian who advocates a sustainable lifestyle, Yosumi used to be a record company producer in Japan before moving to New Zealand. He has eschewed a consumerist city life to pursue a minimalistic and self-sustaining life on the north island. He writes and lectures about his experiences and ‘design lifestyle’ as he travels around the world about 6 months a year. When he is back in his haven in New Zealand, he spends time trekking and fly-fishing in Nature. Bay of Plenty was named by James Cook after he noted the bay’s abundant food supplies and villages and called it a ‘bay of plenty’. It is so apt that Yosumi has built a home along the bay, embodied living a simple life of plenty, and opened my eyes to how living with less is living with more! 

A view of New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty near the lake house of Yosumi Daisuke

A mobile bohemian who advocates a sustainable lifestyle, Yosumi used to be a record company producer in Japan before moving to New Zealand. He has eschewed a consumerist city life to pursue a minimalistic and self-sustaining life on the north island. He writes and lectures about his experiences and ‘design lifestyle’ as he travels around the world about 6 months a year. When he is back in his haven in New Zealand, he spends time trekking and fly-fishing in Nature. Bay of Plenty was named by James Cook after he noted the bay’s abundant food supplies and villages and called it a ‘bay of plenty’. It is so apt that Yosumi has built a home along the bay, embodied living a simple life of plenty, and opened my eyes to how living with less is living with more!