My first experience of shooting some amazing astro photography was at Tekapo in the South Island. It was a cold night, I went out on sunset to shoot the Church of the Good Shepherd. As it got darker, the stars became brighter and brighter. By about 11pm I was experiencing an unusual adrenaline, despite the fact that I was out in the middle of nowhere, in the cold, by myself. It seemed like it was a 360 degree show that the universe was putting on just for me (note, I was not on drugs haha).

I want other people to experience this. I want to share the euphoria that I felt that night, so here’s how I’m going to do it.

I’ve hunted out the best location in the North Island for star gazing and I can confirm – Mt Ngongotaha near Rotorua has the best star gazing in the North Island of New Zealand. I’ve arranged buggies (MAX OF 8 PEOPLE) to take us to the top of Mt Ngongataha, where we’ll spend the evening learning how to shoot night photography and capturing some of the best astronomy photos that the North Island as to offer (if the skies are clear).

We’ll start at 8.00pm where we’ll jump into the buggies and head up to the first stop, where we’ll run through a few settings and I’ll show you a few tricks that we’ll use through the night. At about 8.45 we’ll head up to the first lookout point where we’ll shoot some long exposure photography looking over Rotorua city and Lake Rotorua. As it get’s darker, we’ll jump back into the buggies and head higher, to better views with less light pollution from the city. Later we’ll head into a clearing in the bush, where (if the clouds allow) we’ll be treated to an amazing light show from the stars.

We will finish up back at the car park at about midnight.

You’ll learn about;

  • Shooting low light photography
  • Framing and focusing your night shots
  • Photographing the moon
  • Astronomy/Milky Way photography
  • Super long exposure photography
  • Editing your photos (video lesson provided after the workshop)

This PhotoWalk is best suited to people who have some photography experience and understand the manual settings of their camera. These things are covered in my Free Photography Course, so if you are doing that course, this PhotoWalk will suit you perfectly.

Tea and coffee will be available while we are doing this workshop.

WEATHER – If the weather is bad, we will have to cancel this event. The call will be made at 3pm on the day of the event. If the event is cancelled, EventFinda will automatically refund all payments. Announcements of cancellation will be made through EventFinda and on my Facebook page –


CAMERA – You’ll need a camera that has full manual settings. We’ll be shooting long exposure, so you need to be able to set the exposure time to at least 20 seconds. If you’re unsure of what that means, please join my Free Online Course, the first lesson explains it.

TRIPOD – You’ll definitely need a solid tripod. If you don’t have a solid tripod, NZ Camera have an Up An Adam discount available on THIS AWESOME TRIPOD. Their service is excellent and they always help me out with my gear.

A TORCH – A head torch is best, but any torch will do. It just makes things easier.

JACKET AND A BEANIE – It can get cold on these evenings, especially as we climb to a higher altitude. It will get cold, prepare for that.

LENS CLEANING KIT – If you don’t have a lens cleaning kit, consider getting a few things before coming along. Depending on the weather, things can get dusty when we’re in the field like this, it’s nice to be able to keep things clean when you’re on a shoot. Available in THIS KIT from NZ Camera.

SNACKS – Eating is important, I consider snacks essential. Complimentary tea and coffee will be available at each shooting site.