Reflections: My Top 10 List in New Zealand

Anyone who follows my photography, in particular my Instagram account, will know very well that mirror reflection photos of beautiful nature spots are at the top of my list of favourite photo opportunities. I seem to not be alone in loving reflections. There seems to be an instinctual human attraction to symmetry and evenness. With those things in mind, I thought I would share a list of places I love to catch some great reflections.

Number 10 – Wellington City

Wellington is my home town; a harbour city that also happens to be one of the windiest cities in the world. It’s not naturally thought of as a spot to capture reflections, so while the reflections there on a good day may not be the most mirror-like, there is something particularly satisfying about catching them when they occur. When the wind speeds are around the 2-4km in Wellington, I try my best to get out and capture some harbour reflections.

Pink clouds Chaffers Marina Wellington Harbour Sunrise
Chaffers Marina Wellington Sunrise
Wellington City Skyline at Night lights reflections
Wellington Nightscape Reflections
Wellington Lagoon Boatshed Whairepo Sunrise Reflections New Zealand
Wellington Whairepo Lagoon Sunrise
Wellington City Skyline Harbour Reflections New Zealand Sunset
Wellington City Reflections at Sunset

Number 9 - Lake Hayes, Queenstown

Lake Hayes has long been a thorn in my side! On one of my first ever holidays to Queenstown I saw some amazing reflections at Lake Hayes. However it’s been several long years of waiting to get another chance. Each year I have visited the lake but there has always been a bit of a ripple. Things paid off this year at the Olympus Queenstown Winter Festival, where we scored an epic sunset and a lake calm enough for reflections. I also happened to see amazing reflects this year at the end of our family holiday, but we were running late for our flight and couldn’t stop. Hoping I don’t have to wait too long to see them again!

Lake Hayes Queenstown Sunset girl on a jetty
Lake Hayes Queenstown at Sunset
Burning sunset Lake Hayes jetty in Queenstown
Stunning Queenstown Sunset Lake Hayes

Number 8 - Pouakai Tarn, Taranaki

Back in February 2016, when I was taking my fledgling steps along my photography journey, I decided I would visit Pouakai Tarn to catch mountain reflections. My goal was to get a lovely photo to give as a wedding present to two friends who were getting married. We rocked up in the evening, and watched the wind die as the stars came out. I got some shots I was happy with, though I would love to try again now that I know a bit more about what I am doing. Later I found out how notoriously difficult it is to get a cloudless, still day or evening to catch such shots. Luck was on my side that day, but several trips back to Taranaki and I have not been able to see this beauty again. Hoping the weather plays ball soon!

Stars and Milky Way over Mt Taranaki reflection Pouakai Tarn
Stars over Mt Taranaki and Pouakai Tarn
Mt Taranaki Sunset and Stars, Pouakai Tarn
Sunset and stars over Mt Taranaki
Pouakai Tarn Sunset Mt Taranaki Reflections
Mt Taranaki reflects in Pouakai Tarn at sunset

Number 7 - Lake Rotoiti, Nelson

Lake Rotoiti is a fairly large lake, but towering mountains all around it means you can get some stunning reflections on still mornings. Conveniently there are three jetties dotted at points of road access, which photographers always love. It’s high on my list to catch some star reflections at the lake soon. Beware the sand flies though, they will try to kill you.

Lake Rotoiti reflections with jetty at sunrise