Queenstown: A Weekend with Olympus

I was lucky enough to be invited to Queenstown for a short trip last month thanks to Olympus, for the launch of the new OM-D E-M10 Mark III camera. It was a memorable weekend shared with a small group of talented creatives, full of new adventures, friendships, and skills! A couple of photography workshops assured we were learning on the go, and encouraged me to look at the world from another perspective.

Photo by Ante Badzim

Photo by Ante Badzim

As soon as I saw the astonishing snow capped mountains as the flight was descending into Queenstown Airport, I knew this was going to be an exciting few days. I had to pinch myself after I stepped out of the plane as we were greeted with the most picturesque scenic views I have ever encountered at an airport. I was so caught up in the moment I didn’t get the chance to pull out my camera for a quick snap!

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Accommodation
Staying at The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments was amazing to say the least. The balcony views, which looked over Lake Wakatipu, as well as the Remarkable Mountains - were simply breathtaking. We each stayed in the 1 bedroom apartments, which included an open kitchen, dining and lounge area, laundry (washer and dryer), bathroom, and a spacious balcony equipped with an outdoor dining table. There was also a fireplace in the lounge room, which was perfect to snuggle up in front of with a warm cup of tea!

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On the last morning, I woke up just in time for a beautiful sunrise viewed from the balcony. Lisa from The Wandering Lens gave us some helpful photography tips during her workshop. One trick she showed us was taking photos with a smartphone screen reflection; which we all got onboard with and tried our best to master. Here is my best attempt!

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Lake Wakatipu Cruise
On Friday night, we had a welcome dinner and drinks on the Lake Wakatipu Cruise. We braved the cold and wind to begin experimenting with our new cameras - which was completely worth it for our surrounding scenery. We were also lucky to catch a glimpse of the sunset, while feasting on a delicious meal that was prepared for us on board.

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Helicopter Ride to The Remarkables
We kicked off Saturday morning with a Helicopter ride to the top of the Remarkables, which just had to be my highlight of the trip. Even though it was so cold my fingers became numb, it was worth every second, as I was so enamoured by the surrounding landscape. Along with the helicopter ride which allowed us to see Queenstown from another perspective, it is definitely an experience I will never forget.

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Photo by Emma Kate

Photo by Emma Kate

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Next stop - Gibbston Valley Winery!
We were treated to a short wine tasting tour, which was followed by a delicious tasting lunch menu!

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Wanaka Lavender Farm
Unfortunately the lavender were not in bloom, but there are plenty of other things to do at the farm. I enjoyed walking through the peaceful fields, and caught some other flowers in bloom. There are also adorable animals on site (alpacas, pig, chickens), which were quite popular with the visitors. If you’re a big fan of Lavender products, there is a cafe and gift shop too!

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We couldn’t go to Queenstown without making a stop at Lake Wanaka, to take some snaps of the Instagram famous Wanaka Tree! just like every other stop we had made, the scenery was breathtaking.

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The drive back through Cardrona Valley was incredible, but we didn’t last long in the freezing, windy weather! I still managed to get a few quick photos though. Special thanks to Lisa for hand modelling for me!

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Glenorchy
Sunday morning began with a workshop by the lovely Rachel Devine. We then headed to Glenorchy (where some scenes of Lord of The Rings was filmed!!) to put some of our new knowledge to good use! Surrounded by captivating mountain ranges contrasted with the iconic red hut, I felt like I was in paradise and didn’t want to leave

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Thanks to Jewelszee for being my hand model!

Thanks to Jewelszee for being my hand model!

Travel and landscape photography is still quite new to me, but having the time to experiment with my new Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III camera, with the guidance of some experts, was truly a great experience. Having the chance to do that in one of the most beautiful places in the world was just the icing on the cake! The camera is lightweight and mirrorless, with interchangeable lenses and new easily accessible functions. I packed light this trip and did not have my laptop with me, so the built in Wi-Fi feature was extremely convenient for importing photos directly to my phone. This allowed me to share them with my friends and family back home, as well posting on social media.

I’m excited to explore new places (whether in my hometown or overseas), with all the new skills I’ve learnt, along with my trusty new camera. Huge thanks to Olympus for an unforgettable weekend in Queenstown!

All images captured on the OM-D E-M10 Mark III.
This post is sponsored by Olympus and the camera is available from Ted’s Cameras. All opinions are my own.

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