13 Long Exposure Photos To Inspire You

13 Long Exposure Photos To Inspire You

There are few photographic techniques that have captured the imagination of landscape photographers like long exposure photography. The ability to take an ordinary scene and give it a unique and even otherworldly feel is addictive.

There are many ways to create long exposure photos, from using neutral density filters or shooting in low light, to stacking multiple exposures in photoshop. Whichever technique you use to create the final images, they can be stunning.

The technique works well wherever there are both moving and stationary elements within the scene. It works particularly well with landscape, seascape, and cityscape photography. Leaving the shutter open allows the moving elements to blur. All you need to get started taking long exposure photos isa camera and a tripod.

Here are 13 examples of my own long exposure photos that I’ve created over the last few years. I hope you enjoy them, and if you haven’t tried it for yourself, may they inspire you to give long exposure photography a try.

tauranga bridge marina nz long exposure photos

lake taupo nz long exposure photos

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karangahake gorge nz long exposure photos

pauanui coromandel nz long exposure photos



mount maunganui nz long exposure photos

mount baker washington usa long exposure photos

mount maunganui beach nz long exposure photos

lake rotoiti nz long exposure photos

lake taupo nz long exposure photos

mooloolaba australia long exposure photos

mount maunganui nz long exposure photos



tauranga nz long exposure photos

13 examples of long exposure photography to inspire you

Queensland Road Trip – Brisbane To Cairns

Queensland Road Trip – Brisbane To Cairns

Brisbane To Cairns Queensland Road Trip AustraliaThere’s really nowhere on earth quite like Queensland. Where else can you find desert, rainforest, mountains, islands, coral reef, and some of the most spectacular beaches on the planet all in one place? It’s an enormous place, but if you want an epic Queensland road trip, you can see most of the good stuff by following the coast up from Brisbane to Cairns.

If you’re sticking to the coast, the Brisbane to Cairns drive is less than 24 hours. You can easily do a coastal Queensland Road Trip in under 2 weeks and still visit all the must-see sights. I’m all about road trips and slow travel, so I spent a month doing it, and I still only scratched the surface. There’s so much to see, do, and photograph.

The Ultimate Queensland Road Trip

These are the locations you won’t want to miss. If you’re pushed for time, you won’t be able to visit them all, but if you have 10-14 days it’s totally possible. Obviously, since we’re talking about a Queensland road trip, it will help if you have your own vehicle. Even if you don’t, you’ll still be able to follow this itinerary, as there are buses between Brisbane and Cairns that stop at all these locations.

Brisbane

Whether you’ve driven, flown, bused, or hitch-hiked into Brisbane, you’re gonna want to spend a night there. Brisbane has an unfortunate reputation as a bit of a hole. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s just been compared a little unfairly to Sydney and Melbourne, two of the most liveable cities on earth.

I really liked Brisbane. If you like amazing food, rooftop bars, and live events virtually every night of the week, I’m sure you will too. We spent a couple of nights at the Brisbane City YHA. We timed our visit perfectly as one of my favourite comedians – Stephen K Amos – was on tour. He gave us a few good LOLs and we spent the rest of our time there exploring the city. I particularly liked the New Farm and Fortitude Valley areas.



Brisbane, like most of Australia, is insanely expensive, so if you’re on a budget you’re not gonna want to hang around too long. As much as I liked Brisbane, I was itching to get out of the city and on the road.

Noosa

Your first stop after leaving Brisbane should be Noosa Heads, on the aptly-named Sunshine Coast. Think gorgeous beaches, epic surf, coastal walks, and more amazing bars and restaurants. Noosa is a big tourist attraction thanks to all of the above, so you won’t want to visit during the holidays. Any other time, though, it’s a super chill little town.

Noosa National Park Queensland Road Trip Brisbane To Cairns

All within a short distance from Nomads Hostel Noosa, you’ve got one of Queensland’s best surf beaches, stunning walks that follow the coast through Noosa National Park, the beautiful Noosa river, and loads of food and beer to top it all off. Hastings St has a bunch of great options, but can be pricey. I recommend heading up to Noosa Junction, where the best bars, food, and nightlife can be found.

Fraser Island

SS Maheno Shipwreck Fraser Island Queensland Road Trip Brisbane To Cairns

Since long before arriving in Australia, I’ve been wanting to visit Fraser Island. The largest sand island on earth and a UNESCO World Heritage listed site, there’s nowhere on earth quite like it. Think rainforests, crystal-clear lakes and rivers, whales, dingoes, turtles, beaches, and a whole lotta sand. You’re gonna want to make sure you have your camera for this one, because Fraser Island has some incredible photography spots.

Fraser Island was the place I was most excited about visiting on my Queensland road trip, and it didn’t disappoint. We had three nights camping on the island, and really only scratched the surface. It’s 4WD only on the island, so if you don’t have a vehicle that’s set up for extreme off-road driving, you’ll need to rent one or go with one of the many Fraser Island tours.

Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay is a popular base for exploring Fraser Island. It’s also the place to do a whale-watching tour. Each winter, tens of thousands of humpback whales migrate up the east coast of Australia to breed. If you’re doing your Queensland road trip around this time, I definitely recommend going whale-watching. Seeing these incredible creatures close-up is something truly special.

Urangan Pier Hervey Bay Queensland Road Trip Brisbane To Cairns

Other than Fraser Island and whale-watching, Hervey Bay is a pretty sleepy little town. If you’re not whale-watching, or if you’re self-driving Fraser Island or doing a tour from Noosa, I would skip Hervey bay. It does have a massive pier that’s worth a look.

Seventeen Seventy

It must be the only town in the world named after a year. The Town of 1770 was the second place that Captain James Cook landed in Australia that same year. Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy are so close that they’re basically the same place. It’s a cute, quiet little town that makes a good base to explore the area.

Seventeen Seventy is the place to join a tour of Lady Musgrave Island, known for some of the Great Barrier Reef’s best diving and snorkeling. The area is also surrounded by national parks, which are great locations for bush camping and hiking.

Cape Hillsborough

Cape Hillsborough National Park Queensland Road Trip Brisbane To Cairns

I would skip Mackay and head a further half-hour to Cape Hillsborough National Park. It’s a beautiful headland that has a few different beaches and campgrounds to choose from. We unfortunately missed out on the only Queensland National Parks campground (which are only about $6 per person), but lucked out and found a hidden gem of a campground at Halliday Bay.

If you’ve ever seen photos of kangaroos on the beach, they’re likely here in Cape Hillsborough. Every morning, kangaroos and wallabies come down to the beach to eat seed pods that have washed up on the beach overnight. Or so we were told. What actually happens is a “tour guide” puts food down for them, along with orange cones to keep the crowds back. Not exactly what I was expecting. On the plus side, you’ve made it over half way from Brisbane to Cairns.

Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays

The only instructions I was given for our Queensland road trip were from my partner-in-crime, Rach. “I want to spend my birthday on an island!” What better place to spend your birthday than Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays?

We spent three nights in Airlie Beach, and LOVED it. We didn’t intend to stay that long, but due to some trouble with our 4WD, Al Bundy, we needed to stay an extra night. I was completely okay with it.

For such a popular tourist destination, the town has a surprisingly laid-back feel. We spent Rach’s birthday jetting out amongst the Whitsunday Islands, snorkelling amongst the coral reef, sunbathing on Whitehaven Beach, watching whales play, and drinking cold beers on Palm Bay Island. Bliss.

Whitehaven Beach Whitsundays Queensland Road Trip Brisbane To Cairns

There are a ton of Whitsunday Island tour companies based in Airlie Beach. They offer everything from half/full-day tours to overnight reef-sleep packages and self-charters. Whatever you choose to do, don’t skip the Whitsundays. It really is one of the jewels of the Great Barrier Reef.

Townsville and Magnetic Island

Koala Bears mother and baby Queensland Road Trip Brisbane To Cairns

I’ll admit, I didn’t know a lot about Magnetic Island before our Queensland road trip. I knew it was off the coast of Townsville, and that was about it. Sometimes it’s better to visit a place without any expectations.

Magnetic Island has so much going on, you’re gonna need a full day at least. I wish I had stayed a night there and made it two days. If you get the early ferry, you can watch the sunrise from the boat (always a great start to the day). You can get a bus pass for the day, which will take you all over the east side of the island.

Make sure you don’t miss The Forts hiking trail. You can see some old WWII forts, and if you’re lucky, some koala bears. Also, Radical Bay is a gorgeous little cove that you can’t miss. Watching sunset over Horseshoe Bay is a pretty epic way to finish the day.

 

Mission Beach Dunk Island Queensland Road Trip Brisbane To CairnsMission Beach

North of Townsville, on the Cassowary Coast, lies Mission Beach. It’s actually a few beaches, but the whole area has come to be known as Mission Beach. If you go in winter, like we did, you’ll find you’re well and truly in the territory of the grey nomads, a horde of retirees escaping the colder southern states.

This sleepy little collection of beaches is paradise. Endless, white-sand beaches, palm trees, crystal-clear water, and the perfect climate will make you want to unpack and stay forever. This is a great spot to spend a day or two reading and chilling on the beach. If you can’t sit still, you can catch a boat the short distance to Dunk Island, just off the coast. I also recommend checking out Kurrimine Beach, north of Mission Beach.

Atherton Tablelands

Zillie Falls Atherton Tablelands Queensland Road Trip Brisbane To Cairns

Although the Brisbane to Cairns drive follows the coast, there is one location where I would recommend getting off the Bruce Highway and heading inland. The Atherton Tablelands is an elevated plateau southwest of Cairns, and if you like waterfalls, definitely worth taking a detour for.

If you turn off the highway north of Mission Beach and head towards Millaa Millaa, you’ll come across a circuit of three stunning waterfalls within a few minutes drive of each other. They’re pretty popular, so get there early. I was a little disappointed to see the area at the base of Millaa Millaa Falls has been concreted following some flood damage recently.

They’re well worth a visit, and you’re not missing much on the coast by taking the inland route. If you’re up for it, there are more waterfalls in the area that require a bit more driving. It’s a slow, windy road, but makes a nice change from the coastal route.

Cairns

If you make it this far, congratulations. You’ve made it further north than most Australians ever will. You’ve not only made it all the way from Brisbane to Cairns, you’ve also reached the heart of Tropical North Queensland. I’m not sure exactly where the tropics begin, but somewhere along the way, you enter a lush, green world.



Cairns is bigger than I expected. There’s so much going on there, you could easily spend a week exploring the area, as well as the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns is super popular amongst backpackers, so there are a ton of hostels. The city has a pretty decent nightlife, if that’s your thing, and some great food.

We decided we hadn’t had our fill of the reef, so we took another tour, this time right out to the outer reef. We spent a few hours snorkeling amongst the coral, searching for turtles, and wearily watching the reef sharks swimming below us.

Great Barrier Reef Queensland Road Trip Brisbane To Cairns

For many people, their Queensland road trip ends here. Whether flying out of Cairns or turning around and driving back south, far too many people don’t make it any further north. If you can find a couple more days to squeeze in, there are a couple more places I recommend you visit.

Palm Cove

Is there anything that says “tropical paradise” like palm trees on the beach? Palm Cove is a little town just north of Cairns that we fell in love with. There’s not much there except the stunning beach, a few cafes and bars, and a whole lotta palm trees.

Palm Cove Hammock Queensland Road Trip Brisbane To Cairns

We met some backpackers who had stopped there on their Queensland road trip and decided to stay. After talking with them we were seriously tempted to do the same. We could live out of Al Bundy, and we already had our hammock strung up between two palm trees. What else would we need?

The only thing that motivated us to keep moving was what was still to come further north.

Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation Queensland Road Trip Brisbane To Cairns

The northernmost point of our Queensland road trip also happened to be one of my absolute favourites. Cape Tribulation is less than three hours north of Cairns, and there’s nowhere in the world like it. It’s the only place on earth where two UNESCO World Heritage sites meet – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.

The Daintree is the oldest tropical rainforest on earth (over 100 million years old), and it extends right down to the coast. Standing on the beach and seeing a lush, green rainforest in the same place is kinda strange, but incredible to see.

Cape Tribulation is truly a tropical paradise. We stayed three nights, but easily could’ve made it a week or two. Noah Beach was one of the most secluded pieces of paradise I’ve ever seen. We literally had the whole beach to ourselves on more than one occasion. Cape Tribulation Camping also happened to be one of my favourite campgrounds on the whole Queensland road trip. Wood-fired pizzas tend to have that effect on me.

The Long Drive Back

The Brisbane to Cairns drive is a long one. Add the extra 150km to Cape Tribulation, and you’ve driven close to 2000km. If you’re flying out of Cairns or staying in North Queensland, count yourself lucky. We turned around and drove the whole way back down the coast.

If you’re driving back from Cairns to Brisbane, you could stop in to see the places you missed on the way up, or revisit the places you loved and wanted to explore some more. We did a bit of both.

However you choose to do your Queensland road trip, you will have one of the best experiences of your life. Now, go get some wheels, grab your camera, and create some incredible memories.

 

Brisbane To Cairns Queensland Road Trip Australia

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The Best Landscape Photographers In New Zealand

The Best Landscape Photographers In New Zealand

the best landscape photographers from New Zealand to follow on Instagram

It’s no secret that New Zealand has some breathtaking scenery. With such a diverse landscape of mountains, coastline, rivers, lakes, glaciers, islands, and forest, it’s not surprising that photographers from around the world flock here. It also isn’t surprising that New Zealand has produced some of the world’s best landscape photographers.

I consider myself incredibly lucky to call New Zealand home. Among many reasons is that growing up in New Zealand gave me a love for the outdoors and landscape photography. I’ve been inspired and influenced by many photographers over the years, but it’s the ones that capture my stunning homeland that have made the greatest impact on me.

New Zealand’s Best Landscape Photographers

I’ve created a short list of who I consider to be some of the best landscape photographers in New Zealand. It’s by no means exhaustive, as there are far too many to mention here. Most of these photographers are native to New Zealand, but there are a few ‘honorary Kiwis’ in there too. Some are Instagram superstars that you’ve probably come across already, and some have a more modest following. Not that that means anything. They’re all equally worth taking a look at.

Chris McLennan

Chris is a Kiwi photographer that I’ve been following for years and has been a big influence on me. As well as landscapes, he has an impressive portfolio of travel and wildlife photography from New Zealand and all over the world. He’s been doing it a long time, and it shows.

Rach Stewart

Also from my beautiful hometown of Mt Maunganui, Rach Stewart has built an impressive following in a few short years. Her photography captures the New Zealand landscape in a way that makes you stop and stare. How she manages to make time for it between being a mum and running landscape photography workshops I will never know.

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I swear on this morning it could not have been more peaceful … and just before the sun came up the sky changed colour .. dreamy 🏔 A similar shot to this features in my 2019 New Zealand Landscape Calendar, which you can preorder now! Check out the link in my bio or my highlight story, and thanks so much for the ongoing support 🙏 ↠ Canon 5DMkiv ↠ Canon F2.8L16-35 Mkiii ↠ @nisifiltersaustralia IR GND Soft 0.9 – – #newzealandvacations #newzealandguide #ig_shotz_aug18 #splendid_earth #eclectic_shotz #mountaingirls #reflectiongram #globeshotz #moodygrams #allbeauty_addiction #nzmustdo #newzealand #destinationnz #ig_myshots #amazing_longexpo #longexpoelite #longexponz #longexposure_shots #mthrworld #depthsofearth #christchurchnz #special_shots #sunset_vision #bestnatureshot #igworld_global #longexpo_addiction #peoplewhoadventure #earthoutdoors #earth_shotz #uniladadventure

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William Patino

Originally from Australia, William moved to the stunning Fiordland region of New Zealand after falling in love with the landscapes of the South Island. His moody landscapes and seascapes have drawn me in for some time now, and I’m sure you’ll love following his adventures around New Zealand and the world.

Chris Gin

Chris is another Kiwi photographer who’s work I have admired for some time. Although he’s based in Auckland, he clearly manages to escape pretty regularly because some of his landscapes of the mountains of New Zealand will take your breath away.

Laurie Winter

Laurie is a Wellington-based photographer who shoots mainly New Zealand landscapes. Her images are rich with colour and depth, and seem to include everything from the top to the bottom of New Zealand.

Brent Purcell

Based in Hamilton, Brent specialises in long exposure landscape photography. His landscapes feature a lot of mountains, which New Zealand is well known for. I’ve enjoyed following Brent’s photography for some time now, and I’m sure you will also.

Daniel Murray

A South Island native, Daniel has an intimate knowledge of the landscapes of the area, and it shows. His photography is gorgeous. He also runs landscape photography workshops alongside Rach Stewart with Pure Photo Adventures.



Trey Ratcliff

Trey is a household name in the photography world. He’s one of the most followed photographers on the web in thanks partly bringing HDR photography to the masses. No matter how you feel about HDR, Trey is an incredibly warm, generous person, and is constantly pushing the limits of what’s possible in photography. Although he’s American, he’s been based in Queenstown, New Zealand for some time now, so we’re happy to claim him as our own.

Joanna & Jake

Originally from Australia, Joanna and Jake have been making a splash with their photography since moving to New Zealand. If you’re a fan of astrophotography, you’re gonna love their feed. It’s chock full of New Zealand’s gorgeous mountains, glaciers, rivers, lakes, and auroras.

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Tasman Lake, NZ… Ask us anything! . It has been a while since we have done one of these and because astro season has officially started for 2018, we thought we would give you guys the chance to ask us any questions you might have about photography or social media. Looking forward to chatting to you legends! 😁 • • • • • #longexposure_shots @beautifuldestinations #beautifuldestinations @natgeotravel @earthfocus @earthofficial @nakedplanet @moodygrams #nature #tentree #newzealandvacations #moodygrams #hubs_united #newzealandguide #fantastic_earthpix #lonelyplanet #travelnewzealand #ig_shotz_jan18 #mainvision #earthpix #destinationnz #tentree #fantastic_earth #earthofficial #naturegeography #tourtheplanet #wildernessculture @wilderness_culture #outdoortones #modernoutdoors #awesomeearth #earthfocus #discovernature #earthcapture #tlpicks #awesomeglobe #awesome_earthpix

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Who Did I Miss?

Who would you put on your list of the best landscape photographers in New Zealand? If there’s anyone you think is deserving to be included, leave a comment and I’ll check them out and maybe even add them. I’d also love it if you check out my Instagram profile and give me a follow 🙂

Fraser Island’s Top Photo Spots

Fraser Island’s Top Photo Spots

top photo spots on fraser island photography guide queensland australia road trip

If you love sun, sand, and adventure, then it doesn’t get much better than Fraser Island. Just off the Fraser Coast in Queensland, Australia, lies the UNESCO World Heritage listed island. It also happens to be the largest sand island on earth. Apparently that’s a thing.

4WD camping adventure fraser island queensland australia

Fraser Island is synonymous with adventure. You can only get there by ferry. It’s so close to the Queensland Coast that it looks like it’s connected to the mainland. There are no roads on the island other than sandy trails and beaches, so it’s 4WD all the way. It’s also well known for its wildlife – dingos, dugongs, turtles, dolphins, wallabies, possums, and the usual array of Australian fauna that wants to kill you – like snakes.

As you would expect, a place as unique as Fraser Island has some equally unique features that you’re not going to want to miss. Crystal clear streams you can float down, lakes of pure rainwater, the whitest sand you can imagine, huge sand dunes (with rainforests growing on some of them), strange cliffs and rock formations, plus a shipwreck right on the beach.

All this makes Fraser Island not only an incredible place to explore, but also a photographer’s dream. During my four-day adventure on the island as part of a Queensland Road Trip, I took over a thousand photos. The island is massive (over 120km long), so I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to. What I did see and photograph was pretty incredible.

If you’re planning to visit Fraser Island, I recommend you beg, borrow, or steal a 4WD and stay a few days. The freedom you’ll gain from going where you want when you want will be well worth the cost and effort. Driving on the island isn’t difficult if you have the right vehicle, and it’s actually a lot of fun. There are campsites all over Fraser Island, and they’re super cheap.

If self-driving isn’t an option for you, there are a ton of companies that offer Fraser Island tours. There are also a couple of resorts if camping with the snakes isn’t your idea of a good time.

Whichever way you choose to see Fraser, make sure you bring your camera because it’s a feast for the eyes. These are a few of my favourite photo locations on Fraser. None of them are difficult to get to, so don’t miss them.
humpback whales migration fraser island queensland australia
Within half an hour of arriving on Fraser Island’s southern end from Rainbow Beach, we were greeted by these three magnificent Humpback whales. Over the four days on Fraser we saw dozens of groups. Some come quite close to the shore, and a couple even breached right in front of our campsite while we were eating breakfast!

Humpback whales migrate north up the east coast of Australia between June and August to mate and give birth, so that’s the time to go. The weather is much more pleasant during the Queensland winter, and there are far less people on the island.
ss maheno shipwreck drone aerial fraser island queensland australia
One of Fraser Island’s most popular attractions is the SS Maheno Shipwreck. It’s located about half way up 75 Mile Beach, and it’s massive, so you won’t miss it. It’s on the east coast, so sunrise is the best time to photograph it.

We camped in the Maheno campground, which is right on the beach and a short five minute walk to the wreck. We had the whole campground to ourselves. Doesn’t get much better than that.
ss maheno shipwreck sunrise fraser island queensland australia
ss maheno shipwreck milky way stars fraser island queensland australia
One of the reasons Fraser Island is a photographer’s dream is that is there’s no light pollution, so it’s perfect for astrophotography. Plan your trip around the new moon and you’ll see more stars than you ever imagined.
indian head point cliffs fraser island queensland australia
At the north end of 75 Mile Beach is Indian Head. It’s just a short walk up to the lookout over insanely high cliffs. You can see for miles in every direction. From up there we saw whales, dolphins, sharks, and turtles. I also nearly stood on a black python. Not the wildlife I was hoping to run into.
sand dunes waddy point fraser island queensland australia
Our second night we camped at Waddy Point campground. It’s about half an hour from Indian Head through a sandy bush track. There are some pretty incredible sand dunes at Waddy Point. It’s a little unnerving being alone and seeing dingo tracks in the sand.

waddy point sand dunes fraser island queensland australia

champagne pools fraser island queensland australia
A short drive south of Waddy Point are Fraser Island’s famous Champagne Pools. The huge rockpools fill up with seawater as the waves crash over the edges. It’s one of the only places that’s safe to swim on the eastern side of the island, so make sure you take a dip.
lake mckenzie fraser island queensland australia
Located in the middle of the island is one of Fraser Island’s many beautiful lakes. Lake McKenzie is made up of pure rainwater, and it has some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen. The sand is 98% silica, meaning it’s pure white and filters the rainwater to give it this incredible colour.

Lake McKenzie also happens to be one of Fraser Island’s most popular attractions, so get there early to beat the crowds. We camped at Central Station campground, which is a short, but very bumpy drive to the lake.
lake mckenzie sunrise drone aerial fraser island queensland australia
From Lake McKenzie it’s not far to the ferry back to River Heads at Hervey Bay. There are two points you can catch the ferry from. Whatever you do, make sure you’ve booked the ferry. Don’t make our mistake and get to the ferry point only to find it’s fully booked and then have to drive all the way around to the other point.

However you choose to see Fraser Island, I promise you it will be an adventure you’ll never forget. You’ll come away with some fantastic photos and even better memories.
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Noosa National Park For Photography Lovers

Noosa National Park For Photography Lovers

Noosa is well known in Australia thanks to its beaches, surf and tropical climate. It’s a busy place over the summer and school holidays as Aussies flock to the little town on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to soak up the sun, waves, and outdoors. Noosa has a reputation as being a bit of a tourist town, which is a little unfortunate because there is so much more to Noosa than Hastings St and Main Beach.

little cove sunset Noosa Heads, Noosa National Park, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

One of Noosa’s biggest attractions is Noosa National Park. The park is located right on the tip of Noosa Headland at the north end of the Sunshine Coast. It has a large network of walking tracks allowing you to enter and exit at multiple points. The most popular entry point is right off Hastings St. The walking tracks follow along the coast past a number of bays where you can watch surfers catch some of the longest waves in Australia. Parking at the Hastings St end can be a hassle, so I would recommend entering at the Sunshine Beach end of the park.

sunrise main beach boardwalk Noosa Heads, Noosa National Park, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Aerial photo of sunrise over Noosa National Park, Noosa Heads, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

From Sunshine Beach, the track takes you up and over the headland, past high cliffs overlooking rock formations with ominous names like Devil’s Kitchen and Hell’s Gate. Alexandria Bay is a long, beautiful white-sand beach that is usually pretty quiet due to the half-hour walk from the nearest car park (and the nudists who seem to have claimed the beach as their own personal sun-bed).

Sunrise over Dolphin Point, Noosa National Park, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia



Noosa National Park provides so many options for a landscape photographer that you would never get tired of photographing it. The beaches and rock formations alone could keep you occupied for months. There are also koalas in the park as it’s a wildlife sanctuary, although I wasn’t fortunate enough to see one there.

noosa spit noosa heads noosa national park sunshine coast queensland australia
rock pools tea tree bay noosa heads noosa national park sunshine coast queensland australia

I recommend getting down to the Sunshine Beach end for sunrise, but be careful on the rocks, there’s a good reason why they call it Devil’s Kitchen. I also recommend visiting Little Cove at the Hastings St end for sunset. Watching the surfers as the sun goes down over North Shore is pretty hard to beat. The Fairy Pools are also a great place for a dip as long as the tide isn’t too high.

tea tree bay noosa heads noosa national park sunshine coast queensland australia

If you’re a photographer, or even just a nature-lover, be sure to pay Noosa National Park a visit. Spend a day or two exploring and swimming, and don’t forget to look up in the trees for koalas!

Milky Way over sand dunes at Sunshine Beach, Noosa Heads, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Devil's Kitchen Noosa Heads, Noosa National Park, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
little cove noosa heads noosa national park sunshine coast queensland australia

Canadian Rockies Road Trip – Vancouver to Banff And Back

Canadian Rockies Road Trip – Vancouver to Banff And Back

the ultimate canadian rockies road trip itinerary and travel photos vancouver to banffRoad trips are the best. I’m not sure if there’s a better way to see and explore a large area than on the road with my camera and some good company. You have the freedom to go wherever your vehicle will allow and you can stay as long as you like in each location. There are no flights, trains, or buses to catch. No tour guides telling you what the itinerary is for the day.

Total freedom.

I had been planning to see the Rocky Mountains in Canada for a LONG time, so when the day arrived to pack up my Ford Explorer (El Tundy) and begin my epic Canadian Rockies Road Trip, needless to say, I was pumped. This would be the second big bucket-list item to tick off in as many months, and El Tundy was still warm from the Pacific Coast Highway, so I knew she was rearing to go.

If you’ve seen images of Canada so beautiful that they stop you in your tracks, they’re likely from Canada’s Rocky Mountains in Alberta. The Canadian Rockies span four national parks and are home to some of the most spectacular mountains, lakes, hikes, and drives you have ever seen. Perfect for an epic camping, hiking, and photography road trip.

The Sea-To-Sky Highway

Connecting Vancouver with the famous mountain resort Whistler, the Sea-To-Sky Highway is a pretty stunning way to start a Vancouver to Canadian Rockies Road Trip. The views of the water and mountains will have you stopping so often that the drive can take twice as long as it needs to. You can drive to Whistler in under two hours, but it’s definitely worth taking your time to enjoy some of the incredible hiking, waterfalls, lakes, and photo opportunities along the way.

View of Cheakamus Lake from Blackcomb Mountain, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Summer hiking trail to Garibaldi Lake, British Columbia, Canada
A marmot rests on rocks on Whistler Mountain, British Columbia, Canada
Landscape photo of Brandywine Falls in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Howe Sound from the summit of Stawamus Chief, Squamish, British Columbia, Canada



Revelstoke Mountain National Park

It was snowboarding that drew me to Canada, and if you like the fluffy white stuff, Revelstoke has a reputation as one of the best ski resorts in the country. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to get there. Unfortunately, it was July, so there wasn’t a lot of snowboarding to be had. Revelstoke Mountain National Park is still an incredibly beautiful place in summer. The Meadows In The Sky hike stands out as one of the highlights of the whole road trip for me.

View of trees and mountains from a hiking trail in Mount Revelstoke National Park, BC, Canada
cabin in the mountains Eva Lake Meadows In The Sky hiking trail Revelstoke Mountain Canada
View of Eva Lake through a cabin window in Mount Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada
Hiking trail on Mount Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Icefields Parkway

The drive from Revelstoke through Rogers Pass and into Alberta and the Canadian Rockies is stunning, but it’s only a taste of what’s to come. The Icefields Parkway connects Lake Louise with Jasper and is considered to be one of the most breathtaking drives in the world. The road itself is only about 230km, but it winds up through impossibly huge, snow-capped mountains, emerald lakes, and glaciers. Your chances of seeing wildlife are also pretty good.

Unfortunately, we didn’t make it all the way up to Jasper as it was the middle of the worst summer for wildfires in history. Many roads were closed due to wildfires, and reports were that the smoke was so bad that it was unpleasant at best and dangerous at worst. Disappointing, but we still got to see half of it.

Panorama of Peyto Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Bow Lake Icefields Parkway Banff National Park Alberta Canada
canadian rockies banff national park alberta canada

Moraine Lake

One of the reasons I love road trips is that you have your own vehicle, so if you do want to visit a popular location, you can get there before the crowds. Moraine Lake is one of Canada’s most popular tourist attractions, and for good reason. It reminded me a little of Yosemite National Park – otherworldly. You’ve likely seen many photos of Moraine Lake before, but don’t let the popularity of it put you off. It’s well worth a visit, just make sure you get there early. We got there well before sunrise and it was definitely worth the 4am alarm.

Canoes on Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Sunrise over Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Lake Louise

They are so close that many visitors get them confused, but Moraine Lake is actually just outside Lake Louise, which is a lake and a village. Confusing, I know. Lake Louise is pretty stunning in its own right and well worth a visit. Again, get there early. I recommend the buffet breakfast at Chateau Lake Louise. Not cheap, but the view! Also, if you want to get your sweat on, the Plain of Six Glaciers hike starts at Lake Louise and your hard work will be rewarded.

View of Lake Louise through a window Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Banff National Park Alberta Canada
Lake Louise Banff National Park Alberta Canada
Grizzly Bear Lake Louise Banff National Park CanadaImage courtesy of my travel buddy and partner in crime Rachael Doyle.

Banff National Park

As we didn’t make it as far north as Jasper, most of our time in the Canadian Rockies was spent in Banff National Park. The park itself is pretty huge, and is one of the jewels in Canada’s crown. The country is well known for its incredible scenery, and much of the most recognisable is in Banff National Park. Banff village is also a pretty cool little place. It’s hugely popular in winter, as it’s close to a number of world-class ski resorts. Again, we missed the magical white stuff on this road trip, but it was still a pretty magical place in summer.


Squirrel Banff National Park Alberta Canada



Yoho National Park

Back on the British Columbia side of the Canadian Rockies is Yoho National Park. With some pretty impressive lakes and waterfalls, you could spend a lot of time exploring here. Lake O’Hara is so popular that visitor numbers are limited, meaning you need to book months in advance. We planned this trip a few weeks earlier, so we missed Lake O’Hara unfortunately. Emerald Lake and Takakkaw Falls still made Yoho National Park worth stopping, though.

Emerald Lake at dusk, Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Takakkaw Falls and river in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Okanagan Valley

From Yoho you can either head straight down the BC-5 highway back to Vancouver, but I strongly suggest you venture south to Okanagan Valley – wine country! Oliver is wine-lovers heaven. There are dozens of wineries in the area producing some of Canada’s best wines. I was told by one of the many experts that served me there that Okanagan shares the same latitude as Champagne, France. I guess that’s a good thing because the wine was damn good from what I remember.

okanagan-valley-winery-oliver-bc-canada

Washington

You may be confused as to how Washington has made an appearance in my Canadian Rockies Road Trip. Well, driving straight back to Vancouver didn’t really take our fancy, so we decided to duck down into the US of A to take the long route back. We spent a night in a strange, but very cool little cowboy town called Winthrop before making the drive through the gorgeous North Cascades National Park. I was tempted to stop back at Baker Lake after falling in love with it on my West Coast USA Road Trip, but we needed to get to Seattle to spend the last night of our road trip watching a band play that I had been dying to see for over ten years.

winthrop-washington-usa
winthrop-washington-usa

Back To Canada

I would’ve happily stayed in Seattle for longer. Every time I go there I feel like I leave too soon, but our time was up. Three weeks on the road was fantastic, but all good things must come to an end. We drove back to the Canadian border and Vancouver, another epic road trip ticked off the list. Now I want to go back and do it all again in winter!

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