Lesley Whyte
+64 27 4747 347

2023 February Central North Island Photography Retreat

This 5 day photography retreat will allow you to develop and grow your entire photographic skills, starting with how to capture images through to learning the art of preparing and printing your photos.  Don’t be scared off by the activity, this weekend is about demystifying what seems like a complex process into an easy to comprehend process.

Think about how rewarding it is to watch your A3 prints coming off the printer – it’s such an amazing feeling seeing your finished product “in print”.

This weekend is absolutely for beginners and intermediate level photographers who would like to grow their capabilities, of course if you’re more advanced you are warmly welcome to join us.

We’ll be covering:

  • Coming off auto – mastering ISO, Aperture & Shutter Speed
  • Mastering white balance
  • Learning how to create and frame in camera a great image
  • Processing in Lightroom (mobile or laptop) – a free version of Lightroom is available for tablet & iPad users if you don’t have an Adobe license
  • Processing in Photoshop (laptop) – how to create a border and frame your image, including adding an image title.  Don’t worry if you don’t have Photoshop, Leanne or Lesley will be able to work with you on their devices
  • Preparing your images for printing
  • Printing 2 of your images in A3+ on an Epson SureColour 706 professional photographic printer using two different types of paper – fine art textured and smooth pearl.  Both these papers are professional and high quality photographic papers.

Come join Women in Photography’s annual small group capture to print photography retreat at Blue Duck Station which is situated inland south of Taurmanui, north of National Park and borders the Whanganui River in New Zealand’s North Island.

We are passionate about Blue Duck Station, we lead two photography tours here each year and we want you to be enchanted as much as we are so check out this YouTube Hyundai Country Calendar’s programme.  Blue Duck Station is a place of beauty, rawness and rugged, unspoilt surroundings where there are still 800 year old Totora trees growing.  The station’s core values are to conserve its endangered wildlife, increase the health of native bush and rivers, and preserve the history of the area, while educating visitors about the endangered New Zealand blue duck, other native species and local history.  Blue Duck Station is located where there is no cellphone coverage, there is although WiFi at the station’s central cafe.

Photographers of all levels of experience are welcome to join us, from beginners to hobbyists to serious.  Lesley and Leanne will coach you how to use simple composition techniques and help you master your camera’s settings; ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

This weekend has Lightroom and Photoshop tuition sessions throughout, don’t worry if you don’t have these loaded on your laptop, we can work to prepare and print your image for you. Not only will you have an amazing time, but you will also come away with having met some amazing photography buddies and be more confident with your photographic skills.

On our photography retreats we are up early and head to bed late – we are out exploring the landscape so you come away with some awesome images!  We also have nightly photo sharing sessions. Chatting over a glass of wine with your dinner we’ll likely be exchanging composition ideas.

Just pack your bag, bring your laptop or tablet with Lightroom pre-loaded and registered plus of course your camera gear – everything else is included – from the time you step onboard our min-coach until you get off at the end of the four days there are no additional costs; unless you want to buy some of Blue Duck Stations honey or books.

Limited to a maximum of 10 a $500 deposit secures your place.  Limited numbers of own cabins are available at additional cost of $300.  The balance payable 21 days prior.


  • A general level of fitness is required to carry your camera backpack up small, steep and narrow paths and walking on unstable farmland, at times in low light conditions.  Some walks at Blue Duck Station are 30-45 minutes in duration.
  • Walking on slipery wet rocks is also likely plus walking at night in unlight areas at Blue Duck Station.Pre-dawn 30 minute ATV ride to the highest point on the station to capture images of the sun rising above the clouds – spectacular #golden & #bluehour photography

What’s included:

  • Mini-coach return transport ex Auckland’s Greenlane/Ellerslie Novotel Ibis, departing at 7.00am, returning around 5.00pm
  • Pick-up & drop-off at Hamilton’s The Base Mitre10 Mega carpark and Hamilton Airport
  • All (substantial) meals while away, fully cooked breakfast, lunch, two course dinners with wines
  • Whio Lodge – bunk style warm, cosy, shared accommodation (linen included) Check this link
  • Option of your own Eco bush cabin (linen included but all bathrooms are located at Whio Lodge) a 60 seconds walk away from Whio at additional cost – check this link
  • Our own private lounge to relax in at night for Lightroom & Photoshop session
  • Expert, professional and of course amazingly friendly coaching by Leanne & Lesley
  • Women in Photography A5 photo diary with quick reference cards for all the photography genres covered plus a Women in Photography pen
  • Understanding how to prepare your image for printing
  • Two printed image of your choice in A3 and packaged for you to take home
  • Hands on coaching on composition to enable you to create inspiring images
  • Mentoring to enable you to become comfortable at working in manual; mastering the exposure triangle
  • Invitation to join Women in Photography’s FaceBook Alumni group
  • Two photography mentors – Lesley & Leanne Silver.

Limited to a maximum of 10 a $500 deposit secures your place.  Limited numbers of own room in Eco Cabin available are available at additional cost of $300. Book now by paying your deposit – balance payable by credit card on receipt of invoice 21 days prior to departure.

T&C’s available here

NOTE:  Women in Photography Alumni discount applies to this retreat – enter code at checkout to receive $150 discount.

COVID-19 Information

Women in Photography has the necessary protocols in place to operate under the the COVID-19 Protection Framework red, amber and green levels. For your safety, that of your fellow passengers and those leading leading Women in Photography’s events, we are have robust processes in place to ensure that we can operate safely at red, amber and green levels of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. Click here to know more about this policy and the requirements of you as an attendee.




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Book Event

Sharing a cabin deposit $500

This is the deposit for sharing a cabin with 2 other awesome photographers

Available Tickets: 6
The Sharing a cabin deposit $500 ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
I’d like my own cabin - deposit $500

This is the deposit to join this photography retreat and your own Eco cabin (bathrooms are shared across all cabins). NOTE: You will be invoiced an additional $300 on your final invoice for your own cabin.

Available Tickets: 3
The I’d like my own cabin - deposit $500 ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.


23 - 27 Feb 2023




Blue Duck Station
Ruapehu District

Other Organizers


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