Lesley Whyte
+64 27 4747 347

2023 Awesome Chatham Islands Photography Retreat

If you only want to join one photography tour in 2023 and haven’t been to the Chatham Islands, then this is the one for you, best of all if you have a drone we have permission to use at many of the locations.

Come join Lesley as she leads a group of 12 women exploring the amazing windswept Chatham Island over three full days – this time of the year is when the Chatham Island’s Forget Me Nots are in bloom, so we will be able to capture images of these beautiful flowers.

This is a photography tour and included will be visits to some of the island’s locations to view and hear about it’s history.

This photography tour is fully inclusive of fully refundable return airfares (valued at $1,360)  to Chatham Islands (departing Auckland and returning to Wellington), breakfast, lunch and dinner with wines, transport around the island and concession fees to all places we visit.

Staying at the Chatham Island Hotel’s Lookout Motel we are sharing twin rooms, single rooms are available at an additional cost.

You will get to photograph some amazing scenery:

  • Chatham Island sunrises – three different locations, beachside sand hills, inner harbour and oceanside wharf
  • Trip to Kaingaroa wharf and beach – capturing images of the fishermen loading and unloading their catch or simply capture images of this expansive bay, walk on the rocks for rugged seascape images
  • Two shipwrecks – with access to this private location
  • Visit Admiral Gardens for a guided tour of this amazing garden where we get to photograph the Chatham Island forget-me-nots and other beautiful flowers.  We maybe fortunate enough to capture images of the Red Admiral Butterfly – a different species to mainland.  While at Admiral Gardens we are also hosted by the Croon family for dinner
  • Capture images of the dramatic windswept Chatham Island trees as well as photographing some of the oldest and farm shed and houses
  • Capture images of seals swimming and basking on the rocks – maybe even spot the Weka as they forage along the shoreline
  • Explore and photograph aircraft remains which are being used to restore the salvaged Sunderland which struck an uncharted rock in the Te Whanganui Lagoon and sunk in 1959
  • Some locations we are able to use drones, if you are a drone photographer, please remember to pack it.

There will be photography review with Lightroom and Photoshop  after dinner on return to our accommodation enjoy a cheese platter and wine.

This tour is suitable for beginners as long as you know how to change your camera’s settings – Lesley will coach you on the settings to capture gorgeous photos with pre-set group sessions at each location.

You will need to bring:

  • Of course all your camera gear with a variety of lenses, including telephoto if you have one
  • Camera backpack
  • Tripod
  • ND Variable fader filters – for long exposure sunrises and seascape images.  Lesley has a selection for use and can provide best to buy if you don’t have one
  • Thermal clothing with various layers, beanie and fingerless gloves – Lesley recommends these gloves from Kathmandu.  Average day temperature is ~14°
  • Waterproof walking shoes are recommended – Lesley recommends these shoes from Ecco.

What’s included:

  • Four nights twin-share accommodation
  • Air Chatham return fully refundable and flexible from Auckland and returning to Wellington ($1,360 value). Flight departs from Auckland is 1.30pm, meeting time is 10.00am for pre-tour photography workshop. Return flight lands in Wellington around midday
  • Cooked buffet breakfast daily
  • Two course dinner with wines – Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday
  • Lunch – Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Entry to Admiral Gardens, tour and bbq dinner
  • Landowner and DoC concession fees
  • Chatham Island visitor levy
  • Photography review sessions
  • Printing two of your images on A3+ professional photographic paper to take home plus with cardboard tube & acid free photo paper to protect your images)
  • A5 Photo Diary to take with you each day
  • Lots of photography mentoring
  • Bubbles & cheese patters after dinner
  • An awesome amount of fun!

What’s Not Included:

  • Travel to departure point Auckland and home from Wellington
  • Purchases or spending of a personal nature.

All prices quoted are NZD – T&C’s, camera gear & equipment list available here

Limited to a maximum of 12 a $500 deposit secures your place.

Book now by paying your deposit – balance payable by credit card on receipt of invoice 6 weeks prior to departure.


There is much walking on this tour, you will need to be comfortable in walking up to 15 minutes to get to some locations over easy to rolling terrain.



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.

We recommend travel & pandemic insurance, please contact Kerry Graham kerry@privatetravel.co.nz for information on obtaining this policy.

NOTE: Chatham Islands weather can occasionally cause flight delays, we recommend you take travel insurance and book fully flexible Air New Zealand airfares for your flights to Auckland and home from Wellington.  Women in Photography will not be held responsible for additional costs relating to flight changes should your Air Chatham flights be changed.



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Book Event

Deposit - I’d like to share a room please
Available Tickets: 6
The Deposit - I’d like to share a room please ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Deposit - I’d like a room on my own

You will be invoiced an additional $400 on your final invoice for a room on your own.

Available Tickets: 3
The Deposit - I’d like a room on my own ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.


14 - 18 Sep 2023




Chatham Islands