Stray-in’ with a GoPro!

A warm orange welcome to our very own Boss of the Auckland Stray Shop, Ally McFarlane. When she’s not minding the store, she’s out discovering New Zealand through the lens of her trusty cameras. Here she makes the case for why a GoPro is ideal for shooting around the North Island.

Oh hey guys, welcome to my little blog about my recent stint around the North Island with my GoPro. I was lucky enough to travel through the North Island last month ‘Straying’ off the beaten track to experience the real NZ and everything it has to offer and – my oh my – I was not disappointed.

4x4 selfie Blue Duck Station
4×4 ride around Blue Duck Station

Backtracking a bit, I feel blessed as personally I have the best job in the world. Moving from a small town in Scotland to working in adventure tourism in NZ, I get to travel frequently and being a photographer I am quite frankly living the dream. New Zealand is stunning – we can all agree on that if you have ever been, seen or heard the feedback.

Wai-o-tapu geothermal mud
Wai-o-tapu geothermal park

So when I got the opportunity to travel on this trip, I felt it was imperative to mix it up a little and remove myself from my comfort zone. Leaving my trusty DSLR camera behind in Auckland, I packed up my GoPro gear for the start of a new adventure.

The Gear: The kit I packed for this trip included my Hero 4, waterproof housing, wrist strap, selfie stick and WIFI remote.

The Travel Plan: The agenda for the week was fantastic, in my opinion hitting some of the most truly picturesque, only-seen-in-the-magazines locations.

Stray bus with Murupara Sunrise
Sunrise in Murupara

So…where did we go? Well let me tell you. We travelled to Raglan, Lake Aniwhenua, Taupo, Tongariro, Whakahoro, Kerosene Creek – the list goes on. But if national parks, walks, trails and waterfalls are what you want to experience while in NZ then you can be assured this is the country for you!

Why the GoPro was the way to go:

A lot of travellers use their GoPro as their number one fave piece of equipment and after this trip I can say I am fully converted. Using a GoPro could now potentially be the only way to go and some of the shots from the trip speak for themselves.

Whanganui River kayak Blue Duck Station
Whanganui river kayaking at Blue Duck Station

Here, you can shoot and capture the unforgettable story telling moments with a camera which will fit in your pocket – perfection? I think so! Some of the shots captured which I found represent why the GoPro can be used as much more than a video camera became present any time we were around water.

surfers on Raglan beach
Raglan surf beach

For anyone who has travelled NZ and had the opportunity to climb the infamous Franz Josef Glacier, you will know that being ice …it’s wet and slippery. So, of course last time I was there after a classic blonde tumble and fall into a pool of glacial water, my previous camera was substantially ruined. Moral of the story: if you are going on an adventure, take a GoPro – they are practically indestructible and waterproof!

Kerosene Creek hot pools
Kerosene Creek hot pools

What else? They have the most brilliant wide angles to shoot from, the distortion of the perspective allowing creativity to shine and burst shots to capture the action in a millisecond!

On top of the world Blue Duck Station
On top of the world at Whakahoro

I guess the down side of using this awesome piece of equipment is how many photos you end your day with …. I had thousands. However, I have managed to narrow it down to a few which are shown throughout this blog. Overall, NZ is superb and a country I cannot imagine leaving due to its rolling hills, national parks, scenery porn and beautiful people. Whether you want to tick off those adrenaline fuelled skydives and bungee jumps, experience one of the best day walks in the world or indulge your inner geek at every LOTR location…New Zealand has it all.

So my question is what are you waiting for? There has never been a better time to grab your GoPro, hop on a plane and start a new adventure!

You can visit Ally at the Auckland Stray Shop on Fort Street for more travel tips, photography tricks or to purchase a Stray pass!

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