Let’s be honest: it seems like everyone has escaped winter for a European summer. Croatia, you’re clogging up our Instagram feed! But you don’t need to head to Dubrovnik for an Insta-worthy holiday. New Zealand is one beeea-utiful country for a winter road trip—no expensive plane ticket required.
To capture the beauty of our country, Samsung sent photographer Lola Gosling on a South Island roadie—jealous much? Known on Insta as @lola.photography, her feed is total #gramgoals, capturing the beauty of New Zealand and beyond.
On her adventure, Lola was armed with the new Samsung Galaxy S9+. She put the lowlight, dual-lens camera to the test, taking shots in all sorts of light conditions. The results? Well, we think the stunning photos speak for themselves! Here are her fave shots and moments.
Hi Lola! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a Kiwi chick who loves nature, mean feeds, my people and capturing it all.
You’ve just gone on a winter road trip from Christchurch to the West Coast of the South Island. What spots did you visit?
We based ourselves in Franz Josef and covered a lot of ground along the West Coast. We visited Lake Matheson (twice because it was so beautiful!), The Blue Pools, Fantail Falls, Fox Glacier, Lake Mapourika and the Hokitika Gorge.
What was the drive like?
The drive from Christchurch to Franz Josef is about five hours, but turns into a whole day by the time you make multiple epic scenic stops (Castle Hill and Arthurs Pass were my favourites). If you get a good day, you’ll have snow-capped mountain views for nearly your whole drive. The West Coast is littered with scenic mountain views, lakes and waterfalls.
Sounds beautiful! What were some of your fave moments?
Definitely taking a helicopter up to Fox Glacier. I love helicopters as it is, but to land on a giant ancient glacier was a whole other story. We spent the morning exploring ice caves and crevasses.
Any other special moments?
The sunset we witnessed at Lake Matheson was a huge highlight. The lake was perfectly still with Mount Cook and Mount Tasman reflecting a perfect sunset orange on the water.
No road trip is complete without mouth-watering eats! Any fave spots?
Our favourite food stop was the one and only shop in a small town called Kumara for a really epic pie!
You travelled with the Samsung Galaxy S9+. What do you like about the phone’s camera?
The control! I was blown away by how many settings I could change and the quality it produces.
Your Instagram is totally dreamy. Can you share any tips or tricks to capturing the perfect ‘gram?
Composition and horizon lines! Research and remember the “rule of thirds” to give the perfect balance to your images. Another big one is straight horizon lines. It’s those little touches that make an okay image, a great image. I’m also a huge fan of switching up your perspective. Anyone can point their phone at a scene while standing. Try getting down really low or up high and shoot through things.
What’s your favourite photo from the trip?
Ohhh that's a hard one! It would either have to be my ice cave image or the glowing orange mountains reflected on Lake Matheson.
What is your favourite thing about travelling in New Zealand?
You can find yourself in the most amazing locations and have them all to yourself!
What won’t you leave the house without on a winter road trip? What are your must-haves?
Camera and fingerless gloves—they’re a godsend when you are taking a lot of photos!
Fave 5 | What’s Your Fave New Zealand…
Lake? Lake Matheson (it overtook Lake Pukaki on this trip!)
Mountain? Mount Ruapehu
Surf spot? Te Arai
Summer holiday? Great Barrier Island
Want to take beautiful photos like Lola? Capture the beauty of New Zealand with the Samsung Galaxy S9.
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Image credit: Lola Gosling