Waikato - Meghan Maloney Photography

The Waikato might not have a reputation as a sought after landscape photography location, and I know before I moved here I thought of it as mostly flat farmland. But it’s surprising just how many rolling hills, waterfalls, lakes and secret river spots are contained within this region of NZ.

Moving from Wellington where I could take my pick of seaside locations within a very close radius, I really struggled when I initially moved to the Waikato to find good local options for photography – especially places I could get to within half an hour’s drive for sunrise or sunset. Fast forward two years and I now struggle to choose where to go because there’s so much choice, and there’s still many places on my list to visit that I haven’t even explored yet.

One of most popular images ever taken comes from the Waikato – from a winter’s morning up Pirongia where the layers of hills and early morning mist and trees created the most heavenly rural New Zealand scene. It proves that you don’t need amazing snow-capped mountains or crystalline lake reflections to compose a gorgeous scene – you just need to make good use of whatever scene you have right in front of you. I loved this shot so much I had to put it on canvas in my lounge in my own home, it’s the last image I see before turning off the lights to go to bed at night, and one I’m truly so thrilled to have captured.

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