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When it comes to photography, Australian based-photographer and the man behind Livefolk, Fabio Oliveira knows what looks good. And with almost 500k followers on Instagram channels, his audience agrees.

Anyone who has spent Autumn on the South Island or more specifically, in the Queenstown Lakes region knows that it’s an incredibly special time of year. The mornings are crisp and quiet, with gentle steam rising from the lake. The afternoon turn sunny and hot, teasing the return of summer temperatures. And the nights are the perfect length of time, with the sun going down behind the mountains just as evening hours set in.

It’s a time when almost all our favourite things to do are accessible. From enjoying the lake, to hiking, biking or adventuring. 

Fabio Oliveria got to experience Autumn in Wanaka with camera in hand and captured the essence of what makes this season so epic. Here’s his story and some recommendations for trying your hand at Autumn photography.

The change of seasons

“I’ve heard many times that Autumn is the best season for photography, but I only truly discovered this after spending a few days exploring the Wānaka region during Autumn. Everybody knows that New Zealand is beautiful in Winter, but it looks like Wānaka was made for Autumn, everything looks beautiful; Cold mornings with incredible dawns – seeing the morning light reflecting on yellow leaves was amazing and the fog above the rivers around the big lake is magical.

Kayaker on Lake Wanaka

I can remember every moment I’ve had in Wānaka. The large variety of trees that transform themselves during Autumn is incredible. Yellow and brown leaves change the place completely and when I saw it for the first time it was unforgettable. At the end of the trip, I just did not want to leave.”

Wanaka’s photography tip: Wanaka is an awesome place for landscape photography. Let a local help you find the best spots to get epic shots with nature tours.

Taking flight

“Flying over the mountains of the Pisa Range and seeing how the snow turns into yellow vegetation is simply incredible. The best part of the trip was being dropped off with a mountain bike and chasing the local masters down the mountain. It’s like I was skiing on the hills, but with my bike – such incredible feelings. Even though it was my first time I did not fall. Those were unforgettable memories!”

Heli bikers on the Pisa Range near Wanaka

Wanaka’s photography tip: Get your shots from the sky with a scenic helicopter or plane flight. And if action photos are more your gig, check out heli bike operators.

Lake views

“Lake Wānaka is known for its beautiful blue waters, which viewed from the top, make the landscape even more vibrant. This was one of the best scenes from my days in this paradise of landscapes and good-humoured people. We climbed with 4X4 to an area of ​mountains called West Wānaka Station and from above, the contrast of the Autumn yellowish colours became even more evident with the blue immensity of Lake Wānaka. Such an incredible view.”

Walker on hills overlooking Lake Wanaka
4WD tour high above Lake Wanaka

Wanaka’s photography tip: To find a view like this, check out offroad tours. They can take you to some of Wanaka’s most exclusive locations for unique photos.

You’ll only know if you go

“I could describe in beautiful words every picture I took during my visit, but nothing could impact you more than actually being in Wanaka. Experiencing the local tastes, visiting the vineyards around the lake and the experience of watching the sunshine in the calm waters of Wānaka, is a worthwhile experience.”

Vineyards at Rippon in Wanaka, New Zealand

We all love getting the shot, and we hope that you have an amazing time photographing Autumn in Wanaka, but please try to remember that with every epic photo, comes the chance that it will go viral. We want to protect this place for future generations. Read here to find out how to get the social media shot sustainably.