New Zealand was an amazing place to practice astrophotography, shooting the stars. There are many great places with amazing views of the night’s sky. The arguably best place for viewing and capturing the night sky is Lake Tekapo. The lake is part of the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve which limits the light pollution and makes for epic stargazing. I was really excited to try out my Sony A7 II on some stars paired with a Rokinon 24mm lens. The 1.4 aperture is great for letting a lot of light in so you can get shorter shutter speeds. I tried to get as low an ISO as possible for clarity, keeping it between 800 and 3200 and shooting at f 1.4 and around 5s shutter speed. The Rokinon is only manual focus and a bit finicky getting it exactly focused on the stars. Some of the nights were really windy and made it almost impossible to get anything sharp. Luckily the nights near Lake Tekapo were mostly still.

Lake Tekapo Night Sky New Zealand

This was from a really dark and deserted campsite but was able to catch a few nebulae hanging around.

I used my sony 24-240mm zoom lens to get this shot of the moon. I was really surprised to get this level of clarity and detail.


The stars were a little blurry in this one but I wanted to capture the camper glow in the foreground. I was surprised later to see the stars reflected so clearly in the windshield.

The cone of the flashlight was fun to capture on long exposures.

The Milky Way over the mountains in Franz Josef

Hawkes Hill Lookout Night Sky Stars

The Hawkes Hill Lookout has a really nice viewing platform of the valley below.

Light Painting at Lake Tekapo long exposure photography



1 Comment

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