If there’s one thing we Kiwis do well – it’s road trips. Nothing says summer quite like packing your beach bag, a picnic, and a bunch of your mates into the car and hitting the road to uncover the best this beautiful country has to offer.
From the rugged sand dunes of Auckland’s west coast, to the serene swirling water in the Blue Springs, Putaruru, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to weekend adventures.
Anyone who knows Team Remix will note we’re always keen to up our Instagram game in a major way, so when we were challenged to hit the road to test drive the new MINI Countryman and perfect our ‘gram – we were all about it.
Armed with an epic playlist, four friends, a picnic basket filled with the freshest produce, togs, towels, sunscreen, beach umbrellas, and the quintessential rugby ball, we were pumped to head out in search of the perfect Instagrammable moment.
But, this got us thinking, what other hidden gems does NZ boast that we haven’t uncovered yet? Check out our favourite new spots below.
Frolic in a field of flowers in Omarama, Wanaka
Field of dreams ... Since forever I had wanted to visit the South Island lupines, and they did not disappoint! This little spot in Omarama looking towards the mountains was pretty special, and those flowers were almost as tall as me ! Have a great weekend all ? ↠ Thanks to my bestie @narellemikkelsen for helping with this shot ↠ Canon 5DMkiv ↠ Canon F4L70-200 #christchurchnz #ig_newzealand #newzealandvacations #newzealandguide #kiwi_photos #southislandnz #ig_shotz_feb17 #majestic_earth #splendid_earth #wildernessculture #earthfocus #fantastic_earth #earthpix #welivetoexplore #theglobewanderer #australiagram_neighbours #eclectic_shotz #mountaingirls #awesomeglobe #bucketlisters #tourtheplanet #nakedplanet #earthporn #way2ill #earthofficial #discoverearth #moodygrams #lifeofadventure #worldprime
Instagram game tip 1: Make use of that famed ‘golden hour’. Just as the suns about to set, jump out of the car with camera in hand to capture a truly magical moment.
It won’t be a race against time to capture the last of the sunset, with the typical MINI go-kart feel in mind, the MINI Countryman navigates winding country roads seamlessly.
Be awed by the glow worms in Waitomo, Waikato
Instagram game tip 2: Dare to be different, if you’ve seen the same kind of snaps pop up on your feed time and time again, try using a different light, or using a treatment on the image to make the colours really pop.
Speaking of colours, the MINI Countryman comes in a kaleidoscope of larger-than-life hues. From British Racing Green Metallic or Island Blue Metallic, through to Blazing Red or Chestnut, the MINI Countryman is fully customisable by opting for bonnet stripes, contrast roofs, or exterior mirror caps in a range of hues to perfectly reflect your personality (or Instagram gram theme should you be that way inclined!).
Check out the gannet colony in Muriwai, Auckland
A photograph of every single sunrise + sunset so far of 2017 is now live of my Facebook page! If you'd like to check it out, the links in my bio ? A big thanks to everyone who has been following along thus far! I really appreciate it! This shot was taken at sunset out at the Muriwai Gannett Colony, it too aaaaages for a bird to fly in to the perfect position so I could nail this shot ? happy that it did ??? #naturefrother #visitauckland #muriwai #muriwaibeach #muriwaigannetcolony #auckland #newzealand #gannetcolony #gannetcolony #ig_birds #bestbirdshots
Instagram game tip 3: Choose a strong focal point, whether this be a bird about to set off for flight in the foreground, or yourself. Opt for a clear subject in a landscape image to add some visual interest.
Added bonus: the MINI Countryman comes with a picnic bench which easily unfolds from the boot providing two extra seats outside of the car, so you can settle in and comfortably wait for that low key pro snap.
Swim under Omanawa Walls, Waikato
Omanawa falls . The Omanawa Falls are found near the first underground power station in the Southern Hemisphere built in 1915. It is one of those little gems that all the locals know about but lays unprotected with no real plan from the council to provide a safe access to it. The last management plan was made in 2008, one of the goals being to provide for an improved public access to the Reserve. 8 years later, the situation is still the same and more people are accessing the falls without the proper infrastructures for it... On a brighter note, this fellow on the picture is Bryan, best cookies seller in the North Island!! ? . . . . . . . . . #bayofplentynz #Omanawafalls #NZ #NewZealand #newzealandvacations #newzealandguide #arte_objetiva #artsyheaven #destinationnz #nikon_dslr_users #MyNikonLife #exploringtheglobe #earth_magic #earthoutdoors #explorewithfriends #amazing_longexp #longexposure_shots #long_exposure_pics #long_exposure #ic_longexpo #igbest_shotz #global_hotshotz #traveldesire #lifeetam #feedbacknation #fotocatchers #hubs_united #worldbestgram
Instagram game tip 4: Slow down your shutter speed right now to beautifully capture a waterfall in all its majestic, moving glory.
You’ll find those secret waterfall spots in no time. The navigation-challenged among us will appreciate the MINI Countryman’s integrated navigation tem, which makes a breeze of finding your way through the many national parks scattered around.
Hike to Hamurana Springs, Rotorua
Instagram game tip 5: Change your angle. It’s all too easy snapping a landscape image at eye-level, why not try elevate your camera, to offer a fresh perspective.
So, whether you’re bound for greener pastures in a 4WD-style journey, or just heading down the road to your favourite café for brunch, consider the new MINI Countryman your new getaway car.
The reimagined MINI Countryman is bigger offers room for five adults, plus enough roomy boot space to allow for all matter of camping gear, picnic essentials, and even your beloved pet.
Like what you see? Head here for more.
Photography by Hone Hernandez.