By Eric Bennett
As a full time landscape photographer, it gets harder and harder for me to top each trip. After you have been to places with amazing wilderness like Iceland, Nepal, the Swiss Alps, and many of the US’s National Parks, you can tend to become a little desensitized and hard to impress. I am happy to say that somehow, every trip I have been on has been life changing, and every place I have visited has been remarkable in some way. My recent 2 month visit to Australia and New Zealand was no exception. Here are 5 reasons why this trip was like no other I’d experienced before.
1. The Kiwi People: Don’t get me wrong, I have met extremely nice and warm people all over the world. The Aussies were very friendly and welcoming, but the Kiwis, were just downright exceptional. It’s not often you spend several weeks in one place without meeting a single rude person. While my trip was focused on being in wild places and away from civilization, I still had plenty of run ins with the locals, which were all very pleasant.
2. Tasmania’s Wilderness: Tasmania, a relatively large island off the southern coast of Australia with a population of just 500,000 inhabitants (many of which are actually people from the mainland with vacation homes there), is a wilderness paradise. Me and my local photographer friend, Hillary Younger, road tripped around almost the entire island in just 10 days, which was more than enough time to feel the amazing spirit of this place. Every part we visited had the most rugged, wild feeling about it. I remember feeling like I had gone back in time, to some prehistoric era, and that at any moment some huge dinosaur would come out of the bushes. The local photographers have gone to great lengths to keep it this way and maintain the wilderness as protected, safe havens from logging that has already scarred much of the island’s land.
3.The Southeastern Australian Coast: I grew up in Southern California, going to the beach almost every single day. Naturally, I am a huge lover of the coast. Seascape photography dominates a big part of my portfolio since I am most inspired to visit these coastal areas of the world. I spent 3 weeks shooting along the coast of Victoria and New South Wales, and every new place we arrived to, was just as shocking as the last. The rock formations and fierce tides were like nothing I had ever seen before. The combination of power and beauty in this part of Australia was amazing. Tasmania and New Zealand also had some amazing coastlines, but I’d say this area of Australia takes the cake.
4. New Zealand’s Nature: The people and government of New Zealand have gone to great lengths to preserve and protect its sacred wilderness. During my time on the North Island, I was blown away by how pristine and clean the entire country was kept. The respect that the locals have for their nature shows undoubtedly. It had a similar feeling to Tasmania, but the diversity was unreal. Tropical beaches, rainforests, rugged coastlines, stunning volcanoes and mountain ranges, New Zealand has it all.
5. These Photographs: Apart from these reasons I have given, what made the trip most memorable were the sacred moments I had during the early hours of the morning and in the evening as the sun went down. I feel this is the strongest body of work I have created so far, and I credit it to the strong, personal connection I felt with these places. To me, this is what gives meaning to one’s art. Hopefully you can feel the love and connection I have for these places as you look at these photographs, and you can be inspired to care more about our planet and preserve the few wild places we have left.
To see the rest of the gallery I have put together from this trip, visit: bennettfilm.com/LatestReleases