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Somewhere in New Zealand: Chapter 4

By Aaron Grimes

During my trip to New Zealand, I visited some of the most beautiful places in Chapter 3 of this travel journal. However, I had the most fun in Chapter 4. As you’ll see in the video below, I left the constant rain of Milford Sound behind for a nice mix of sunshine and clouds—and I even flew above those clouds. 

From the Sound, I drove my (semi-trusty) red camper van to Mt. Cook National Park. On the way there I played around with night photography. The moon was full, so while it was too bright to capture stars, I got some crazy pictures of the countryside. 

When I arrived at the park, my first move was to hike the Hooker Valley Track. From the mountain peaks in the background to the suspension bridges spanning the glacier-fed rivers, it was incredible. After two hours, I reached the base of Mt. Cook, where I captured the sunset and then, as the moon rose, took more night shots.

As I was leaving Mt. Cook, I stopped at a small airport on a whim. It turned out to be the best decision of the trip. Not only did I score footage of planes and helicopters taking off, I actually went up in a plane that flew to the glaciers and landed on the snow. I can't really describe the experience, but I don't think I'll ever forget hiking through the ice caves and the silence of the mountain. (For snippets of that experience, watch the In Motion video in Chapter 3.)

Click the image above to watch the Chapter 4 video, which includes post-processing tips for aerial drone videography, including how I use Warp Stabilizer in Adobe After Effects and the Camera Raw filter in Adobe Photoshop on my footage.

To close out the trip, I made my way to Christchurch, where I dropped off the campervan and caught a flight back to the United States. While I was in New Zealand, it was kind of hard to believe that I was actually driving a van around the country, but now that I'm home I miss it very much.

Did you miss any previous episodes of this New Zealand video travel journal? Check them out now:

Chapter 1: North Island, gear reveal

Chapter 2:  Franz Josef Glacier, stitching multiple images into a panorama

Chapter 3: Milford Sound, downloadable script that gives video a long-exposure effect