Please note that all workshops under the PSNZ Workshop Series are only available to PSNZ Members. If you wish to attend a workshop, but are not a member of PSNZ, you can join us by completing our online application form

Please remember to read our Cancellation Policy, below.

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Okarito Bird Photography

6 December @ 4:00 PM 8 December @ 2:00 PM

Join Leanne Buchan at Ōkārito during nesting season to photograph the rare and beautiful Kōtuku and their chicks.  The timing has been selected so that the chicks should be big enough to see in the nest.

Leanne is a passionate bird photographer and owner of “Feather in Your Capture”.  She loves to share her learnings and assist others to capture some of Aotearoa’s amazing birdlife.

The workshop includes a tour of the Ōkārito Lagoon and a tour of the White Heron Sanctuary.  Both tours are dedicated to our group and will only have 8 people per tour to provide us with ample space for big lenses. (The public group sizes are larger and valued at $265 pp)

Ōkārito Eco Tour – experience the unique diversity of New Zealand’s largest wetland aboard the Explorer Douglas which was custom built for the lagoon. Journey through breath-taking landscapes with views of the Southern Alps tallest peaks, glaciers, ancient Kahikatea forest, wetland, ocean and everything in between. Discover and learn about the unique eco system and keep your eyes peeled for the abundance of wildlife that call this place home!

The White Heron Sanctuary tour includes an informative minibus ride from Whataroa through lush South Westland farmland into the remote Waitangiroto Nature Reserve. Entry into the Nature Reserve is permitted through DOC and is only possible on a guided tour.

In the reserve there is a short walk through ancient Kahikatea rainforest to a purpose built viewing hide to observe the magnificent Kotuku, White Heron, in their natural nesting environment.  Kotuku Ngutu Papa, the Royal Spoonbill and Kawapaka, the Little Shag also nest in this special area and all can be seen easily from the hide. The preserved rainforest and its surrounds is also home to a great array of other birdlife including, Tui, Bellbird, Wood Pigeon, Fantail, Tomtit, Silver Eye and Grey Warbler.

The workshop will start at 4pm on Friday 6th December and conclude around 2pm on Sunday 8th December.

We will be based in the historic Donovan’s Store in Ōkārito where we will come together for evening meals (included in the workshop fee), presentations and editing sessions.  (Donovan’s Store is a much photographed icon as it is the oldest known building on the West Coast).  We will split into 2 groups for the tours and the group that isn’t touring will be able to explore the beach and bush areas taking landscape and bird photographs.

There will be an optional sunrise shoot each morning at the lagoon and on Saturday night after dinner (weather permitting) we will all head to the beach for a sunset shoot.

The workshop will finish up on Sunday at 2pm after an editing session.

Attendees need to book their own accommodation close to Ōkārito; (recommendations will be emailed to those that register); and provide their own breakfasts and lunches. There is one café in Whataroa, The Lonely Stag.

A zoom lens between 400 and 600mm is recommended for this workshop.  You will also need a medium level of fitness as some walking on tracks and beaches will occur.

Once you have registered and paid, you will receive more in depth information on the schedule and locations as well as a recommended gear sheet.

Workshop is limited to 13 people.

Log into the Member’s Area to register for this workshop.


PSNZ Cancellation Policy

Due to the nature of the PSNZ Workshop Series and that the workshops are generally for small groups and often over-subscribed, cancellations can have a significant financial and attendance effect on the workshop, as well as creating a lot of further administration work.

Although we do everything possible to ensure our workshops proceed, sometimes there are things beyond our control.

  • PSNZ reserves the right to postpone or cancel a workshop due unforeseen circumstances e.g. covid level affects, facilitator illness, venue access issues, etc. In the event we do cancel a planned workshop, we will attempt to inform attendees as soon as possible and in most cases you will be given an alternative date to attend or provided with a full refund of the workshop costs.
  • If a workshop is postponed, the first right of refusal will be given to those who were already booked on that workshop for the rescheduled workshop.
  • Should a workshop fail to attract a required minimum number of attendees to make it viable to run, PSNZ reserves the right to cancel the workshop.
  • PSNZ will not accept responsibility for travel and accommodation costs incurred by attendees.
  • In the event that an attendee booked for the workshop does not turn up, no refund will be given.
  • If an attendee cancels between 30 – 15 days prior to the workshop, PSNZ will refund 50% of the workshop fee (less admin fee of $20).   If another person on the waiting list can their place, then the attendee will be refunded the total fee paid less the $20 admin fee.
  • No refund will be given if an attendee cancels within 14 days of the workshop date unless another person on the waiting list can take their place at short notice. A small administration fee of $20 will apply and be deducted from any refund.
  • PSNZ may give a full refund if there are exceptional circumstances involved in a person not being able to attend.
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