Whether you’re a photographer and keen to find somewhere new to take your brides and grooms, or a couple who are wanting to make the most of your photoshoot, here are my five favourite Auckland wedding photography spots to take my couples to on their wedding day.
Some of Auckland’s most unique and photogenic locations are notably NOT on this list, and that’s because many are privately owned and require long-term rapport building (or bribery) in order to access. If you’re one of the lucky ones whose family or friends own a killer spot, then hoorah! For the rest of us, we put in the mahi and build those relationships.
Or – use the list below.
This list features the most beautiful 100% public spaces, where no permission is required for photographic usage. While there are some gems that out there that are public and completely deserving of being on this list, I’ve tried to keep things practical by not including anything that requires a hike (e.g. Kitekite Falls). With that clarified, let’s get into the list!
Auckland Wedding Photography Spot One:
Without a doubt deserving the top spot on the list, this is one of the most diverse locations in Auckland.
If you visit at low tide, you can step (clamber) down a few rocks and wander into a really high and deep cave – most people are oblivious to its presence. It offers some of the most beautiful light quality at all times, but make sure you don’t attempt going in unless the tide is at its lowest. Or else, cue wet bride and groom. It’s happened before. Not to me. Promise.
Besides the cave, the beach is a spectacle, with cliffs, rock outcrops, sand dunes, and a glassy waterline. Muriwai Beach rivals anywhere in the world.
Be sure to hit this place at sunset – it delivers almost every single night.
A couple of shoots to check out if you’d like to see more of Muriwai Beach:
Best parking spot for wedding photography at Muriwai Beach:
Auckland Wedding Photography Spot Two:
Technically Woodhill Forest, the entrance to this spot is the start of the horse trail on Coast Road, right by Muriwai Beach. If you’re already heading to Muriwai Beach, this is a great secondary spot for variation. Within 5 minutes walk from the car park, you have mature pine, ridges, long grass, a shaded low bridge over a stream, and a long, straight, dusty country road, sans street signs and traffic. When you park up you’ll be greeted by a heavy, locked gate. Go ahead and walk through the skinny gap right next to it. As unwelcoming as it looks, it is open to the public.
Best parking spot for wedding photography at Muriwai Forest:
Auckland Wedding Photography Spot Three:
Also referred to by its much less boring Maori name, Owairaka, this is an easy 15-minute drive from most CBD wedding venues, and offers long grass, trees tall and dense enough to break up mid-late afternoon light, and a couple of sweet ridge lines if the sky is silhouette worthy that day. Drive to the top then after changing from driving uphill to driving downhill for about 100 metres, nip into the car park on your right, and walk across the soccer field. There you’ll find a clearing with long golden grass, surrounded by light-diffusing trees, and plenty of shade.
Best parking spot for wedding photography at Mount Albert:
Auckland Wedding Photography Spot Four:
Not to be confused with Mount Albert, Albert Park is situated in the heart of the city, a short bride-in-heels-would-be-capable walk from Pullman, Hotel DeBrett, Pilkingtons and The Wine Chambers. Here you’ll find epic old tree root features, plenty of shade, and ivy walls that are anything from green to red to yellow to dead, depending on the season (obviously early autumn is prime time). Either walk there, or park up on Princes St. You won’t necessarily get a park straight away, but the turnover rate of the car parks on this street is high.
Best parking spot for wedding photography at Albert Park:
Auckland Wedding Photography Spot Five:
Bethells Beach offers desert-like sand dunes you won’t see anywhere else in New Zealand, and one of the post picturesque vistas you’ll find on any west coast beach. The distance from where the farmland stops and the waterline starts is huge, and so is the possibilities. You could make this place feel like North Africa, Venice Beach in CA, or the simply rugged and wild aesthetic we’ve come to expect of the west coast. Heads up – the walk from the car park to the waterline is a long one – perhaps 15 minutes with a bridal party, and the same is true of the walk to the sand dunes. For the dunes walk, park in the spot identified below, then walk down the path for 10 minutes and you’ll come to the dunes. If you walk for another 10, you’ll find yourself at a lake. It’s a good place for a swim, but I would take it or leave it photographically speaking. Make it easy on yourself and walk as far as the dunes – it’s diminishing returns after that.
Best parking spot for wedding photography at Bethells Beach:
Best parking spot for wedding photography at Bethells Dunes: