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2023 Wilderness Photo Competition winners

Image of the April 2023 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
April 2023 Issue

As cliched as it sounds, the entries in the Wilderness photo competition just keep getting better and it’s a real pleasure to gaze through the hundreds – nearly a thousand – of entries and live a tramping life vicariously through reader’s images. Our thanks go to sponsor Panasonic New Zealand which has supplied the incredible Lumix camera prizes to the winning photographers.

Here’s a selection of finalists:

Out there: Franz Josef Glacier ~ Photographer: Hami Tangiora
Wildlife: Rock wren with kea feather, Arthur’s Pass Photographer: Tim Rumble
Wildlife: Powelliphanta snail ~ Photographer: Toby Roberts
Huts and camping: Breakfast at Luxmore Hut ~ Photographer: Sam Harrison
Wildlife: Kea at Mintaro Hut Photographer: Gareth Meyer

Out There winner

A Fiordland swimming hole

Photographer: Neco Wieringa

Neco’s photo shows an idyllic scene somewhere in Fiordland – who wouldn’t enjoy stumbling upon a swimming hole like this – as Neco says: “The best thing about hiking? Finding all the stunning swimming spots along the way.” When the result is a photo like this, we couldn’t agree more.

Judges’ comments

Alistair Hall: Million-dollar views don’t come better than this. I like how Neco has composed the image – the perfect valley framing and giving the feeling that I’m sitting on the edge of the swimming hole with these two. And boy, do I want to go there.

Shaun Barnett: You can’t beat Fiordland on a good day; high above the sandfly zone two trampers enjoy a swim. Nicely composed with the swimmers’ gaze taking you into the view of the canyon walls.

Neco wins a Lumix DC-TZ95D camera worth $799.

A Fiordland swimming hole. Photographer: Neco Wieringa

Wildlife winner

Forest near Te Matawai Hut, Tararua Range

Photographer: Lynsy Sutton

Lynsey Sutton says Tararua Forest Park is her favourite place to tramp. She took this photo from Te Matawai Hut after a claggy day coming down from Nichols. “Twice I’ve stayed at Te Matawai Hut and both times I have experienced some beautiful sunsets, whilst also having the fortune to meet with some fabulous Te Araroa walkers,” she said.

Judges’ comments

Alistair Hall: This was the hardest category to judge, but I felt Lynsey’s image of a tree caught in the spotlight of a setting sun with the moody mist obscuring and revealing parts of the forest created a beautiful image.

Shaun Barnett: It’s not often an image of flora wins out over a fauna shot, but this serene image showing the stunted beech tree caught in warm light, and framed by mist, was captivating.

Lynsey receives a Lumix DC-TZ220D camera valued at $1199.

Forest near Te Matawai Hut, Tararua Range. Photographer: Lynsy Sutton

2023 Wilderness Outdoor Photograph of the Year, Huts and Camping winner

Angelus Hut at night

Photographer: Dylan Arthur

Dylan took this on the shore of Lake Angelus in Nelson Lakes National Park and it shows Angelus Hut in creeping cloud. “The stars come out to play on a cloudless night in Nelson Lakes National Park. With a lack of wind and a candle in the window of Angelus Hut, getting out to enjoy the stars was a necessity,” Dylan said.

Judges’ comments

Alistair Hall: We get lots of star trail and night sky images entered into the Huts and Camping category but until now none have been as good as Dylan’s effort. This photo, with the tramper and the hut in the frame is the best of this type of shot I’ve seen in a long time. Well done Dylan!

Shaun Barnett: Digital has made images of stars at night a lot easier to take, but composing something that stands out takes real skill, as this shot demonstrates. It’s got all the right elements: reflections, a tramper, and Angelus Hut perfectly framed by a band of cloud.

Dylan receives the 20MP Lumix DC-G90M camera with a 12-60mm lens worth $1699.

Angelus Hut at night. Photographer: Dylan Arthur