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Hope Taylor is a photographer specializing in senior portraits serving both Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.


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New Zealand + AUS | Part 1 LA + Auckland


3 destinations, 2.5 weeks, 40+ hours in the air, 20 hours driving, dozens of delicious meals, + 2 large suitcases later…one of the biggest adventures of my life has come to a close. Traveling has always had a way of healing + inspiring me, but this trip fueled my soul + healed my heart more than I ever could have expected. God works in incredible ways, and He definitely worked in this journey to help me grow closer to Him + to fuel my heart with inspiration for this new year in business. I will forever be so grateful for the last 3 weeks + I am so excited to share more about my adventures on the blog over the next few days!!

The New Zealand + Australia recap is going to be broken down into 3 parts: Part 1: LA + Auckland, Part 2: Queenstown + Part 3: Sydney, Australia. I have HUNDREDS of images from this trip across the world + I knew that cramming it all into one (or even two!) blog posts just wan’t gonna cut it! So, let’s dive in to the first few days of my trip!

Day 1: I headed out of DC alongside my sweet friend Kat on the first leg of our journey! We flew for 5 hours and landed in LAX on this first night. We grabbed a hotel room near the airport + lots of Domino’s take-out while watching Full House until midnight. It was a pretty wonderful evening if I do say so myself 🙂


Day 2: Today was the first BIG travel day! We woke up, packed our bags + headed back to LAX! Our flight wasn’t until 7pm that evening, so we spent all day with Lauren + Natalie at a delicious Mexican restaurant in the airport. We chatted all about our businesses + what we were looking forward to on the trip + watched paparazzi chase celebrities out the airport doors. It was thoroughly entertaining. Then, later that evening, we hopped on our 12 hour flight (compression socks + snacks in hand!) to Auckland, New Zealand!


Day 3: This day is a little confusing because we flew through the night Monday and landed in Auckland on Wednesday…so we NEVER lived Tuesday. WEIRD! But, the first day in Auckland was incredible! We grabbed breakfast at an adorable cafe, checked into our beautiful Airbnb, unpacked our gigantic suitcases, took showers (the BEST showers ever) + then headed into town! We snagged lunch at a DELICIOUS spot downtown (that we somehow ended up getting kicked out of…long story) + then spent the rest of the day exploring + sitting in, what I like to call, the “beanbag park”. There is an adorable shopping area called Brittomart in the heart of Auckland, and there is a park that is FULL of bean bags. People from the local office buildings come sit out on the beanbags to work on the public wifi…SO cool!!



Day 4: Piha Beach Day!!! Our first real adventure in NZ…we headed to the grocery store in the AM, stocked up on snacks, stopped for ice blocks (aka popsicles) and then headed to the beach! It was the first view that actually FELT like New Zealand to me…it was breathtaking! When we arrived at the beach, it was cloudy and overcast. But, the sun came out within an hour and we soaked it all up before the styled shoot on the beach! You can see the entire shoot in yesterdays blog post HERE!


Day 5: Waiheke Island day…one of my FAVORITE days of the entire trip!! This day was our “free” day with no scheduled plans…so, we all decided to hop a ferry over to the jaw-dropping Waiheke Island. We rented a car for the day, drove all along the coastline, ate at a winery with stunning views + inhaled some delicious gelato. The water was the most incredible blue color + the views of the coast were mesmerizing. We stopped the car every 5 minutes to hop out and grab some photos!!


Now that you’ve seen all of the fun iPhone shots, here are some of my favorite professional images from the first 5 days of the trip!!! 🙂


  1. Danielle says:

    That water might literally be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen Hope!!!!

  2. Melissa says:

    SO GORGEOUS! I can’t wait for parts 2 and 3! It looks like the most incredible trip!

  3. Meghan says:

    Makes me miss everything and everyone so much!! I love your starfish shots!! And everything else!!! Gah!!! So amazing!!

  4. Kimmie says:

    LOVE getting to relive the trip through your eyes!!! The photos from Waiheke are my favorite – that was such a fun day!

hi, y'all!

I'm Hope Taylor, an international Senior Portrait and Wedding Photographer based in Charleston, SC. I'm also an educator, international speaker, and the host of multiple sold-out workshops each year!



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