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shag rock guide

==the cj way++

The CJ way Guide to Shag Rock


Pile of rocks on the beach (lol doesn’t sound too appealing like that)


5-10 minutes from parking



Best time to visit: low to mid tide and sunrise

Jandals/sandals suitable


  • Coordinates of shag rock: -43.563139, 172.750297

  • Coordinates of parking: -43.565055, 172.754864

  • Park in the car park and walk along the footpath or along the beach to Shag Rock. It’s easily visible from where you park.  

 best time to visit? 

  • When sunrise coincides with a low or mid tide.

  • Winter is the best time as the sun rises right behind the line of the rock. We were extremely fortunate with our summer sunrise as the clouds stretched across the entire sky.

  • Also, note that at sunrise the right face of shag rock is lit up, which looks better in our opinion. Not that we have anything against the left-hand side. Please let the records state that. 

 cj travel tips 

  • Be careful when Google mapping to shag rock because it automatically takes you to the wrong side of the water in Southshore! If this happens, it’s about a 20-minute drive to come back around (or a 3 minute swim haha). You want to be on the Sumner beach side.

  • If you’re visiting for sunrise and running late there are a few parks on the road (facing south) that will save you a couple of minutes walking time. Coordinates are -43.565000, 172.748306

 cj photography tips 

  • There are a few pools left by the outgoing high tide which you can use for reflections!

  • If visiting at sunrise and no one else has walked all over the beach, you can find interesting leading lines in the sand. And not have footprints everywhere! You can also create your own leading lines by making footprints! 

  • Since the subject is a rock (and therefore not affected by wind like trees or plants), you can experiment with long exposures above 1 minute to create interesting patterns in the clouds. Just use ND filters and an app like Nisi to give you the resultant shutter speed for a perfect exposure.

 what we found useful to pack 

​In addition to the usuals (camera gear, suitable clothing, water and food, first aid, etc. we found the following items useful:

  • N/A

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