Instagram is saturated with what’s now been termed as the Insta-shot – a curated, overly filtered and mostly fake depiction of the real world.
So, it’s always a pleasure finding genuine accounts that showcase a lifestyle we can all get behind. I thought it would be a good idea to list some of our favourite New Zealand Instagram accounts (in no particular order) for you to follow and get some inspiration from as we head into the colder months.
None of these accounts have asked or paid us to showcase them here. This is a genuine review 😊
I’m going to be a little biased here as we kick this off. Our Bushman, Alice runs an account which we’re constantly being tagged in and sharing – and for good reason – it’s awesome!
What we love about Alice’s photography is that while the shots are clearly stunning, the images reflect the real tones of what nature provides; you’re seeing a location as is, when is.
Alice does plenty of travelling and continuously has her camera with her (whether just a good phone or a professional set up). The images portray a significant moment that summarises her adventure, while avoiding an overwhelming collection that can spam your feed (you know who you are).
To be fair, some images are curated to ensure the viewers get the feel of the moment, but, Alice finds perfect balance on aligning some realism into a typical outdoor trip here in NZ. Take this classic image that has more truth behind it than I can muster:
Benjamin runs an account that screams BACKCOUNTRY. For any fellow Kiwis or those keen on raw, true, backcountry adventures, you’ll be hard pressed to find one much better than this.
As a hunter, tramper, DOC inspector, and a PGDip in Ecology and BSc in Earth Science/Ecology, you can tell this guy feels more at home in a hut, than in a house.
In fact, wekas_adventures has recently passed the mark for 265 huts explored and pictured (there are about 950 in New Zealand), now that’s what a New Zealand Instagram Account should be about!
Again, you won’t find glamorous, filtered images here, but you will be engaged and part of his adventures. On many occasions, Benjamin will ask for his followers to guess the hut or track before providing some run downs on the area itself. He frequently shares his passion for hunting and conservation work throughout New Zealand, something we can always get behind.
We first came across Lauren’s account when trying to find trampers near our location. Lauren, at the time, was just down the road, but her images looked like another country!
This account bursts with outdoor vibes, advice, tips on some great day and overnight trips, animals and seasonal views of Aoteaora. Lauren has an eye for detail and provides her followers with both huge, distant landscape shots, as well as close and personal ones of fauna and flora.
To prove her passion for the outdoors, Lauren recently completed her hiking log book (which appears to have sold out!). The idea and design was so cool, we bought one ourselves. The book gives you a chance to document and diarise a trip and hut you’ve been on. For people like Lauren and the above accounts, they’re cranking out many walks – this diary helps keep on track.
Like many accounts we love, Lauren is vocal in her posts and it’s her engagement that makes this a top New Zealand Instagram Account. Got a question, need advice? She’ll reply and give her best opinion.
She rounds up her content with some pretty short and cool videos too that provide more than enough information to go and head up the trip she’s promoting.
A few years back, while researching some cool accounts to follow, we came across this picture:
I shared this with Ollie, our founder and Chief Bushman who replied with “that’s cool as s**t! Get it shared immediately!” Veronika certainly wins the best award for coolest, outdoor sunnies.
30 seconds on this account you can see that this woman is all about adventure.
If you’re particularly interested in climbing, mountaineering, bikes, big views and New Zealand at its most epic, follow her account, now. If Queenstown is the adventure capital, Veronika must be its mascot. She’s all about big days out and big adventures.
The images and work Veronika shares clearly have some thought put into them with her being the central subject of much of the work. However, they don’t feel fake…I mean you’re not going to find many “influencers” scaling a mountain’s cliff face to get a selfie. But the effort really opens up the scene on your phone allowing the images to do most the talking (her captions are minimal).
Veronika is exploring New Zealand as it should be; with ice axes and a good pair of sunnies.
This one is a no brainer for us. The work Sabrina does needs to be shared throughout the world as evidence of an individual pulling the good mahi and doing the work many of us can’t (or won’t).
Often mistaken for a group of people, this account portrays the work of a single expert maintaining a service unique and critical to the Kaikoura region. On this account, you’ll see plenty of stories about rescuing and rehabilitating our native sea life and birdlife.
We first found Sabrina’s work during the viral video of her release of a Blue Penguin after a successful rescue. Our friends as far as the UK watched this and asked for more information, but for us, we were so inspired by Sabrina’s work, we reached out to arrange monthly donations.
The images here showcase individual stories – some successful, some not. But the realism of the climate and conservation situation here in New Zealand is extraordinary; there is no sugar-coating in her captions.
Sabrina makes an effort to detail the situation, information and facts of the species she’s sharing – providing almost all her followers with information they would have never known but also clear guides on how they can help.
Check out her work today and do your part, donate what you can and give back directly to our wildlife.
Rounding up our short list is Ben and Emma who not only have an epic account, they have an epic list of adventures; including their drive from Alaska to Argentina throughout 2014 to 2017.
Nowadays, they are continuing the travel and adventure while sharing much of the details via their blog, you can find here. But it’s their Instagram account which details that typically dark green bush atmosphere, alongside a glistening portrayal of mountains.
Our favourite thing about the posts are the commitment to the journey and the adventure. You can really feel the days they’re having and the images themselves show a true, beautiful reflection of the country we play in. Rain or shine, their work makes you want to get outside.
To top off the beauty they’re capturing, the subject of many images is there Bushdog, Kaylee. She even has her own Instagram!!
And if that doesn’t pull on your heart strings, then know that Kaylee was rescued from a roadside trash bag in Guatemala during their 2014 trip 🥲
Honorary New Zealand Instagram Accounts
This list is not a ‘top 5’ or anything of that matter, it’s just a few to get you started. That said, you can jump on any of these accounts and view their own followers to see many more similar, and well maintained accounts.
But, we couldn’t round this off without tagging a few others we’ve been connected with a few years now…
Think you should be on this list? Send us an email at [email protected], quoting this article, and we’ll review your account.