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New Zealand (Leaving my drone home)

Chriztofor

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Leaving next week to New Zealand and was going to take the Mavic Mini with me, but after researching and obtaining responses back from various New Zealand officials, I am leaving it home. Here is my response to a bunch of officials in New Zealand. If you dare to take it, good luck!

Naturally, I would use the New Zealand air share app to avoid any airport or aerodrome. However, after reading many internet forums (horror stories and potential fines) regarding New Zealand and droning there appears to be an unhealthy reaction towards drones and many obstacles in order to fly a drone (even one that weighs less than 250 grams.) I don’t see how flying a mini-drone over a lake, mountain, or beach (not over people) for 20 minutes would have a negative impact on anything. You can’t even hear ( or barely hear) drones when they are in the air. Instead of posting a million signs where people can’t drone you should post signs where droning is permitted (not just at your parks but where people would actually want to drone; your beautiful vistas).

Your tourist industry would skyrocket if people would get to see your country from different perspectives. You should allow permits right on the spot and set time limits (fly your drone here for 20 minutes, not more than ____meters, for $_____NZ). Note: Most drones can’t fly more than 20 minutes. Pretty funny that New Zealand’s own marketing materials were captured by drone. Also, there was a time when there was a “selfie drone day” at one of your tourist spots which appeared to be a huge hit. I would have loved that!

In any event, I do not want to fear being fined and/or arrested and I don’t want to waste my time and yours trying to get permission for a place that I may or may not visit (as a tourist who knows where I will be and when). Therefore, I have decided not to bring my drone.

Still can’t wait to visit your country this week. Hopefully, you guys are laid back about everything else (can’t wait to take pictures of your glow worms). LOL

Thank you for taking your time to read this and maybe someday New Zealand will be more drone friendly.
 

Meta4

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Your tourist industry would skyrocket if people would get to see your country from different perspectives.
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Tourism is probably their biggest industry already.
I do not want to fear being fined and/or arrested
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You would have to be doing something pretty stupid to be fined or arrested there.
I don’t want to waste my time and yours trying to get permission for a place that I may or may not visit (as a tourist who knows where I will be and when).
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Yes, the DOC permit process is impractical and unworkable but you can still fly.
Hopefully, you guys are laid back about everything else
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They are
 
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MAvic_South_Oz

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I would take it Chriztofor !
While NZ Nat Pks are awesome, capture what you want there on an Osmo or Gopro, fly the drone in the gazzilion other places you can fly legally.
Fly just outside park boundaries, and capture 120m (400') overviews of the mountains etc.

I know, reading the official NZ CAA website is a little daunting, and other sites like Airshare that decipher all the officialdom also paints a bleak picture, but I'm sure with the Airshare map you'll find loads of cool places to film.

It means early starts to be there without loads of people, but that's the best time to film anyway :)

Some links, which I'm sure you found most of already . . .



Have a great trip regardless of whether you do or don't take the MM, it's a nature mecca if going down to the Queenstown region.
Unneeded gear if doing multi day walks etc can be left in a duffle bag securely at most accommodation.
 

WithTheBirds

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Will be hard to get glow worm shots on any sort of organised tour. You need long exposures (obviously)- even at 3200 ISO 5-10mins isn't uncommon.
 

ZX14-R

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Drone footage of NZ !

 

Chriztofor

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I would take it Chriztofor !
While NZ Nat Pks are awesome, capture what you want there on an Osmo or Gopro, fly the drone in the gazzilion other places you can fly legally.
Fly just outside park boundaries, and capture 120m (400') overviews of the mountains etc.

I know, reading the official NZ CAA website is a little daunting, and other sites like Airshare that decipher all the officialdom also paints a bleak picture, but I'm sure with the Airshare map you'll find loads of cool places to film.

It means early starts to be there without loads of people, but that's the best time to film anyway :)

Some links, which I'm sure you found most of already . . .



Have a great trip regardless of whether you do or don't take the MM, it's a nature mecca if going down to the Queenstown region.
Unneeded gear if doing multi day walks etc can be left in a duffle bag securely at most accommodation.
Thanks, but we are only staying for two weeks (first time there) and we are naturally hitting all the tourist areas. I really don't want anything to ruin my trip. I know, I am a wussy. :) Thanks again.
 
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Chriztofor

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.
Tourism is probably their biggest industry already.
.
You would have to be doing something pretty stupid to be fined or arrested there.
.
Yes, the DOC permit process is impractical and unworkable but you can still fly.
.
They are
Thanks for the reply. Will have fun (even without my drone). :( :)
 

MAvic_South_Oz

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I know! It looks cool and they took pics of it! I promise I won't use a flash! lol
Do some practice at home with some very low light photo techniques, you probably know or researched what's needed for this type of photography.
You may need to find out if tours allow enough space (on the little boats, may also be foot access) to take a small tripod for the long exposures needed.
 

WithTheBirds

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At least let me try! lol
Huh? Let you try?

My intent isn’t to discourage, rather to potentially aid in you avoiding disappointment. In other words if you can try and create the opportunity to access the cave/tunnel where the colonies are without being in a large group or where the guide (if one is required) will be in a hurry.
 

THE WOMBLE

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I would love to an eyeball should you get to Wellington.ph 044776814.
The drone is so small and I am sure there is room in your luggage and I am sure you would find places to fly.
 

Dale D

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JUST TAKE IT.

I went through this dilemma (should I take my drone to....fill in the country) a year ago. I polled this forum many times for answers to my countries (Zambia- Madagascar). You can look it up and see the videos too. To make a long story short, no replies, no responses from the countries either despite many tries. So when it came time to actually pack for my trip, I decided to pack the Mavic Air into my camera case and take a chance. Bottom line was, I was totally unable to fly in Zambia at my lodge or on safari (the owner and the guide refused me). The drone never left the camera case. But in Madagascar, which has onerous drone regulations, I was able to fly it a lot. I looked for the opportunities and took them when available. So that is my personal recommendation- (customs no problem in either country).

JUST TAKE IT.
 

MPone

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Just find a quiet secluded spot where no one could see you and launch from there. I flew many times when I was in Xinjiang China. Don't think NZ is any stricter than there.

Can't stand not droning.
 

Dale D

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Addendum- I have been to New Zealand, including both the North and South Island. My wife and I drove (on the left side) both islands, renting a car in Aukland and leaving it on the north island, then renting a car in Christchurch and touring the South Island. No question the South Island is better. There are thousands of areas to fly without being in a national park. Most of the drive is deserted and scarcely populated. There are many opportunities to fly there without encountering anyone. You have got to be crazy not to pass up this spectacular opportunity. Even in popular places like Queenstown, there are miles of roads leading into and out of Queensland that have spectacular mountains and lakes.
 
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ZapRowsdower

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Is the AirShare app a reliable way to ensure that you're not on DOC or park land when flying? Going there shortly myself and definitely want to play by the rules, but don't really want to go through the risk/hassle of applying for DOC approval.
 

Dale D

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Is the AirShare app a reliable way to ensure that you're not on DOC or park land when flying? Going there shortly myself and definitely want to play by the rules, but don't really want to go through the risk/hassle of applying for DOC approval.
For what it's worth- I Googled this and found this web site which answers a lot of questions. FAQs Answered for Tourists Bringing Drones to New Zealand ...https://www.airshare.co.nz › tourist-questions-answered
If it were me, I'd bring the drone and use it when you feel safely away from everyone.
 

Herbie D

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Being a local I can say take it, you won’t regret it. I have flown an air and P4P many times with no issues. You can even fly within the 4km zone as long as it’s shielded. Some of my favour local spots are in the ChCh restricted zone.
Not that it should matter but there is zero policing.
NZ has a tiny population compared to its land size. Unless you fly it in the city centre or popular tourist spots no-one will know you’re there.
The only time people have approached me is to say how cool it looks. Either avoid the public or let them have a look at the screen.
It also doesn’t hurt to ask if you can fly over private property. I’ve never been turned down if you’re polite. That’s what you’ll find about Kiwis, we’re pretty easy going (unless it’s a government department like DOC). Try some of the places you’ll be staying.
And in my unbiased opinion as a born and bred Mainlander, the South Island is definitely better😁😁
 

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