Kiriwhakapapa, Wairarapa family photo session: Gina and whānau


Gina and her family traveled from Palmerston North to Masterton for their family portrait session and weren't familiar with local spots. Together we chose Kiriwhakapapa for their family photo location as Gina said 2 and a half year old Natalie "loves animals (ducks, spiders, bugs etc) so if there is a location that lends itself to that we would fit right in.". We figured there would be heaps of creepy crawlys living under rocks and in the leaf litter. Natalie wasn't disappointed!


Kiriwhakapapa is a forest reserve managed by the Department of Conservation. It is a 20 minute drive north of Masterton on State Highway 2; and just over 1 hour from Palmerston North via Pahiatua Track (add an extra 10 minutes if you travel via Saddle Road). It boasts a campground with toilet facilities, stunning Redwood and native forest, river, 1 hour loop walk, and the steeper 2 hour (one way) walk up to Blue Range Hut. You can even bring your dog!


Gina was absolutely amazing at nearly 8 months pregnant and "still totally open to getting into nature and coming out a bit dirty or wet.". Dad Dave was beautifully attentive to mother, daughter and son-to-be. My kind of family!


We started off by walking into the forest reserve with Natalie being a little less than enthusiastic (think grizzling and frowning poor little thing!). Dad helped turn the frown into a smile by skimming stones on the river. We then marveled at the Redwood trees in the historic forestry trial with gorgeous golden light shining through the tall trunks.


Log balancing and more river exploration followed as well as some insect hunting. The look of anticipation and excitement on Natalie's face every time a rock was turned over was priceless. Gina said of family photos:

"Photos are such a cool way to capture family moments and document a childhood"


The campground itself was pretty empty so we were free to jump in all the puddles and run across all the grassy areas! Natalie came prepared with the cutest favourite Elsa gum boots.


Gina went on to purchase a number of her images as prints to display in their home. I'm always delighted when families value prints as much as I do. Children gain such a boost in self-esteem when they see themselves displayed at home.


Thanks Gina, Dave and Natalie for travelling to the Wairarapa I hope you had as much fun as I did and love your photos!


I'd love to capture your family moments and document your children as they are now. They grow so fast! If you would like to book your own outdoor adventure family portrait, please feel free to contact me.


I'd love to capture your family moments and document your children as they are now. They grow so fast! If you would like to book your own outdoor adventure family portrait, please feel free to contact me.


Lots of love, Sarah xx

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