Mark Watson

Photographer & Adventurer


Mark Watson is a Lyttelton-based photographer specialising in landscape, adventure, wilderness and travel photography.

As an active climber, tramper and cyclist with over 30 years experience in the New Zealand outdoors (and many places overseas) I have the ability to photograph a wide range of outdoor scenarios and the skills to access and shoot in remote locations safely.

Through my landscape and adventure photography I convey the diverse and wild beauty of New Zealand’s recreation and conservation areas and attempt to share with my audience the valuable natural heritage of New Zealand’s landscape. I feel compelled to capture images that encourage people to think twice about our environment and to work hard to protect what little unspoiled wilderness we have left.

Landscape and adventure photography are my prime motivation creatively as a photographer but I also work for a number of clients producing product, industrial and commercial photography. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have photographic requirements you’d like to discuss.

My photos have been been published internationally in books, magazines, catalogues, calendars, websites and guidebooks and are represented by the following stock agencies.

In 2013 I co-authored my first book, Our Mountains, with writer Paul Hersey. This collaborative effort incorporated over 100 images that I captured on 15 mountains all over New Zealand. This was followed in 2015 by the acclaimed Te Araroa – Walking New Zealand’s 3000 km trail – a photographic exploration of New Zealand’s long distance trail. In September 2016, Photographing Aoraki Mount Cook – A guide to the best walks and photography locations was published.


Up until 2009 I spent the better part of a decade working for the New Zealand Alpine Club, as editor and designer for The Climber magazine and New Zealand Alpine Journal and directing the publishing and design for numerous guidebooks. Since then I have maintained a number of clients and worked freelance on book design projects.


I’m a curious, novelty seeking type and love nothing more than exploring new places and cultures. Consequently I’ve travelled a lot. My most notable trip in recent years was a 9 month/13,000km cycle tour from China to Indonesia through SE Asia, completed with my partner Hana Black.

Currently, I’m cycling from Alaska to Argentina, an expedition that is expected to take a couple of years. Read more about that here. I’m planning a book on the journey and am documenting the experience and the landscapes as we travel.

In 2008 I cycle toured in the Philippines for three weeks. I photographed the trip extensively and you can check out the blog all about it here.

Stock Photography

My photographs are represented by the following stock agencies and hundreds of my NZ landscape and outdoor and international travel images are available from these sources. I can provide images directly and have many photos not yet with agencies, so feel free to get in touch with your photographic brief.