Linger Abroad

Telling the unique stories of our Earth. 👉🏼@lingerabroad 👉🏼@mbhitspause Looking for a thrill? Check out Nevis Bungy & Swing in New Zealand! ⬇️

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With so many stunning sites to see in Banff, there was one that undoubtedly stood out for me: Moraine Lake. From it's gorgeous turquoise colored lake to it's incredibly majestic mountains, Moraine Lake had me going back multiple times. It's one of the most photogenic locations in the world and also easy to access for everyone. This is clearly one place you do not want to miss during your visit to Banff.


It's no wonder that Lake Louise is one of the most visited spots in Banff. There are plenty of activities for any person, including hiking to the Lake Agnes Teahouse, canoeing in Lake Louise, or simply relaxing at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Like many Banff lakes, it's also easily accessible for visitors to enjoy the immense beauty of this lake.


On one hand, it's beautiful to see these flowers growing here despite less than ideal weather and soil conditions. On the other hand, where the flowers are now was once occupied with massive amounts of ice, part of the Columbia Icefield Glacier, and it is rapidly disappearing. In just the last two decades, the glacier has lost 1/3 of its surface area and continues to lose 5 meters annually. It's a sad and unfortunate scenario that we could lose many of our major glaciers within our lifetime. Whether or not we'll be able to do anything remains to be seen but we need to continue raising awareness of the things we are losing so that hopefully, solutions can be found to preserve our natural wonders for as long as possible.



This was taken at the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre in Jasper National Park, where there is a balcony with a perfect viewpoint of the glacier. The discovery centre is a great stop for your roadtrip through the Canadian Rockies to learn more about the glacier and book a walk on top of the glacier. While this shot does not show the glacier itself, it's one of my preferred shots of this pristine landscape.


Peyto Lake is another stunner in Banff National Park and is easily accessible for visitors. Only 40 minutes away from Lake Louise, from the parking lot, it is only a 15-20 minute walk with some slopes to get to the vantage point. If you want to get a closer view of the lake, there is a separate hike that you can venture off to.


My favorite shot of Bow Lake! That's it for today 😁



What I love about Banff National Park is wherever you drive, you can find a stunning place, even right by the roadside. Here is Bow Lake, which is right next to the highway and very easy to access. It's one of the reasons I think Banff is one of those perfect destinations for any person because there are many places where you can enjoy some of the most beautiful sites in a relatively short proximity. Would you agree or where are some other places you would recommend?


Isn't it adorable? What would you name this little furry companion?


This shot was taken in the garden of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, a luxury hotel that impresses with stunning landscape views. Who wouldn't want to stay at this place?



Emerald Lake is one of the many gorgeous lakes in Banff. During the warmer seasons, you'll see the lake during its most emerald green color and you can canoe in the lake. It's best to go early to snag a canoe when there are fewer people and parking is also fairly limited. There is also a hiking trail that circles the lake. The lake completely freezes over but winter visitors can still cross country ski. But you don't have to do any of these things if you want to simply enjoy the pristine beauty of the lake.


One of the amazing things about Banff is just about any body of water you see, it's cerulean blue or green. This is from grounded rock powder from the grinding action between the rocks and glacier. When the sunlight reflects off the powder, it shows off this stunning color in the water. What other places have you been to with this kind of water color?


We stumbled upon a pair of bighorn sheep wondering by the road. There was a pretty decent sized crowd but everyone kept their distance and for good reason. While they acted calm and docile, these sheep can easily do serious damage to a person if you mess with them. There are instances of them causing significant damage to cars with just one ram of their head. Nevertheless, it's always wise to keep a distance for every wild animal but it's also amazing being able to observe these powerful animals.



Johnston Canyon is a terrific place to check out during your Banff visit. Not only is it beautiful with its towering forests, huge rock faces, and pristine turquoise colored water, it's a great place for people of all ages and sizes, and it's a dog-friendly spot! Let us know what you think if you've been there or if you'd come to visit Johnston Canyon!


Just a mini-timelapse in Johnston Canyon with @mbhitspause for some scale and reference! @voelkerphoto


Here's the photo of the hidden cave in Johnston Canyon. The rock in the middle is actually a lot bigger in real life so finding this place in real life is a little harder. During the time we were here, only 2 other people found the place, though most people are probably concentrating staying on the path. But I thought it's one of the prettiest and serene spots in an already beautiful canyon!



After a long hiatus from social media, we're finally back! Hope you missed us, as we certainly have missed being here. Hope everyone is enjoying their 2018 so far and happy traveling for the new year!

We left off with images of New Zealand and we are moving onto Canada! We'll still mix in some shots here and there for New Zealand but it's onto the Maple Leaf country!

Our first shot shared for this year, a waterfall in Johnston Canyon in #Banff. This area here is a little hidden from the main path and is a bit past the lower falls. There are no signs though, so you'll need to watch out for it. This part also has a cave that's been carved out after many many years of erosion and is a very picturesque spot (photo to come later). Have you found this spot in #johnstoncanyon?


After landing, we got to spend about 10 minutes on the Tasman Glacier to walk around. Helicopter rides can only hold 5 people, including the pilot, so it's a pretty interesting and cool feeling being nearly alone at the top of the mountain. It's an experience I highly recommend and I will post a short video of it soon. Be sure to check out @mtcookskiplanesandhelis for the experience.

This is our last post for pictures in New Zealand but we'll have some new images of our other travels, and we will have new posts on our blog very soon. Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving with food, friends, and family!


So, my @instagram is not letting me post multiple photos at once and it's been bugging the heck out of me. Hopefully, I can get this fixed eventually but for now, it's just one photo at a time.
Took this picture right after we landed on the Tasman Glacier. It was our first time flying a helicopter and it was pretty awesome! Landing on a glacier was...icing on the cake? 😁😁 Yes, I'm cool like that! 😂
Helicopter ride provided by @mtcookskiplanesandhelis



Getting aerial views of the mountain ranges of Mount Cook/Aoraki is almost like seeing a different planet. The formations of the snow and glaciers are unlike anything that I've ever seen and there's probably few ways to see these kinds of places. It's a surreal experience getting to see these up close thanks to @mtcookskiplanesandhelis


Here are some more photos during our helicopter flight with @mtcookskiplanesandhelis! At this point, we are over 12,000 feet above sea level and you can see all the snow and glaciers that are formed here. There is really no other way to get this kind of view in this area other than helicopter or ski plane!


For some reason, Instagram is not allowing me to post multiple photos. Anyone else having this issue? Until I figure it out, will be posting one at a time.
Got this shot during our flight with @mtcookskiplanesandhelis. If you're not sure what you're looking at, this is a glacier (not sure which one) in the Mount Cook area. Those blue streaks are large fissures in the glaciers and to compare how large they are, you can see two small dots in the photo. Those dots are people hiking on the glacier, which are tiny compared to the fissures and would easily be swallowed up in those cracks. One of the many reasons why it's difficult to hike in this area.


Flying in the helicopter with @mtcookskiplanesandhelis for some incredible aerial views of Mount Cook. It's definitely something you should consider doing because of how remote this area is and there's almost no other way to see these areas. More shots to come!


What is your best customer service story or you made a mistake but it worked out thanks to those that helped you?
Big shout out to @mtcookskiplanesandhelis for how amazing their service and experience was! When we were in New Zealand for our honeymoon, I thought a helicopter flight over Mount Cook/Aoraki would be an awesome experience and made/paid for our reservations. Well, you can get caught up with the beauty of New Zealand and lose track of time. It wasn't until the day of our reservation did I realize we had a flight at Mount Cook and we had missed our time slot. I called @mtcookskiplanesandhelis about what happened and all they did was put us in the next day's schedule of flights. We can't thank them enough (though hopefully the big tip helped!) for accommodating us and for a truly incredible experience flying into the mountains.
This shot was when we were flying over Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. Usually after winter, there are many icebergs in the lake and boat tours are available to go near them.


We were on our way to @mtcookskiplanesandhelis to get an aerial experience of Mount Cook and its glaciers but had to make a quick stop to enjoy the view.


My quick timelapse of the Milky Way over the Church of the Good Shepard. I wish I had more time but the lens began to fog up due to the cold weather.


Do you think overtourism is becoming a problem and what places do you think the experience has had adverse effects to too many tourists? I first visited New Zealand 5 years ago on a solo roadtrip on the south island. One of my favorite places was Lake Tekapo, especially for its tiny church, Church of the Good Shepard, that sat in a picturesque spot with the lake and mountains in the background. The serenity of the scene is one of the most beautiful I've seen but what really made the experience enjoyable was how few people there were to disturb the peace.
Fast forward to 2017, I was back in New Zealand with Mat and I was excited to see Lake Tekapo again. However, when we got there, I was shocked to see how packed it was with tourists. There was well over 100 people (low relative to other places but pretty extreme here), and many of them crowding the tiny church. There was no way to get a scenic shot at this time so we went to look around and return later. When we went back during sunset, not only were there still alot of tourists, but 3 or 4 engagement shoots were going on at the same time, all around the church. I felt incredibly disappointed that this site succumbed to the commercialization of tourism but with more people being able to travel more than ever, I can't blame the tourists wanting to visit. It's just one of the unfortunate consequences when a growing number of people are getting opportunities to travel. Is this the future for many more sites like this? Quite possibly.

At least there is one time where almost no one is there: in the middle of the night. I went back to the church around midnight and the only people there were fellow photographers (although one group inexplicably had a drone going over the church). We were all chatting about photographing the Milky Way as well as other travels in New Zealand or around the world. It was a pleasant night of shooting that yielded some great results. I'm hopeful the next time I visit, it'll be a more pleasant experience.


During the same night I photographed the Aurora Australis at Lake Wanaka, I found another spot to do a timelapse of the stars. However, I didn't take into account of the very early sunrise time so I ended up only getting a few seconds worth of timelapse. Still, it was pretty to see the stars until the morning.


What are some unexpected objects or scenes you've photographed? While at Lake Wanaka, I decided to go out late at night to try to take some shots of the Milky Way. I settled by a spot on the edge of the lake and shot in the direction of the Milky Way and the town. After a few test shots, I noticed a faint glow beyond the mountains in the shots. I bumped up the exposure and the glow showed more clearly. I began to realize that this glow could be the Aurora Australis, or the southern lights, the counterpart of the Aurora Borealis, the northern lights. I couldn't see the lights in real life because of the town lights, so capturing in camera was a thrill and quite lucky! The lights didn't last too long as they faded away as I took more shots. But it was cool to get a photo of the lights and will have me remembering to look out for them the next time I'm in New Zealand.


This tree is known as the "Lone Willow" at Lake Wanaka. True to its name, it is the only tree in this area, a fair distance away from any other tree. What makes it famous is that when the water levels are up, the tree base is completely submerged in lake water, making the tree standing alone in the middle of the lake. Unfortunately, Lake Wanaka was experiencing a prolonged drought that caused water levels to drop so the tree base was out of the water. On the other hand, it made it really easy to get up close to the tree to take the photos, and there were some puddles that reflected the tree. With few to no people around, it was a peaceful and serene photographic experience watching the sunrise hit the tree.


On our second day at Lake Wanaka, we spent a portion of the day biking around the lake. It's the perfect active yet relaxing activity here as everywhere you turn is just the beautiful landscapes around the lake. With relatively few people in the area, we could stop at a lake edge and take a peaceful nap without any disturbances and it would've also been perfect for picnicking. We frequently mentioned that Lake Wanaka would be a wonderful place to live. Although it is very serene here, there is actually a plethora of activities here, including kayaking, boating, mountain climbing, and hiking, and it's relatively close to many other places in New Zealand.