KiwiRail Scenic announces winners of the Great Scenic New Zealand Photo Competition

29 May 2013 9:09AM

The winner of KiwiRail Scenic Journeys’ very popular Facebook photo competition has been named with Christchurch local, Andy Lukey, taking out the top prize of $1,000 cash and $1,000 travel with KiwiRail Scenic Journeys. Mr Lukey’s portfolio, captured on the Coastal Pacific train journey from Christchurch to Picton, was the strongest of the 12 photographers who competed in the final of the competition.

Judging was held on Wednesday 22 May, at Tourism New Zealand in Wellington. Ann Shelton of the Massey University School of Fine Arts took up the mantle of head judge and was joined by Paul Yeo, Industry Relations Manager at Tourism New Zealand, Brett Hoskin, Creative Director at Clemenger BBDO, and Richard Keenan, Marketing Manager at KiwiRail Scenic.

Finalists were judged on their portfolios as a whole, with judges scoring photographers based on quality, skill, creativity, originality, and relevance to New Zealand and KiwiRail Scenic Journeys.

There were also winners from the TranzAlpine and Northern Explorer train lines, who each won $1,000 travel with KiwiRail Scenic Journeys. Cally Whitham and Jack Lee, from Warkworth and Auckland respectively, tied first place on the Northern Explorer ex. Auckland journey, and were awarded highly commended. Paul McLaughlin took out the top spot for the Northern Explorer ex. Wellington, and Melissa Jemmett from Kaiapoi took out the TranzAlpine prize.

Tourism New Zealand representative and photo competition judge, Paul Yeo said he was very impressed with the overall quality of the entries. “It really brought to life what a fantastic experience long distance rail travel is in New Zealand and why more people should be viewing our country from this perspective," he said. "The scenery is superb and the people you meet along the way make the experience so much more enjoyable – the photographers captured this spirit brilliantly!"

“After hundreds of photo entries, an on-board photo shoot, and some difficult decisions, we are very pleased to award our contestants with their well-deserved prizes. We have some of the world’s best scenery and their portfolios were a wonderful showcase of this,” says Scenic Marketing Manager, Richard Keenan.

The competition received a total of 745 photographic entries on KiwiRail Scenic’s Facebook page. To enter, contestants simply had to upload a scenic photo taken from anywhere in New Zealand to the Scenic Facebook application. These entries were then narrowed down to the12 finalists, who each boarded one of Scenic’s three long-distance trains in a bid to take the best photos across a variety of categories.

“Reaching into social media was a way for us to really define our new brand, plant ourselves in the ‘tourism’ space, and create a community of train travel and New Zealand ‘lovers’. Hosting a competition via Facebook was a logical step in KiwiRail Scenic’s evolution, and a fantastic way to engage and interact with Facebook users.

“It was a great way for us to engage with New Zealanders who want to showcase New Zealand through a lens to the rest of the world, and after so much interest and such high-quality entries, KiwiRail Scenic is considering making the competition an annual event,” Mr Keenan says.

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Media Contact: Sophie Lee, Senior Communications Advisor, 04 498 3181 or 027 435 9464 or sophie.lee@kiwirail.co.nz.