1. Whangamata, Coromandel
Looking out to sea towards the pretty nearer islands, Hauturu and Whenuakura are great fun to paint. In the far distance, Mayor Island sometimes appears to hover just above the water. These scenes have featured in more lovingly rendered oil paintings than we've had hot dinners, and with good reason.
2. Albert Park, Auckland City
Here's a painters' paradise if ever there was one. There's the regal University of Auckland clock tower, the bubbling fountain, the floral clock and gardens bursting with flowers. The statues are good to paint too because, unlike real people, they stay still. The big old gnarled trees provide a stout challenge to artists wishing to render the wonders of nature.
3. Hunua Falls, Franklin District
This is a little beauty of a spot. Native bush, so many shades of green, and ponga trees just beg to be painted. The pool is like something from a movie set and the 30-metre falls put on a variety of different shows, from a trickle to a thundering veil.