Where can I fly my drone this summer to get that Instagramable picture?

Tourists will be flocking back to New Zealand this summer for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, with many looking to get the perfect photos for their social media. 

Some might even bring drones, which can be very loud and disturbing - something AM co-host Ryan Bridge experienced while on holiday in Nouméa, New Caledonia.

"There is always something that annoys you when you are on holiday. It's [Nouméa] a beautiful relaxing place and you go there, and people spend a lot of money to go to places like this, to relax and some people are not there to help you relax. 

"Some people are there to ruin your experience. I call them serenity killers.

"This is a story I think we'll see more of this summer because this summer is the first time really when you think about it that New Zealand's borders will be open to the world for foreign travellers to come here and enjoy our beaches and our beautiful scenery. What are they going to bring with them this time that they didn't bring pre-pandemic potentially is something that flies?"

Bridge then recalled the sound of a drone, which disturbed his time while on the beach in Nouméa. 

"I was on the beach and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, there is some sort of killer bee going to come and end my life, this is my last moment.' I look up and it's a drone, it's a drongo with a drone," he explained.  

"There is this guy on the beach with his Instagram girlfriend… she's taking these photos in the ocean with her phone and the drone is obviously getting the ariel shot and I'm like, 'Excuse me, this is a place of relaxation, you do not bring a drone to a relaxing beach.' 

"Am I right or am I right?"

Bridge questioned whether there should be tougher rules for drone users in New Zealand, so people aren't disturbed while on holiday. 

"So my question to you is, and this is something I think is going to happen more and more, beautiful beaches, places of nature, people are going to want a drone shot," he said. "Do you think we should have rules about where drones can be flown and do you think you should be able to throw rocks at them and bring them out of the sky yourself because that's what I felt like doing?"

Drone rules 

Many drone users will go to beaches, parks and lakes, which can provide excellent locations for stunning photos and videos, but Aviation Security Service (ASA) guidelines said these locations can draw lots of people.

"Before you fly over anyone, including people in a water vessel, you will need their consent. At crowded locations, this is almost certainly impractical, so just avoid flying over anyone," ASA said on its website.

The ASA said if people are wanting to fly their drones over people and properties they need to get consent from the homeowner or person in charge of the land they want to fly over.

It's also recommended drone users check with their local council before flying in public places like parks and reserves. 

Anyone wanting to fly their drone over conservation land must apply for a permit from the Department of Conservation. 

The ASA said drones can’t be flown outdoors at night unless they're doing a shielded operation.