The photographs

Kapiti Island

Kapiti Island (short for Ko-te-waewae-kapiti-o-Tara-raua-ko-Rangitāne: "the place where the boundaries of Tara and Rangitāne divide"), is the narrow ridge of a submerged mountain range north of Wellington. The steep-sided island was home to Te Rauparaha, the famous Māori warrior of the early 1800s. During the 1980s and 90s, introduced possums and rats were completely eradicated from the island, which is now an invaluable bird sanctuary. Public access is available by permit. [More about: Kapiti | Te Rauparaha]

Castle Hill

Castle Hill or Kura Tawhiti ("treasure from afar"), an area of limestone on the highway between Porter's Pass and Arthur's Pass, is a dramatic landscape of special significance to the local Ngāi Tahu iwi. Nearby Cave Stream offers a popular hour's walk underground through a 362m-long twisty limestone tunnel. [More about: Castle Hill | Cave Stream | Ngāi Tahu]

Aoraki / Mount Cook

This mountain was named after Captain James Cook, who surveyed the islands of New Zealand in 1770. However Mount Cook already had a name: local Māori called it Aoraki ("cloud in the sky"). Today, both names are used. At 3754m, Aoraki is New Zealand's highest mountain. [More about: Aoraki]

Ben Ōhau

Ben Ōhau (1522m, "the place of Hau") is the rounded, steep-sided mountain that overlooks the foot of Lake Ōhau. The road into the glacial lake crosses a hummocky landscape of small hills and ponds formed by the glacier's terminal moraine. [More about: Ben Ōhau | glaciers]

Green Island, Dunedin

Green Island is a tiny island just south of Dunedin, on the Pacific coast of New Zealand. Dunedin, renowned for its Scottish heritage, was named after Edinburgh. While a suburb of Dunedin takes its name from the island, the island itself is uninhabited by people. It is instead home to a breeding colony of royal spoonbills. [More about: Dunedin | spoonbills]

Chalky Inlet, Fiordland Chalky Inlet, Fiordland Chalky Inlet, Fiordland

Chalky Inlet is a glacial fjord in Fiordland National Park. The land here is part of Te Wāhi Pounami - South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. Te Wāhi Pounami means "the place of greenstone." Greenstone is the native nephrite jade found along the mineral belt west of the Southern Alps. [More about: Te Wāhi Pounami - South West New Zealand World Heritage Area]

Balleny Reef, Preservations Inlet, Fiordland

The Balleny Reef is an area of submerged rocks at the mouth of Preservation Inlet just south of Chalky. The lower fjords are perhaps the wildest, least modified areas of mainland New Zealand.

All photographs copyright Matthew Walker 2001–2004.