Many know New Zealand’s High Country for its majestically beautiful scenery – the snow-cloaked mountains, braided rivers and tussock grasslands shaped by millions of years of natural events and centuries of exploration and settlement by both Māori and Europeans. With its rich human heritage and mythology, the ever-changing High Country is central to the country’s psyche and identity.
Yet few have experienced day-to-day life in these remote regions. Regions where high-tech farming methods are used alongside tools an early settler would recognise, where animals play a central role, where hours are long and income can be short, and where everyday livelihoods are at the mercy of the weather.
Photographer Antonia Steeg began her work documenting the high country in 2008.
In her work she has driven over 120,000 kilometres by 4-wheel-drive, seen parts of the country few will ever reach, experienced wild extremes of weather and made more than 100 station visits, meeting and working alongside the people who live there. Of the tens of thousands of high-quality photographs she has taken, more than three hundred of the best are distilled into this, her first full-length book.
With an evocative and richly informative introduction by celebrated writer Philip Temple, High Country New Zealand is a visually stunning documentary of this unique place.