Isn’t it amazing the hidden talents people have tucked away. Some people play the piano, people paint – as it turns out Amanda Dawes, one of our guides over here at Active New Zealand, is quite the cinematographer! Last season she offered to grab a bit of video footage for us while on the road and subsequently, while guiding clients over mountains high and fjords deep, put together a series of short clips, a few of which I’ve embedded below.

Siberia, Mount Aspiring National Park
This spot, like most of the Southern Alps was carved out by glaciers during the last ice age – and in places like the ice-filled Crucible Lake there’s still a fair bit of it about – even in the heat of summer. Over the years taking a dip in the lake has become a bit of a test of hard-core-ness (or some would say sanity).

 

Tongariro Crossing
According to Maori legend the mountains of the Tongariro were formed when a priest caught out in a winter storm called on his ancestors to help. In a classic piece of overkill they came good with a collection of volcanoes and hot springs to keep him toasty – it’s nice when the folks help out, eh!

 

Fiordland National Park
Way back in the 1930’s to create work for droves of depression era unemployed, the government commissioned a tunnel to connect the Eglinton Valley with Milford Sound. At the time it was almost literally a road to nowhere, but it did have one rather significant unexpected benefit; the road paved the way for tourism to what would later be described by Rudyard Kipling as “the eighth natural wonder of the world”. These days Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park, like the Great Pyramid of Giza and Machu Picchu it’s something you’ve just got to see before you die.

 

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