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.
She has driven over 120,000 kilometres by four-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 300 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.
Antonia at work in the New Zealand high country.
About the authors
Antonia Steeg is a professional photographer and artist with a passion for animals and the natural world. Born in Germany, she followed her dream and moved to New Zealand’s South Island in 2005, where she lives with her husband and son.
Philip Temple is an award-winning, internationally-published writer of fiction and non-fiction for all ages. He has won many distinguished awards and prizes, including a 2005 Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement for non-fiction, and was the recipient of the 2003 Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers’ Residency.
'[Antonia Steeg and Philip Temple] capture some of the beauty of the landscape, the history, dangers, hardship, and some of the timeless practices of high country life through the seasons ... a beautifully produced book that enhances, and brings some reality to, one of our national myths.'
– Charmian Smith, Otago Daily Times, October 2012