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Impressions of the South Island, New Zealand

Landing in Christchurch with only a camera and a blank itinerary, photographer Ricky Kresslein began his search for stunning New Zealand landscapes. He did not have to look far. A drive down the Southern Scenic Route makes it difficult to keep one’s eyes on the road. Every turn produces another opportunity for wonder and adventure.

Published December 12, 2017

Country: New Zealand


Words and Photography by Ricky Kresslein

Huge boulders in a green field with a bright yellow sky, South Island, New Zealand
The Elephant Rocks seem to be placed by giants, decorating the green pastures of local farmers. Here, the sky turns to fire to light them, Duntroon, northern Otago.
A cliff coastline with a grassy top and a stream of water falling off it onto the sand below, New Zealand
On a cloudy day, a waterfall pours over the edge of a cliff, splattering in the sand below, Tunnel Beach, Dunedin, eastern Otago.
Sea lapping a sandy beach with a sunset red sky, New Zealand
The sun rises at Bushy Beach. Visitors here at sunrise can see yellow-eyed penguins leaving the bush for the sea, hoping to catch some breakfast. Fur seals also lounge on the sand, warming themselves between swims, Oamaru, northern Otago.
View across a blue lake to a snow-capped mountain range in the distance, South Island, NewZealand
Lake Pukaki borders the road to Mt. Cook, a popular drive for tourists. The snow-capped mountains, blue lake, and brown grass provide a captivating contrast, Mackenzie Basin, South Canterbury.
A promontory stretching out to sea with an archway at the end and the sun setting, New Zealand
The sun peeks over the cliffs at Tunnel Beach, illuminating the spring wildflowers, as waves smack against sandstone down below, Dunedin, eastern Otago.
A drooping tree in a lake with a cloud-covered mountain range behind it, Queenstown, New Zealand
A weeping willow grows in the icy water of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, central Otago.
A rocky landscape leading into the sea at late sunset with an orange glowing sky, New Zealand
The petrified forest at Curio Bay is 180 million years old. A flood of water mixed with volcanic ash petrified it in less than a month. One can still make out the stumps and fallen branches of the ancient forest, Catlins, Southland.
A boardwalk onto a lake with a town and lights across the lake and mountain range in the distance, New Zealand
Residents of Queenstown turn on their lights as darkness falls on the town and its beauty, central Otago.
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