Giveaway: New Zealand’s Wild Places

Elizabeth Marenzi —  19/09/2013

Thanks for all your inspiring comments. The giveaway is now closed and the winners (picked at random) are: Olivia Henwood, Katy Mar and Tom McMurtry.

I hate to send you into a panic, but you might as well know—there are less than 100 days until Christmas. I know, crazy huh? But don’t stop reading in shock. I have something that’ll ease the pain of that announcement. It’s a great present idea that’ll suit just about everyone you know.

New Zealand’s Wild Places is Craig Potton’s new book. You’ve heard of Craig Potton, right? There can’t be too many homes around the country that haven’t had a wall, coffee table, or desk embellished with the work of this well known landscape photographer at some point in time.

Cover of New Zealand's Wild Places by Craig Potton.

Anyway, New Zealand’s Wild Places is Craig’s latest, just released, piece of eye candy; and the wonderful folk at Craig Potton Publishing have given us three copies to give away to you, our lucky and loyal readers.

They’ve been sitting on my desk for a day or two now and, as I thumb (ever so carefully and well away from my coffee cup!), through the pages—covering rivers and lakes, the coast, and forests and mountains—I can’t help but feel a fresh sense of awe at our country’s remarkable landscape (and at Craig Potton’s talent in capturing it in such an honest way).

In the foreword he says:

It is my hope that New Zealand’s Wild Places can serve as a reminder of, and an inspiration for your own encounters with the wild places of our country.

Now, who wouldn’t want to give their family and friends that for Christmas (or at any other time of the year for that matter)?

To be in to win leave a comment on this post before 12 noon on Monday 23 September, telling us about your favourite New Zealand Wild Place.

The giveaway is open to Conservation Blog subscribers; however, we can only ship to New Zealand addresses.

Good luck!

New Zealand’s Wild Places is valued at $39.99 and is available to purchase from bookstores nationwide and online from

It’s free and easy to subscribe to the Conservation Blog, simply enter your email address in the right hand side of this web page where it says “email notifications”. If you already receive our blog posts via email then you’re already subscribed!

Elizabeth Marenzi


Elizabeth is part of the communications team at DOC. She enjoys reconnecting the urban desk jockeys of the world with nature—believing it to be the best anecdote for “tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people.”

18 responses to Giveaway: New Zealand’s Wild Places


    Anywhere on the West Coast of the South Island does it for me. The coastal drive – or preferably ride by motorcycle – from Haast to Westport, then on up to Karamea is one of the best in the country!

    Julia Gordon 23/09/2013 at 10:48 am

    My favourite wild place is Campbell Island, the main island of the Campbell Island group, NZ’s southernmost subantarctic territory. 660km south of Bluff. From the moment we sailed into the haven of Perserverance Harbour I was enchanted with the sense of isolation and remoteness; the amazing history of the early farmers, and the abundant wildlife. This World Heritage Area seems to belong to the magnificent Southern Royal Albatross with its 3+ metre wingspan, and to the inquisitive NZ Fur Seals that welcomed us ashore. The fields of megaherbs, the sheer cliffs of the western coastline, and our trek through the dense Dracophyllum forest to Northwest Bay in a screaming gale, are memories that will stay with me for ever.


    I can’t decide between West Ruggedy Beach on Stewart Island or McKellar Saddle on the Greenstone/Caples track in Central Otago. Both places have special meaning to me and I feel alive when I go there.


    Ohhh Craig Potton! I’ve been immersed in life at home with my very small children for the last few years and have been dreaming of the time when I can take my wee ones with me to some wild places here in Aotearoa. Just the sight of the cover of your book makes me hope and dream of a time when we can all trudge along to a hut for an overnight marshmellow-roasting feast!!! I simply cannot wait to take the kiddies into our wilderness. Looks like a wonderful book!

    Leigh Gillard 22/09/2013 at 10:33 pm

    My favourite wild place is Wangapoua Beach on Great Barrier Island. Hardly any people, miles and miles of white sand and clear blue water – endangered birds like the NZ dotterel live there and the Pateke (Brown Teal Duck) live by the creek nearby. Endless photo opportunities from sun up to sun down – a very special place


    Hawdon Valley, Arthurs Pass – (cold!) Canterbury river, beech forest, mountains. I spent a number of weekends in that area, camping and tramping – I now in the North Island, but beech forests and braided rivers will always be it for me!

    Clare Logan 22/09/2013 at 8:32 pm

    Two favourite places spring to mind – Big Bay, Fiordland for 3 wilderness wonderful days/nights with great mates and the odd possum hunter; Stewart Island for its variation of terrain & scenery, and my first sharing of a tramping track with a real live kiwi…priceless! Suffice to say, I now have to take the kids and prove to them they come out in the day down south…


    Cross the Wairaurahiri River swingbridge, carefully closing the possum door behind you, leave behind regenerating forest and step into the untouched Waitutu Forest. At this spot wild river, wild coast, wild forest converge. Ancient trees, delicate orchids, curious kaka and plenty of sandflies. Hard to get wilder than that.

    Yvonne Hammond 20/09/2013 at 10:28 pm

    Deep inside I have my ‘wild place’. sometimes the light or colours or mood of a place trigger me to dive deep and be there!! tramping and being in the natural world all lay the path to the connectedness 🙂


    For me it the has to be the mean, moody and rugged Oturere Valley in the Tongariro NP. Created by violent volcanic activity, it’s a strangely peaceful place whose other worldly beauty gets me every time. The surrounding landscape is dynamic and wonderfully unpredictable, the views are fabulous and it’s certainly wild.


    My favourite wild place is anywhere I can photograph our New Zealand birds so Fiordland and the Mackenzie Country come to mind. However I feel my most favourite wild place is around Bandy Point, tucked into a small part of the large Awarua Bay. It is my favourite as it is the winter roost for about 60 of the rare southern sub-species of the New Zealand Dotterel who usually reside on Stewart Island. Imagine combining the gorgeous pink/lavender southern winter light, the blue of the tide, the golden peebles, the green eel grass and having a dotterel in it’s bright orange breeding plumage peering into your camera lens, while another is standing right beside you, The rest of the world can pass you by when you are there.

    Tom McMurtry 19/09/2013 at 4:35 pm

    Whirinaki forest, part of Te Urewera national park. Huge,ancient trees and birdsong everywhere due to 10 years of aerial pest control.


    It has to be the North Canterbury high country and rivers. Scenery that takes your breath away, a new vista round every corner and native wild life and plants and everything in-between.

    Paul Kavanagh 19/09/2013 at 12:02 pm

    I had the pleasure of visiting Whenua Hou a few years ago to work with our incredibly unique kakapo, and it has to be one of my favorite places in Aotearoa. It is just New Zealand as New Zealand should be, bustling with birdlife. We were being serenaded every minute of every day by an orchestra of tui, kaka, korimako, kakariki and then the eerie night-time calls of ruru and kakapo. Wild areas like this that have been either untouched by the scourge of introduced predators, or have been cleared of these predators, can only hint as to how magical a pre-human NZ would have been but also hint at what it could be like again for more areas in the future. It gives hope to all the people who work so hard to help save our amazing native animals, hope is the most important thing for the future of conservation in NZ


    Such a tough choice! I’m going to pick Danseys Pass in the Maniototo (though will probably change my mind in 5mins time). Within a km of each end of the road you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, often up in the mist/cloud, surrounded by tussock covered hills.

    Olivia Henwood 19/09/2013 at 9:35 am

    Paradise Valley, Glenorchy. The wide river is so dynamic and rules the valley, surrounded by high snow-capped mountains. Beech forest, crown fern and bellbirds create a wilderness feeling. It really is all in the name!


    My favourite wild place is Mt Memphis’ tarnscape, just SE of a high point on the Dusky Track, in the alpine heart of Fiordland National Park. It has freshwater tarns the size of olympic swimming pools, high dive cliff faces to leap off of into the cool clear drinkable water & it only takes a day to walk to. Panoramic ‘infinity pool’ views of Fiordland (on a clear day :o)!

    Yvonne Smith 19/09/2013 at 8:27 am

    The Kaikoura coast is my favourite Wild Place. We spent our honeymoon in Oaro and recently celebrated our 20th anniversary in Rakautara. We’ve had many enjoyable family trips to the Kaikoura coast in between these times visiting the baby seals, experiencing rough and calm seas and viewing the beautiful snow-capped mountains.