Nature + travel, country + people
New Zealand from above – heaven on earth
High mountains, wild coastal landscapes, deserted ruins of the City of Gold, and crystal clear mountain lakes fed by glacial waters: the New Zealand Alps are stunning. Wide grassy plains alternate with steep, arid mountain ranges. Among these mountains is the highest in the country, Mount Cook with more than 3,700 meters. Glaciers formed the face of the Southern Alps in New Zealand. Meltwater rivers intersected the mountains with deep valleys. Inside are sparkling turquoise mountain lakes. Some are connected to canals, where their fast-flowing water is used for raising salmon. In other lakes, dams are being built on water to generate power – New Zealand covers 75 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources. 50 percent of total demand is generated by hydropower alone. Thus the Pacific nation is a pioneer in green energy. Not only is Aoraki or Mount Cook National Park home to the longest and longest glaciers in New Zealand, but it also boasts 19 peaks at an altitude of 3,000 meters. The Maori name for Mount Cook, “Aoraki”, means something like “piercing clouds.” A sea of clouds rolls around the rugged ice caps and provides stunning panoramic views. In contrast, the Otago region, located northeast of the Southern Lakes, is dry, hot, and dusty. In the 1860s, this was the epicenter of the gold rush. Thousands of prospectors flocked to the country from all over the world. Traces of them can still be found along Dunstan Road. The path leads through barren, limitless spaces to the former gold-mining town of Bendigo. The ruins of their simple stone homes bear witness to a golden past. Today’s gold in New Zealand is wine, as winemaker Nick Mills explains. Pinot Noir is the most popular of the southernmost grapes from all the vineyards and has gained international acclaim. Just as ships full of gold diggers used to come to New Zealand, so today they set off in the opposite direction loaded with wine. The series “New Zealand from Above – Heaven on Earth” shows the wonderful nature of New Zealand. In individual phases that pass through very different regions, the locals bring the audience closer to life and culture.