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New Zealand: Home of the "Remarkables".

I visited New Zealand for the first time in the spring of 2014, drawn by reports of the awesome, diverse landscapes of the distant North and the South Islands lying in the southwest Pacific. New Zealand is a place of dramatic geographical features--vast mountain ranges formed by the movement of the two tectonic plates that run the length of the two islands, rugged fiord-indented coastlines, glacier-carved lakes, green rolling fields with grazing sheep, and verdant vineyards, a relatively new addition to the New Zealand landscape.

Some of the photographs feature a mountain range rising majestically over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. These mountains are called the Remarkables, apparently so named by the early settlers who were as amazed as I by the startling beauty of the range.

Close by are the valleys and old beech forests where Peter Jackson shot scenes for his Lord of the Rings movies.

In one photograph you will see the Chard Farm winery in the Otago area, which we approached via a very steep winding road. The wine we tasted made the white-knuckle trip worthwhile! I also included a photo of the beautiful gardens around Mudbrick Farm, an elegant winery on Waiheke Island near Auckland.

My photographs of New Zealand pull me back to the actual experience of smelling the mist in the air and feeling the dampness on my skin, looking in amazement at the reflection of the mountains in a pond on our way to Milford Sound, at the deep colours the clouds create on the surface of Lake Wakatipu (which !stinted a deep turquoise blue due to glacial silt suspended in its waters)--and tasting the Pinot Noir and New Zealand cheeses.

There is currently much discussion about how new technology enables us to enter a virtual reality and virtual environments. But that can be a solitary, isolating experience. Far better to dive into the actual reality which has been captured in photographs, relive and share those real experiences.

DIANE KELLY is a lawyer who lives in Kingston, Ontario. Although she still takes on legal assignments from time to time, she plans to spend her new-found extra time on community projects, her rusty Spanish, and travel.

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Author:Kelly, Diane (Canadian photographer)
Publication:Queen's Quarterly
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Jun 22, 2014
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