2x45 min, 90 min
2x45 min, 90 min
In the center of the North Island lies the Tongariro National Park, where the train winds its way around Mount Ruapehu, the country’s highest volcano. Its emerald-green crater lake attracts many mountaineers. It is a risky adventure, not least because the volcano is still active. The final stop is the capital Wellington, where a ferry connects the North Island with the South Island.
On the South Island, the Coastal Pacific travels between the mountains and the sea along the east coast. Small earthquakes repeatedly bend the tracks that lead to Christchurch. From here, the journey to the Southern Alps begins. The snow-covered peaks pass by the windows of the TranzAlpine. The train crosses mountains and glacial rivers until it reaches the west coast. Further south the rainforests become denser and form Fiordland, New Zealand’s largest primeval landscape. To this day, it is impassable for the narrow tracks and is considered one of the least explored areas in the world.
The country is isolated in the streams of the Pacific Ocean—allowing the development of unique flora and fauna. The viewer will explore the cold rainforest, impressively giant trees, huge eels and grasshoppers, predatory snails and running birds such as the Kakapo or the Kiwi. Since time immemorial, the face of the country has changed steadily—up until this very day.
A journey through the middle of New Zealand —in search of the essence, the source of life. The beauty of the country makes us aware of the treasures we destroy. In New Zealand, too, climate change is causing huge damages, glaciers melt, forests were replaced by pastureland, cleared for the agricultural industry, the most important economic pillar alongside tourism. New Zealand is facing major challenges and is responding with a radical environmental policy.
Director of Photography
Ingo Ludwig Frenzel
Remastering Post Facility
Department of Post
Hocken Collections, University of Otago
Marita Hübinger, ZDF/arte
Ralf Quibeldey, NDR