Story: Landscapes – overview

Scenic charms

New Zealand scenery has often been used to advertise the country to overseas tourists. This 1927 poster shows, from left, The Hermitage hotel at Aoraki/Mt Cook, a forest scene, and Mitre Peak in Milford Sound.

European settlers were proud of the scenery in their adopted land, as shown in this extract from the Exhibition Ode. Written by Johannes Andersen and set to music by Alfred Hill, it won a competition for the 1906–07 International Exhibition in Christchurch.

The lakes! the trees! the everlasting hills!
The fiery regions of the earthquake god!
The fastnesses where no man shears or tills;
The virgin depths of age unriven sod!
A young land, new land! – virgin from whose eyes are caught fleet glances of a Paradise.
A land whose loveliness renews the breath
And stays the hand, the ruthless hand of death!

Listen to a short part of the Commemorative Ode, performed in 2007 by the Orpheus Choir of Wellington, the Wellington Chamber Orchestra and the New Zealand School of Music Chamber Orchestra (conductor Michael Fulcher).

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-A-TOURISM-NZ-1927-01

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Sound file made available from Radio New Zealand Concert, the Alfred Hill Trust and Stiles Music Publications.

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, 'Landscapes – overview - Vegetation – the green mantle', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/music/12979/scenic-charms (accessed 22 November 2019)

Story by Eileen McSaveney, published 24 Sep 2007, updated 1 Jul 2015