Mountains, Volcanoes, Coasts and Caves: Origins of Aotearoa New Zealand's Natural Wonders

Bruce W. Hayward. With aerial photography by Alastair Jamieson and Lloyd Homer

Author: With aerial photography by Alastair Jamieson
Author: and Lloyd Homer
Format: Flexibind
Pages: 384
Published: 10 November 2022
Specs: 27.0cm x 22.0cm
ISBN: 9781869409678


A guided tour through 500 million years of history – and a spectacular introduction to the natural wonders of Aotearoa New Zealand.

From Whakaari / White Island and Huka Falls to the Moeraki Boulders and Milford Sound, Aotearoa New Zealand overflows with extraordinary landforms and other natural features.This is not a random quirk of nature, but a result of the unique and complex geological history of this part of planet Earth.

In this beautiful book, geologist Bruce W. Hayward guides readers through 100 natural wonders of Aotearoa – introducing the geology and history with words, explanatory diagrams and remarkable aerial photography by Alastair Jamieson and Lloyd Homer. Through these 100 special places – and many more that almost made the cut – we begin to understand the shape of Aotearoa and the 500-million-year history of our small, mostly submerged continent of Zealandia.

For every car and coffee table, Mountains, Volcanoes, Coasts and Caves is the essential guide to the deep story of this country – how it was formed and how it has changed over millennia.



Bruce W. Hayward is a retired geologist and marine ecologist based in Auckland. He is a former member of the New Zealand Conservation Authority, former president of the Geological Society of NZ and Honorary Life Member of the NZ Marine Sciences Society and the Geoscience Society of NZ. He is the founder and convenor of the NZ Geopreservation Inventory which documents and seeks greater protection for NZ’s geoheritage features like those highlighted in this book ( His wide interests in natural and human history have resulted in twenty-two previous books on topics as diverse as archaeology, the kauri timber and gum industries, New Zealand fossils, volcanoes, building stones and geoconservation, and the popular Out of the Ocean, into the Fire on the geology of northern New Zealand. He is author of AUP titles Volcanoes of Auckland: A Field Guide (2019) and Volcanoes of Auckland: The Essential Guide (2011).



Alastair Jamieson is an Auckland-based ecologist and photographer who has documented New Zealand’s changing natural environment with aerial photography for three decades. He provided the aerial photography for AUP’s two Auckland volcano guides. You can see more of his images at

Lloyd Homer is a renowned New Zealand landscape photographer who specialised in aerial photography before the emergence of digital cameras. He worked as photographer for the NZ Geological Survey and its successor GNS for 40 years. He has been the photographer co-author of eight publications and is also the subject of the book Flying High: The Photography of Lloyd Homer by Simon Nathan (2019). His vast library of images are accessible at



‘There are many scenic coffee table books of New Zealand landscapes but none which explain the geological origins of the scenery. This book does just that. It is written by New Zealand’s principal expert in the field and is therefore authoritative and informative. The writing style is clear, the images and diagrams are well chosen and it is visually hugely impressive. Within the author’s 100 selected features there is a satisfying balance between familiar favourites and new surprises. I highly recommend this superb book.’
— Dr Nick Mortimer, GNS Principal Scientist and co-author of Zealandia

‘This book will take its place alongside our two most famous large-format classics –Brian Brake and Maurice Shadbolt’s Gift of the Sea, and Professor Kenneth Cumberland’s Landmarks. Like those books, it is founded in the physical presence of the land itself. Bruce Hayward’s approach is different, simple and specific to 100 separate scenic sites, evocative in themselves – but together, in the hands of New Zealand’s most accomplished geologist, they become a compelling revelation of Aotearoa’s primeval heart.’
— Geoff Chapple, Founder, Te Araroa Trail and author of Terrain: Travels Through a Deep Landscape

‘Bruce Hayward is unquestionably New Zealand’s most experienced earth science communicator, champion and spokesperson. And it shows. To distil the geological essence of New Zealand in terms of just 100 significant features in our landscape is no mean feat. He has done so in style, helped by a careful choice of photography by Lloyd Homer and new material by Alastair Jamieson. This fine book is a must-have for all who are curious about the natural wonders of the New Zealand landscape. Like all well-crafted mature distillations, you are left hanging out for more.’
— Hamish Campbell, co-author of Zealandia and co-presenter of the TV series Coast New Zealand