In this five part series presenter Peter Hayden travels through some of New Zealand's most varied, awe-inspiring and spiritual environments. Though there is superbly filmed flora and fauna, geology and other standard natural history documentary staples, it is the history of people's relationship with these sublime landscapes and a genial New Zealand passion for the environment, that makes a lasting impression. At the 1988 Listener Film and TV Awards Hayden won Best Writer in a Non-Drama Category for the series.


Journeys in National Parks: Fiordland

Television, 1987 (Full Length)

In this episode of the Journeys series, presenter Peter Hayden looks at the primeval, remote wilderness of Fiordland National Park. We learn of how the god Tu-te-raki-whanoa crafted the fiords out of sheer cliffs with his adze "so the sea might run in and there'd be quiet places for people to live". On hardy boats and along the Milford Track, Hayden traces the "memory trails" of the few who have braved here: Māori pounamu collectors, sealers, cray fishermen, early naturalists Georg and Johann Forster, and pioneering conservationist Richard Henry. 

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Journeys in National Parks: Hauraki Gulf

Television, 1987 (Full Length)

Peter Hayden travels through some of New Zealand's most awe-inspiring environments in this five part series made to celebrate the centenary of our first national park. This episode of Journeys looks at the national park closest to our largest city and contemplates that relationship, featuring stories of life on the gulf's islands. A highlight is the transfer of the rare tieke (saddleback - a lively wattlebird), from Cuvier Island to ecological time-capsule Little Barrier Island "with Auckland's lights twinkling in the background". 


Journeys in National Parks: Te Urewera

Television, 1987 (Full Length)

In this five-part series celebrating New Zealand's National Parks, presenter Peter Hayden travels through some of the country's most awe-inspiring environments. This episode - looking at the unique spiritual relationship between the Tuhoe people and the birds and bush in Te Urewera National Park - was directed by Barry Barclay. Barclay enacted his "fourth cinema" philosophy of indigenous filmmaking: "We elected to tell the contemporary story of the park through their [Tuhoe] eyes". It attracted controversy for its then-exceptional use of te reo. 


Journeys in National Parks: Tongariro te Maunga

Television, 1987 (Full Length)

In this five part series presenter Peter Hayden travels through some of New Zealand’s most awe inspiring landscapes. The series was made to coincide with the centennial of the establishment of NZ’s first national park (and the fourth worldwide), Tongariro. Hayden traverses the famous crossing with priest Max Mariu, volcanologist Jim Cole, park ranger Russell Montgomery, and the young Tumu Te Heu Heu. It was the first time Tumu, now paramount chief of Ngāti Tuwharetoa, had been up the maunga; the power of his experience is clear and moving.


Journeys in National Parks: Westland / Aoraki

Television, 1987 (Full Length)

In this episode of the Journeys series Peter Hayden travels west to east across two national parks and some of New Zealand's most sublime landscapes, from giant, ancient kahikatea forest to hotpools and creaking glaciers. Ecologist Geoff Park's (Nga Uruora) reflections on the coast-to-mountains forest, and the exploits of early surveyor Charlie 'Explorer' Douglas are woven through Hayden's journey, ending with Hayden's personal highlight of the series: climbing Hochstetter Dome with the legendary mountaineer (and Hillary mentor) Harry Ayres.