Review: The Deep South

Jul 11, 2023

The Deep South Nā Andris Apse
Penguin Books New Zealand RRP $75.00
Review Nā Sampson Karst

The Deep South is a truly stunning exploration of Te Waipounamu, the Southern Isles and Antarctica. Andris Apse, an award-winning photographer, takes readers on a journey starting with the more familiar landscapes of Waitaha, Murihiku and Westland, showcasing alpine vistas, valleys and coastlines of the mainland.

This book offers a rare glimpse into the Sub-Antarctic Islands, but Andris has ensured readers see much more with his

marvelous eye for texture and detail, mixing intimate images with sweeping panoramas – clearly a deliberate decision that makes each page feel emotive and stimulating.

I can attest from experience that Westland and Fiordland are difficult places to photograph. Checking weather fronts and rain radars are common practice in the profession. While most people see a heavy snow forecast and head for shelter, Andris sees the opportunity for snow-covered landscapes and grabs his camera.

This is a testament to his character and dedication – essential when venturing to the remote Sub-Antarctic Islands. The islands are inhospitable and hard to access, but support a rich and unique array of flora and fauna. Andris shares stories about the quirky and playful nature of the local wildlife, which displays a great curiosity and no fear in his presence.

While enjoying the stunning photos from this acclaimed photographer, I was almost tempted to skip past the essays from Dr Hinemoa Elder, Keri Hulme and Laurence Fernley. Please do not make this mistake.

My favourite contribution was from Dr Elder, who spoke to a deep and profound connection she discovered in the frozen Antarctic landscape.

The Deep South is a celebration of our taiao, showcasing hidden corners of our ancient takiwā.

Visiting these far-off places takes a special kind of commitment and patience. Sit back and enjoy from the comfort of your home, and let Andris be your guide through alpine trails and across the moody Southern Ocean to windswept isles.

There is something for everyone to marvel at in this wonderful book.


Sampson Karst (Ngāti Irakehu, Ngāti Mako) lives in Ōtautahi with his wife and three tamariki. He is the Cultural Capability Lead at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. Sampson is a hobby photographer, passionate about Ngāi Tahu Purākau and a long-suffering Warriors fan.



Opinions expressed in REVIEWS are those of the writers and are not necessarily endorsed by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu