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New Zealand Karst

New Zealand Karst

A voyage across limestone landscapes
into the subterranean realm of caves

Max Wisshak • Stefanie Wisshak

New Zealand Karst is a high-quality coffee-table book I put together in close collaboration with my dear wife Stefanie. The book is aimed equally at a readership interested in natural science and at friends of skilful nature photography. Accompanied by a foreword contributed by renowned karst researcher Paul W. Williams, the lavishly designed 256-page work guides you through the diverse aspects of New Zealand karst landscapes and caves.

The blurb to this voyage:

"Karstified landscapes are among the most bizarre on our planet – both above and below ground. This book takes you on a visual journey across sublime karst scenery and into the subterranean wilderness of New Zealand caves. Accompanied by popular scientific texts, stunning images lead you from the sculptured limestone pavements of the alpine marble karst to the grassland and jungle karst of the foothills, onwards into the twilight zone and deeper into the caves. It explores the diversity of peculiar features and creatures of the underground, ventures back into the light of cave ruins, and concludes with karst-related Māori rock art.
Learn about the life cycle of the endemic glowworm and the critically endangered Nelson cave spider. Explore the majesty of cave minerals forming speleothems of all types. Discover the many roles water plays in shaping karst and understand the vulnerability of these geotopes and biotopes. New Zealand Karst reveals how you can appreciate karst as a phenomenon where geological, biological, and archaeological beauty all come together in harmony."

In addition to the standard edition, this coffee-table book is also available as a limited special edition in a solid and elegant slipcase.

Here is a foretaste of the "inner values" of the book:

New Zealand Karst sample pages
New Zealand Karst Editionen

New Zealand Karst
– standard edition –


256 pages
232 colour photos and 3 graphs
Hardcover 31.5 x 22.5 cm
5-colour offset print on coated matt paper
Carbon-neutral production
1st edition 2020
ISBN 978-3-9821714-0-1
€ 49.90 plus shipping

New Zealand Karst
– limited special edition –

Noble slipcase
Limited to 200 copies
256 pages
232 colour photos and 3 graphs
Hardcover in slipcase 32 x 23 cm
5-colour offset print on coated matt paper
Carbon-neutral production
1st edition 2020
ISBN 978-3-9821714-1-8
€ 69.90 plus shipping

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The indicated prices are final prices. According to § 19 UStG (German VAT Act) I do not charge sales tax and therefore I do not show it (small business status). In the case of deliveries to countries outside the European Union, additional costs may be incurred in individual cases and must be borne by the purchaser (e.g. import duty).

next generation indie book awards 2021

"Karst landscapes, among the most bizarre on our planet, are featured in this spectacular book focusing on New Zealand karst. Breathtaking photographs, illuminating illustrations, and accessible scientific text engage the reader in learning about this multi-faceted world. From alpine, grassland, and jungle to two-million-year-old caves, with creatures like glowworms and features like Māori rock art, this book is a wonder."

(Next Generation Indie Book Awards Judge)

International Book Awards 2021

... and here is what the book reviews say:

"… outstandingly impressive, a gorgeous volume of images …"

"… it is not only the location that counts, but the sheer enjoyment of sitting quietly and feeling peace that exudes from ‘being there’, a vicarious pleasure transmitted by the images …"

(C. Howes for Descent magazine)


"… stunning landscape images, that really capture the ecological diversity of New Zealand and how these landscapes influence the structure of the resulting caves that form …"

"… the images either make you gasp or long to be on rope …"

(H. Barton for the NSS News)


"… Here, the mastery of Max's photography is demonstrated …"

"… The entire concept of the book is based on a simple form, upgraded with an excellent design, a good selection of typography and, last but not least, artfully placed photographs that round up the whole of each chapter. The final touch to the overall impression is given by superb print with a beautiful re­production of colours …"

(P. Gedei for Acta Carsologica)


"… the double page spread photos are incredible and mark a new stage in photo reproduction…"

"… certainly one of the cave books you should have …"

(R. Ellis for the Journal of the Sydney Speleological Society)


Behind the Scences

If you want to learn more about seleted images in New Zealand Karst, please check out my behind-the-scenes posts on Instagram (@speleophoto)

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