Upriver: From the Sea to the Southern Alps

Colin Heinz


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Upriver will appeal to everyone who loves New Zealand’s Te Waipounamu/South Island and wants to find out more about the formation of its diverse landscapes and the story of human settlement since the very first landings about eight centuries ago. It will also provide all the information needed by those wishing to retrace the author’s footsteps, either in the easily accessible regions of the west or east coasts, or in the more challenging mountainous regions of Te Waipounamu/the South Island.

An absorbing blend of trip descriptions laced with background notes about the meaning and significance of places that were encountered, it tells the story of the author’s journeys to the principal sources of each of the 24 rivers that flow down to the sea from Kā Tiritiri o te Moana/the Main Divide of the Southern Alps.

Each of the 24 chapters in this book paints a full-length portrait of the water catchment areas of those 24 rivers, including the highest peaks and lowest passes. Those portraits fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to form a comprehensive picture of this unique island.

Additional information

Weight 0.9 kg
Dimensions 17 × 3.5 × 24 cm

About the Author

Colin Heinz has been an active tramper and climber for over fifty years. He grew up in Cobden on the South Island’s west coast. Its lofty mountains, lush native bush, and stories about gold prospectors and other explorers enticed him into the backcountry and fostered complementary interests in history and geology.

Colin was educated at Greymouth High School, Victoria University in Wellington, and the University of Otago Medical School in Dunedin, which he graduated from in 1972. After two years as an intern in Auckland and two years in general practice in Northland and the United Kingdom he became a specialist anaesthetist and worked in Christchurch for 40 years until his retirement. 

Tramping was a great way for him to unwind from work and introduce his children to the bush and mountains that became so familiar to him when he was growing up. His interest in history was nurtured by family stories going back three generations in Westland and Canterbury and further back to Australia and Western Europe.

Look Inside

To look inside the book, click on the link below:

Upriver: From the Sea to the Southern Alps by Colin Heinz


ISBN: 9780995132931

Pages: 384

Dimensions: 170mm x 240mm

Format: Flexibound, endpapers, flaps, ribbon, head & tail bands

Author: Colin Heinz

Published: 15 August 2020


Every now and then a book comes along that is fresh and original, presenting a different perspective on a topic well traversed. Upriver is one of these. A wonderful book chock full of meticulously researched facts about the Southern Alps and the rivers draining from them, it brings out both Maori and Pakeha perspectives on the land… Full of fascinating details of old and new histories, with explanations of the names bestowed on the landscape, all held together by a matrix of the authors own journeys. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

– Geoff Spearpoint