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'New Zealand's most beautiful views revealed'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A photograph of Hooker Lake in Canterbury has been awarded New Zealand’s most beautiful view. The picture was one of over 500 entries submitted of stunning vistas from across the country to a competition held by eye health charity Macular Degeneration NZ. Images of Pouakai Tarns in Tarakanaki and Riwaka Resurgence in Nelson complete the top three.

Winning picture: Hooker Lake, Mount Cook National Park, Canterbury

All entries were shortlisted by the judging panel which included actress and TV presenter Shavaughn Ruakere, landscape photographer Rach Stewart and nutritionist Claire Turnbull, all of whom have a close family member that suffers from vision loss caused by macular degeneration. The shortlisted entries were put to the public vote via a representative sample of 1,000 New Zealanders to choose their favourite views.

The top ten most beautiful NZ views

Hooker Lake, Mount Cook National Park, Canterbury

Pouakai Tarns, Mount Egmont National Park, Taranaki

Riwaka Resurgence, Kahurangi National Park, Nelson

Lake Poaka, Mackenzie Basin, Canterbury

New Brighton Pier, Christchurch, Canterbury

Aoraki/ Mount Cook, Canterbury

Huka Falls, Taupo, Waikato

Mt Taranaki, seen from Scott Rd, Hawera

Milford Sound, Southland

Lake Rotoiti by St Arnaud in the South Island

Shavaughn Ruakere, one of the judges, says; "We were blown away by the incredible entries we received. The competition has served as a timely reminder of just how beautiful our own backyard is, and the breadth of entries featuring mountains, beaches and native bush show what a plethora of treasures we have to enjoy right here on our doorstep. Being able to see and appreciate these stunning vistas is something we shouldn’t take for granted, so taking care of our eye health is really important. Find out more about the signs to look out for and how to lower your risk of macular degeneration at"

The competition forms part of a campaign by the charity to highlight what New Zealanders risk losing if they don’t take their eye health seriously, ahead of Macular Degeneration Week which is being held next week 2-9 November. A simple test, available via the MDNZ website and your optometrist, can lead to early diagnosis and treatment of Macular Degeneration, the most common cause of blindness. Those aged over 50 are most at risk, with 1 in 7 affected, rising to a quarter of people over the age of 80.

This is an example of how someone with Macular Degeneration might see the winning photo and view.

In a recent survey, New Zealanders voted overwhelmingly in favour of their country’s landscape and vistas, with 98% of the sample revealing that they like the views. Two thirds (67%) said that they get out in nature in their local areas once per week or more to appreciate their surroundings, with 13% enjoying the view every day. Over half (57%) travel to another part of the country to appreciate the landscape, with 84% planning to spend more time than in previous years enjoying the scenery this Summer.

Respondents consider mountains (64%), beaches (46%), lakes (34%) and native plants (34%) the most important features of a New Zealand view they themselves find most beautiful. Otago was the region most New Zealanders think has the most stunning vistas (13%), closely followed by Southland (12%), Auckland (10%) and West Coast (10%). Over half of those surveyed (52%) display one or more pictures of a New Zealand landscape on the wall of their home.

The top three entries to the competition have won a free eye test, frames and lenses thanks to sponsors Essilor and the winners have been notified about their prize.

Visit to find out more about macular degeneration including tips for staying healthy and signs to look out for as well as events taking place during Macular Degeneration Awareness Week 2020 - 2-9 November.

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