Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

NZ from above: Astronaut captures our beauty

It's not your average travel brochure - out of this world photos snapped 400 kilometres above the earth.

International Space Station astronaut Thomas Pesquet was orbiting above New Zealand when he looked down on some of our most beautiful South Island landscapes.

He picked up his camera and began taking photos.

The most striking showed a row of mountains described by Pesquet as being in the vicinity of New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki/Mt Cook.

In a photo posted to Pesquet's Twitter account last night ripples of snow-dusted peaks, ridges and valleys, surrounded by turquoise snow-fed lakes, can be seen.

The photo posted on Twitter shows the snow-dusted peaks, ridges and valleys. Photo / @Thom_astro Twitter
The photo posted on Twitter shows the snow-dusted peaks, ridges and valleys. Photo / @Thom_astro Twitter

Pesquet wants to go.

In an English caption accompanying the photo, the Frenchman described the area as "another beautiful landscape I'd love to explore one day".

In a second posting of the photo, with a caption in his native language, Pesquet wrote that it was impossible to talk about New Zealand without "invoking its national parks".

"A call to adventure!"

Pesquet didn't stop there.

Banks Peninsula also captured his attention, and his plans. He wrote of its "distinctive shape" in another photo posted to Twitter.

"Lots of outdoor fun to be had in these parts."

Christchurch and Banks Penninsula as seen from space. Photo / @Thom_astro Twitter
Christchurch and Banks Penninsula as seen from space. Photo / @Thom_astro Twitter

Zooming out, he also shared the bigger picture with his 502,000 followers, capturing much of the South Island.

Banks Penninsula. Photo / @Thom_astro Twitter
Banks Penninsula. Photo / @Thom_astro Twitter

- NZ Herald

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