The terrain of Tsiistrenukk took shape as the final continental ice sheets receded from the south-eastern slope of the Haanja uplands. The uppermost layer of limestone and sand was covered up by up to 100 m of glacial till (a mixture of clay, sand, gravel and stones). When oil was prospected in these parts in the early 1960s, they found a fossilized palm tree at a depth of 54 m. Did the drillers know that it was a palm tree and could the palm tree have been introduced here in the interim between the last Ice Ages? That is a separate question.

Tsiistrenukk was separated from its neighbouring areas by lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. In the north, the following bodies of water form a chain left to right: Mikusuu, Mära Järvesuu, Märä Lake, Kändrasuu, Pari stream (Ikuoja), Vinnora lake (6.4 ha), Kerigumäe Järvesuu, Külimitu Lake, Pedeja Lake (4.5 ha) and Kerigumäe Lake (61.4 ha). In the east, the following flow south from Kerigumäe lake: Pedetsi (Pedejä) river and tributary bodies Antjärv and Kurgjärv in Nakrikunnu bog; Kisõjärv (48.9 ha), Pahijärv (10.0 ha), Sõdaalune (8.5 ha), Luikjärv (3.5 ha), Kõrbjärv (3.7 ha), Mägialunõ (1.7 ha) and Vuuhjärv (1.6 ha) in Kaatsorakunna bog and Viisjärv, Pältre lake, Tika lake, Mikeli lake and Väiku-Mikeli lake in Tikakunnu. In the south, Suujärv (12.6 ha) and Väike Suujärv (0,7 ha) in Selsisoo and Palojärv (11.7 ha) on the River Kuura. The western border took shape as the River Kuura along with the Väike Selsi marsh, Rinnakolga marsh, Preeksa Järvesuu and Preeksa Lake, which was fed through Vahtsõkivi stream by the waters of Uuri Lake.

Thus Tsiistrenukk is in a location bounded on the north to west (or northwest) behind the lakes, rivers and streams by the restless south-eastern slope of the Haanja upland and on the south by the tasatsed plains of Misso and on the east by the Luhamaa upland.