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Geography of New Zealand

Glenn Duker

New Zealand is a country full of different landscapes and climates. There are rugged mountains, glaciers, vast plains, subtropical forests, fiords, rolling hillsides, volcanic plateaus, coastlines with sandy beaches and more. Locations in New Zealand are so beautiful that many fantasy movies are filmed throughout the entire country, such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. New Zealand is located in the southwest Pacific and has two main islands called North Island and South Island. There are also smaller islands that are scattered offshore, including Stewart Island. Below we will further discuss a few of the geographical features of New Zealand, with the information included from the official New Zealand website

In the North Island, you will find a ‘spine’ of mountain ranges trialling through the middle in between rolling areas of farmland. A volcanic plateau takes over the central North Island with an active thermal and volcanic zone. While in the South Island, you will see a vast amount of Southern Alps. Heading east of the Southern Alps is the farmland of Southland and Otago and the flat Canterbury Plains.

As New Zealand is home to many hot springs and geothermal activity, they provide heating and electricity to those particular surrounding areas. Rotorua is the central spot for the geothermal locations featuring various mud pools, hot springs, and geysers. As a result, the site is famous for its concentrated “Sulfur City’ smell. Outside of Rotorua, you can find thermal activity and hot springs in the North Island area of Turangi and on the west coast of the South island and Hanmer Springs. 

New Zealand has more than 15,000 kilometres of gorgeous and unique coastline. The North Island has multiple areas that are incredible for sunbathing, swimming and surfing. Throughout the country, you will find beaches ranging from dark sandy beaches to white sandy beaches, and even beaches that are more wild and rugged.

While exploring the South Island, you will be amazed by the vast amount of glaciers, including the famous Tasman glacier located nearby Mount Cook Village. The glaciers provide easy access to mouth hikers and mountaineers, and you can also switch up your excursion by doing a heli-hike. 

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