Lakes in New Zealand’s Mackenzie Basin – November 10th, 200944.1S 170.1E
The bright blue waters of several lakes stand out against the snowy white peaks of the Southern Alps on New Zealand’s South Island. These lakes are in the Mackenzie Basin, an elliptical intermontane basin, located in the Mackenzie and Waitaki Districts.
The largest such basin in the country, it extends approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) north to south, and 40 kilometers (25 miles) east to west. The Southern Alps constitute its western edge. Aside from a few mountain passes, the terrain is generally highest at the northern end and gradually descends in a southward direction.
Prominent rivers crossing the Mackenzie Basin include the Waitaki, the Ahuriri, the Hakataramea and the Tekapo Rivers. Lakes Ohau, Pukaki, Alexandrina and Tekapo lie within the Mackenzie Basin, as do the artificial hydroelectric lakes of Ruataniwha, Benmore and Aviemore.
Here, moving diagonally downward from the upper right is the bright turquoise Lake Tekapo, followed by Lake Pukaki and finally by the slightly darker turquoise Lake Ohau. South of these three is the artificial Lake Benmore. Outside the basin, the dark blue Lakes Hawea (right) and Wanaka (left) are visible near the left edge of the image.