Rough Western Coastlines of New Zealand’s South Island – January 21st, 2009
The South Island with an area of 151,215 km² (58,093 square miles) is the largest land mass of New Zealand. It contains about one quarter of the New Zealand population.
It is divided along its length by the Southern Alps, the highest peak of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook at 3754 metres (12,316 ft).
The east side of the island is home to the Canterbury Plains while the West Coast, visible in the image, is famous for its rough coastlines, very high proportion of native bush, and the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers.
Several lakes can be noted, including Lake Te Anau (bottom left), Lake Wakatipu (center) and Lake Wanaka (top right). These lakes are all very deep, reaching to or well below sea level.
The climate in the South Island is mostly temperate, with a mean temperature of 8 °C (46 °F). Less snow is visible here, as January and February are the warmest months while July is the coldest.
There are three main factors that influence New Zealand’s climate: its latitude zone location where the prevailing winds flow westerly, its oceanic environment and its mountains, especially the Southern Alps.