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Posts tagged The Catlins

Fertile Plains of New Zealand’s South Island

February 1st, 2010 Category: Vegetation Index

New Zealand - January 25th, 2010

New Zealand - January 25th, 2010

This FAPAR image shows much of the South Island of New Zealand. In such images, dark red areas indicate a high degree of photosynthetic activity and therefore high vegetation productivity. Green areas indicate good activity, while yellow zones have low activity.

Here, as one might expect, the high mountains of the Southern Alps show lower productivity. The most intense photosynthetic activity can be seen towards the southern tip of the island, in a region known as the Southland Plains.

The Southern Plains is a general name given to several areas of low-lying land in the South Island, separated by the rise of the Hokonui Hills in the north. It forms a sizeable area of the Southland Region and includes some of New Zealand’s most fertile farmland.

The Plains extend from the Waiau River in the west to the Mataura River which forms the border with Otago to the east. It can be divided into three broad areas: the Southland plain proper, the Waimea Plains and the lower Waiau Plain to the west near the Waiau River.

At their southern extreme the Waimea Plains become the Awarua Plain, a large area of marshy land which stretches from near Bluff to the foot of the Catlins in the far east. Between them, the lowlands around the Awarua Plain and Mataura River cover a further 2000 kmĀ².

New Zealand: Catlins and Volcanoes

43.5S 170.8E

June 22nd, 2009 Category: Snapshots, Volcanoes

New Zealand - June 7th, 2009

New Zealand - June 7th, 2009

Volcanoes

Volcanoes

Southern tip

Southern tip

Clouds hang over the southern Pacific, surrounding the island country of New Zealand. Most of the land areas are actually clear, except for a few places above the Southern Alps, the mountain range dividing the South Island along its length.

In the full image, part of the North Island is visible at the top right, as is Stewart Island, the country’s third largest island, at the bottom.

The first close-up focuses on the southern tip of the South Island. The southernmost point here is known as Slope Point, in an area known as the Catlins. This region is rugged and sparsely populated area, featuring a scenic coastal landscape and dense temperate rainforest, both of which harbour many endangered species of birds.

The second close-up gives a more detailed look at volcanoes on the western side of the North Island. Mount Taranaki (also known as Mount Egmont) can be seen on the left, and Mount Ruapehu is visible on the right.

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