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Spectacular Sights: New Zealand’s Landscapes and Geology

From the impossibly beautiful Southern Alps to ancient glaciers, forests and beaches, get your lowdown on the stunning natural wonders of New Zealand.

2 min
Enchanting Travels New Zwaland's landscapes - Franz Josef glacier
Author: Arthur Peirce

New Zealand’s landscapes are strikingly diverse – from dense forests to open grasslands and from great rivers to towering mountains, New Zealand has an immense variety. Best of all, due to its compact geographical area, you could find yourself being guided through the caves and crevices of an immense glacier, hiking through lush forests, swimming or sailing the clear blue waters of the Pacific – all within a relatively short time frame.

Abel Tasman National Park

Exploring New Zealand

New Zealand is composed of a number of islands. Some of them, like South Island are quite large, encompassing the majority of the nation’s landmass. Others, like Ulva island, are quite small and yet each island has its own unique characteristics. Exploring the country and its near 10,000 miles of coastline is a rewarding experience. The Stewart Island (or, Rakiura as it is known to the Maori tribe) is known for its expansive beaches and hiking routes while North Island is mainly volcanic, featuring a number of large geysers and hot springs. Yet south, lie great grasslands and rivers.

This is a country that’s always changing. Some of New Zealand’s most picturesque waterways, such as the gorgeous Fiordland, were once immense mountain ranges which over time sunk into the sea, leaving great lakes and rivers which are now teeming with all kinds of sea life, taking scenic cruise in this area can be spectacular, you can even go deep underwater and see this sea-life first hand at Milford Sound Underwater Observatory.

Equally, in North Island, grand glaciers like Fox Glacier and Franz Josef have cut through some of the Island’s scenery, leaving a trail between hills and mountains, a region you can explore by foot. Fox Glacier valley has a number of world-class hiking routes which you can go through either by yourself, or, better still, with a knowledgeable local guide, or, if you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can take a helicopter ride onto the surface of Fox Glacier or Franz Josef Glacier, and step onto the ice itself.

New Zealand Geology

About 85 million years ago, New Zealand broke off from Gondwanaland, a massive supercontinent which encompassed Australia, Africa, India, and South America and some of Asia and it is perhaps for this reason that this country is so diverse, and so ever changing….

New Zealand sits on two tectonic plates!

The north of New Zealand sits on the Australian plate, and the south of the country, the Pacific. These plates are constantly moving. Because of this, parts of New Zealand see some striking geothermal activity, such as the Rotorua hot springs, and geysers and mud pools of Wai-O-Tapu.

Discover the spectacular beauty of New Zealand’s landscapes on a private and tailor-made tour with us.

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Posted In:  New Zealand Oceania Asia Adventure Tourism Landscapes New Zealand