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Southern Alps | South Island, New Zealand


New Zealand
44° 0' 32.8104" S, 169° 35' 5.8596" E
Southern Alps

Southern Alps - Photo: Mathias Ortmann

The Southern Alps is a mountain range extending along much of the length of New Zealand's South Island, reaching its greatest elevations near the island's western side. The term "Southern Alps" generally refers to the entire range, although separate names are given to many of the smaller ranges that form part of it.

The range includes the South Island's Main Divide, which separates the water catchments of the more heavily populated eastern side of the island from those on the west coast. Politically, the Main Divide forms the boundary between the Canterbury and West Coast Regions.

The Southern Alps run 720 mi (450 km) north to south. The tallest peak is Aoraki / Mount Cook, the highest point in New Zealand at 12,316 ft (3,754 m) and there are sixteen other points in the range that exceed 9,800 ft (3,000 m) in height. The mountains are cut through with glacial valleys and lakes. According to an inventory conducted in the late 1970s, the Southern Alps contained over 3000 glaciers larger than a hectare, the longest of which – the Tasman Glacier – is 46,6 mi (29 km) in length down towards Lake Pukaki. A chain of glacial lakes are found on the eastern side of the ridge from Lake Coleridge in the north to Lake Wakatipu in Otago in the south.

More infos: Wikipedia

Southern Alps

Southern Alps - Photo:

Southern Alps

Doubtful Sound - Photo: bill robinson

Southern Alps

Southern Alps - Photo: backpackingmatt

Southern Alps

Aoraki / Mount Cook - Photo: claudia

SUBMITTED ON 05.28.2013.