South Island, New Zealand
New Zealand's South Island brims with majestic landscapes at every turn, from dramatic mountains to fjords to glaciers. Here, you can admire the mountains of Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from hiking trails or a boat on Milford Sound. At night, journey to the University of Canterbury's Mount John Observatory to gaze at the starry skies. You can also indulge your inner daredevil in Queenstown, explore two of the most accessible glaciers in the world on the island's west coast or sample delicious food and wine in the Marlborough region.
The South Island , also officially named Te Waipounamu, is the larger of the two major Islands of New Zealand in surface area, the other being the smaller but more populous North Island It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, and to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean. The South Island covers 150,437 square kilometres (58,084 sq mi), making it the World’s 12th- largest island. At low altitude, it has an oceanic climate.
The South Island is shaped by the Southern Alps which run along it from north to south. They include New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki / Mount Cook Kaikoura Ranges at 3,724 metres (12,218 ft). The high Kaikoura Ranges lie to the northeast. The east side of the island is home to the Canterbury Plains while the West Coast is famous for its rough coastlines such as Fiordland, a very high proportion of native bush and national-Parks, and the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. The main centres are Christchurch and Dunedin. The economy relies on agriculture and fishing, tourism, and general manufacturing and services.
As it is 32% larger than the North Island, the South Island is sometimes nicknamed the “mainland” of New Zealand . It is home to 23 percent of New Zealand’s 5.1 million inhabitants. After the 1860s gold rushes in the early stages of Pakeha (European) settlement of the country, the South Island had the majority of the European population and wealth. The North Island’s population overtook the South Island’s in the early 20th century, with 56% of the New Zealand population living in the North Island in 1911. The drift north of people and businesses continued throughout the twentieth century.
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The South Island is the largest of the two main islands of New Zealand, but the least densely populated. The Southern Alps run through the middle of the island, separating it into the East and West Coast, with very little inhabitants located in the middle. The West Coast is wild and mostly untamed with cascading glaciers and vast forests. The East Coast is bordered by cities and towns with a huge range eco-tourism attractions. Nelson - Nelson is a sunny city located at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. With a population of about 60,000, Nelson is home to the World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum, and is near to three National Parks - the Abel Tasman National Park, the Kahurangi National Park and the Nelson Lakes National Park.
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