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New Zealand Mountains


New Zealand Mountains

New Zealand Mountains

Three quarters of the surface of New Zealand consists of hills and mountains. New Zealand is located on 2 tectonic plates, the Pacific Plate and the Australian-Indian Plate.

One plate is sliding under the other in the North Island and this resulted in one important range of mountains that reaches from the East Cape and stretches all the way to the south to Wellington.

This physical process also induces the intense volcanic action that the North Island is known for. The process is different in the South Island as the 2 plates are crashing into one another.


This same process is responsible for the creation of the Himalayas. For New Zealand, it has produced the country’s most extraordinary feature, the Southern Alps.

The Southern Alps is over six hundred kilometers long and springs up abruptly on the South Island’s west coast and only arrives at Kaikoura at the east coast. Mount Cook is this chain’s highest peak and it measures well over three thousand meters or more than twelve thousand feet.

Sir Edmund Hillary earned his experience in mountaineering on Mt Cook, prior to becoming the first man to scale Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. New Zealand also has some fiords which are deeply indented along the coastline of the south west, and give the nation several of its most striking scenery. The highest peak of the North Island is Mount Ruapehu which is well over two thousand meters or more than nine thousand feet high. It is a mountain-volcano, and has burst as lately as 1995 and 1996. Mt Ruapehu is also the North Island’s best skiing spot. However, most of the ski fields of New Zealand are found in the South Island. Mount Cook is also called “Aoraki” by the Maori and rises at a height of well over three thousand meters, which fact makes this particular mountain the highest in New Zealand, Oceana, and Australasia.


New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary, the very first man to scale Mount Everest earned his experience in mountaineering on this mountain.

Mount Cook is made up of 3 summits resting a little to the south and east of the major divide, the High Peak, the Middle Peak, the Low Peak, bordered on the east by the Tasman Glacier and on the west by the Hooker Glacier.

There are several activities to delight in at Mount Cook and the circumventing national park. This entails a heli-skiing adventure to the one of the longest ski runs in the world down to the Tasman glacier. Mount Tasman is New Zealand’s second highest mountain and is 4 kilometers to Mount Cook’s north.

The only glaciers on the North Island are found on its slopes.

Mountains in New Zealand

There are 2 commercial fields for skiing at Ruapehu, on the northern side is Whakapapa, while on the southern slope is Turoa.


Whakapapa is the largest ski field in New Zealand. East of the mountain is Tukino which is a private field. The skiing season is usually from June to October but relies on weather and snow conditions.



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