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Cool trees - Fjordland National Park


Fjordland National Park, on the way from Lake Manapouri to Doubtful Sound. Fiordland National Park occupies the southwest corner of the South Island of New Zealand. It is by far the largest of the 14 national parks in New Zealand, with an area of 12,607 square kilometres (4,868 sq mi), and a major part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. The park is administered by the Department of Conservation. During the cooler past, glaciers carved many deep fiords, the most famous (and most visited) of which is Milford Sound. Other notable fiords include Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound. The retreat of the glaciers after the ice age left behind U-shaped valleys with sheer cliffs and as a result Fiordland's coast is steep and crenellated, with some of the 15 fiords reaching as far as 40 kilometres (25 mi) inland. The southern ranges of the Southern Alps cover most of Fiordland National Park and combined with the deep glacier-carved valleys present a highly inaccessible landscape. At the northern end of the park, the Darran Mountains contain several peaks rising to over 2,500 metres (8,200 ft), with views of Mount Aspiring / Tititea to the north in the neighbouring Mount Aspiring National Park. Further south, the Franklin Mountains, Stuart Mountains, and Murchison Mountains reach around 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), with the peaks diminishing in height from north to south. The Kepler, Dingwall, Kaherekoau, Princess and Cameron Mountains further south only reach 1,500–1,700 metres (4,900–5,600 ft). The carving action of the glaciers has succeeded in cutting off islands from the mainland, leaving two large uninhabited offshore islands, Secretary Island and Resolution Island, as well as many smaller ones. Although these glaciers are long-gone, a few small glaciers and permanent snow fields remain, with the southernmost glacier situated below Caroline Peak. Several large lakes lie wholly or partly within the park's boundaries, notably Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapouri, both on the western boundary of the national park, as well as the southern lakes Lake Monowai, Lake Hauroko, and Lake Poteriteri. All of these lakes exhibit the topography typical of glacier-carved valleys, with Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapouri in particular having several arms similar in look to the fiords on the west coast of the park. The Sutherland Falls, to the southwest of Milford Sound on the Milford Track, are among the world's highest waterfalls. Other tall waterfalls in the park include Browne Falls, Humboldt Falls, Lady Alice Falls, and Bowen Falls, as well as countless temporary waterfalls in the fjords that come alive following rainfall. Prevailing westerly winds blow moist air from the Tasman Sea onto the mountains; the cooling of this air as it rises produces a prodigious amount of rainfall, exceeding seven metres in many parts of the park. This supports the lush temperate rain forests of the Fiordland temperate forests ecoregion.


Doubtful Sound / Patea is a fjord in Fiordland, in the far south west of New Zealand. It is located in the same region as the smaller but more famous and accessible Milford Sound. It took second place after Milford Sound as New Zealand's most famous tourism destination. At 40 kilometres (25 mi) long, Doubtful Sound is the second longest, and with a depth of up to 421 metres (1,381 ft) the deepest of the South Island's fiords. In comparison with Milford Sound, it is more widespread, with the cliffs not as dramatically tall and near vertical. However, the U-shaped profile of the fiord is obvious, in particular on the two innermost of the main fiord's arms and the hanging side valleys along the main fiord. Like most of Fiordland, Doubtful Sound receives a high amount of rainfall, ranging from an annual average of 3,000–6,000 millimetres (120–240 in). The vegetation on the mountainous landscape surrounding the fiord is dense native rainforest.

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Southland, New Zealand

Spotted on Jul 14, 2018
Submitted on Jun 3, 2021

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