Friday Photo

Todays Friday Photo continues the NZ trip (which I will describe in excruciating detail in another post).

Today, though, we have Mount Cook.

In the South Island, Mount Cook is the tallest of the mountains, and has permanent snow in a good year. When we were there in early December, there was certainly snow at the top.

Roads in the South Island tend to be a little sparse – vast amounts of NZ simply have no access, except perhaps by a dirt road in summer if you get lucky, or by helicopter. A range of mountains on the western side means that the prevailing winds pick up moisture over the oceans, and rise over the mountains when they hit NZ. The western side of the mountain range is vastly different to the eastern side, simply due to the huge difference in rainfall.

The western side of the South Island has something like 3000 mm of rain per year (some parts are even more!), and a drought is called when there are more than 3 days without rain. The other side of the mountain range is a different matter; the rainfall drops dramatically, and some parts are closer to that of parts of Australia: about 750 mm or less. The arid “bad-lands” in the middle of he South Island are strange, barren, bald-hill places. The difference is chalk-n-cheese.

Mount Cook is one of the few places that can be viewed from both the western and eastern sides.

Here then, is Mount Cook, from the eastern, more arid side.

Mount Cook

(Click for full size)

2 Comments

If you coloured the ground bright now and pasted in a couple of cows wearing large bells, it could be Switzerland!

Comment by Kath Lockett | January 21st, 2012 1:07 am | Permalink

There is certainly a resemblance. The rainfall in Switzerland is probably higher (compared to the eastern side of Mount Cook).

Comment by Wally | January 21st, 2012 7:40 pm | Permalink

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