NEW ZEALAND - The South Island
On the Edge of the Rim of Fire
New Zealand is being torn apart every day by forces deep below the ocean.
The islands of New Zealand sit on two of the Earth’s great tectonic plates – the Australian and the Pacific – which are constantly moving away from each other.
This means that Christchurch in the South Island is sliding away from Auckland in the North Island by about four metres every century.
The motion between the two plates gives New Zealand its diverse geology – stunning mountain ranges formed from the plates squashing together, and deep lakes that were once active volcanoes.
New Zealand South Island
Canterbury / Christchurch
West Coast Region
Nature & Eco Tourism
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Source(s): photos: New Zealand Tourism; Tourism Dunedin; Dep. of Conservation
Last modified: 20100412