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The West Coast is a spectacular place. It sits between the mountainous spine of the Southern Alps and the turbulent waters of the Tasman Sea. From the high summits to the ocean the West Coast is at its widest 50km and stretches for 500km from Karamea in the north to Jackson's bay in the south. The Southern Alps are reminders of the great strain the land feels as it is bent and buckled by tectonic forces...

 

 

Around ten million years ago the plates began to collide with the Pacific overriding the Indo-Australian to form the Southern Alps. The plains and hills are the result of erosion and glaciation as huge rivers of ice over 1km thick carried billions of tons of rock out of the mountains to form the coastal plains some 20,000 years ago.

 

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