Farewell Spit is New Zealand’s longest sand spit, extending around 26 kilometres across Golden Bay in a gentle arc from Cape Farewell, the northernmost point in the South Island. Estimates of the spit's length differ, because it varies with the tides – at high tide it is around 26 kilometres long and at low tide around 32 kilometres. At high tide the spit is about 1 kilometre across. The spit has been built up by fine sediment washed into the sea from rivers on the West Coast and then carried northwards by longshore drift. Sand blown across the spit by the prevailing wind accumulates in the sheltered waters in its lee, slowly filling Golden Bay with sand.
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Photograph by Nicolas Leroy
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