Story: Ocean currents and tides

French Pass

French Pass

French Pass in the Marlborough Sounds is a narrow gap between headlands through which tides pour. A massive amount of water that has banked up in Tasman Bay gushes back out to Cook Strait once the tide drops, and when the tide rises, it rushes back in. Tidal currents can reach 2 metres per second in this stretch of water, making it very dangerous for ships.

Using this item

GNS Science
Reference: CN26019/15
Photograph by Lloyd Homer

Permission of GNS Science must be obtained before any use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Craig Stevens and Stephen Chiswell, 'Ocean currents and tides - Tides', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 10 December 2023)

Story by Craig Stevens and Stephen Chiswell, published 12 Jun 2006