Story: Landscapes – overview

New Zealand from space

This true-colour NASA image shows New Zealand’s two main islands – the North and South islands. In Māori tradition the North Island was a fish hauled up by the demigod Māui, and is called Te Ika-a-Māui (the fish of Māui). The South Island is sometimes called Te Waka-a-Māui (Māui’s canoe) – or Te Wai Pounamu (the greenstone waters).

This photograph, taken in July 2003 (winter), shows the South Island’s main mountain ranges covered in snow. The pale green areas are grassland, mostly used for farming, and the darker green parts are mainly forest.

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NASA Visible Earth, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
Photograph by Jacques Descloitres

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, 'Landscapes – overview - Formation of landscapes', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 March 2018)

Story by Eileen McSaveney, published 24 Sep 2007, updated 1 Jul 2015