What Are the Landforms in New Zealand?

The landforms in New Zealand include mountains and uplifts, sinking basins and valleys, volcanoes, plains, fjords, caves and plateaus. New Zealand sits on an active plate boundary. The relentless compression of the crust causes different parts of the country to be moved up, down or sideways. This is why a number of landforms exist in the country.

New Zealand is a country of snowcapped mountains and scenic landscapes from north to south. Positioned along the Ring of Fire, New Zealand includes the Southern Alps and many other mountain ranges extending through the western portions of South Island. The country's highest point, Mount Cook (Aoraki), is located there, as well as more than 350 glaciers and a wide assortment of national parks.

In the far south, within the confines of Fiordland National Park, a jagged coastline of fjords, inlets and bays front the Tasman Sea. The mountains found on North Island are volcanic in nature, and a number remain quite active. On the island's southwest corner, Mount Taranaki (or Mt. Egmont) rises to 8,261 feet.

Broad coastal plains ring much of North Island. Along its central western coastline, limestone caves, caverns and underground rivers are common. Along the northeastern coastline, the Bay of Islands is famous for over 125 scenic islands and secluded coves.