Friday, 21 April 2017

The Forever Bent Trees of Slope Point, New Zealand

Slope Point is the southern point of New Zealand’s South Island, famous due to consistently lashed with fierce and cold southwesterly winds that blow up from Antarctica. In this region the wind is so strong and persistent, that caused the trees twisted, warped and constantly bent along the direction the wind blows. The Slope Point is mainly used for sheep farming, and aside from a few sheep, no humans or other animals live on this part of the island.

However, there’re some derelict shacks built under the protection of the windswept trees, but even those are abandoned. The marvelously steep cliffs drop down to the sea below. Here, the scenes are truly astonishing over the rocky coastline and surrounding cliffs. Although, there is a slight signpost that shows the distance to the Equator and the South Pole, and a small solar-powered lighthouse stands on the farmland. Yet like virtually everywhere else in New Zealand you will find hardy creatures need some shelter from the elements and so, many decades ago, local farmers planted saplings which they hoped would meet the expense of their animals some respite from the often savagely inclement weather.

Please keep in mind that there are no proper roads to Slope Point, but it can be reached by a 20-minute walk following dilapidated yellow markers. It is maybe hard to believe this challenging micro-climate is only a few hours’ drive from the fiords and rain forests of Milford Sound.  As such Slope Point contributes to the excellent and idiosyncratic beauty of New Zealand - the broad diversity of landscapes in the vicinity each other. There is no public access during the lambing season starting September to November.

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