Fjordlands national park
This is Milford sound, one of several large fjords within Fjordland National Park on New Zealand’s south island.
The rocks in this area were originally formed when New Zealand was on the bottom of the ocean. The rocks that are today New Zealand made up a large submarine plateau off the edge of modern-day Australia. Those rocks rifted away from Australia and were pushed up to the surface as a result of the motion of the Pacific plate, creating the two islands. Near the coast, the ancient basement rocks that were once linked to the Australian craton have been thrust upwards and exposed, allowing for mining of greenstone rocks used by the native Maori people for both jewelry and tools.
Like many rugged, mountainous areas of the world, New Zealand was covered with thick alpine glaciers during the last ice age. Those glaciers carved the rocks and valleys you see here, digging the deep fjords that filled with water when the ice retreated.
Image credit: Maros Mraz
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand