The towering Southern Alps - Roadside Stories

A Manatū Taonga audio guide to the Southern Alps

Check out the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's audio guide to the Southern Alps in the Video tab.

As the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates collide, they push up mountains – including the Southern Alps, one of the world’s fastest-growing ranges. These dramatic South Island peaks are home to the cheeky kea parrot and native alpine flowers. They attract sightseers, skiers and climbers – including Everest conqueror Edmund Hillary, who learnt his mountaineering skills on their slopes.

Related web links:
Edmund Percival Hillary
On top of the world: Ed Hillary
The Southern Alps and other axial ranges
Aoraki/Mt Cook   
Kea plumage

Archival audio sourced from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives. Sound files may not be reused without permission from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives (Reference number sa-d-00502-01-s1-pm D502.1a).

Roadside Stories is a series of audio guides that follow major road trips in New Zealand. The stories cover the places you’ll pass along the way – their people, their history, their cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit