Jackson Bay, New Zealand

Jackson Bay is a small fishing village with a gently curving bay 24 kilometers wide, set deep in the southern West Coast of New Zealand's South Island.

It faces the Tasman Sea to the north, and is backed by the Southern Alps. The westernmost point of the bay is marked by the headland of Jackson Head; in the northeast the end of the bay is less well defined, but the small alluvial fan of the Turnbull and Okuru Rivers might be considered its farthest point. The small Open Bay Islands lie five kilometres off the coast at this point.

The bay marks a major change in the terrain of the west coast. To the north, narrow fertile plains lie between the mountains and the sea, allowing for moderately intensive farming of livestock. To the south, the coastal plains disappear as the land becomes steeper and more majestically mountainous. Within 60 kilometres, the first of the deep glacial valleys that further south become the fjords of Fiordland start to become evident, with Lake McKerrow at the foot of the Hollyford Track.

This remote and geographically diverse region has been designated as a World Heritage area.

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