The southernmost point of New Zealand’s South Island, Slope Point, is a truly exceptional location. The trees here stretch sideways rather than upwards because of the strong Antarctic winds.
At Slope Point, which is about 24 kilometers from the small town of Waikawa, cold air continuously swirls around the Antarctic Ocean, causing the winds to lash themselves onto this exposed coastal area with such ferocity that the trees here are permanently warped and grow in an almost horizontal manner, resembling a strange hairdo.
To provide their flocks with some shelter from the harsh weather, sheep farmers planted these sturdy, resilient shrubs in this location. They bend uniformly northward, struggling to bear the force of the wind’s assault.
On a pleasant day, beams of sunlight penetrate the gray, sinister-looking clouds, giving the impression of a surreal artistic masterpiece. Indeed, Slope Point is a beautiful place to hike, with the green pastureland stretching toward the horizon, leading to the rocky cliffs that plunge into the water below. You’ll hardly encounter anyone here apart from other hikers and the sheep dotting the rolling hillsides.
Against all odds though, a few venturesome folks have chosen the place as their home but they might be gone now
Upon arrival, the visitor is greeted by a canary yellow sign showing the distance between Slope Point, the South Pole, and the Equator
Not only the trees are formed into unique shapes by the roaring winds, rocks are too
The winds that batter Slope Point are so strong and persistent that trees are molded into strangely and beautifully twisted shapes
But just how strong are those winds? Well check this out:
A truly surreal experience.