The ocean to our south is the world's windiest and wildest. It's arguably also the most important, writes Jamie Morton.

They roll across the Southern Ocean like towering monsters.

Fuelled by persistent westerly winds, and a virtually unlimited area to build, the giant waves rise to the height of eight-storey apartment blocks, crashing down upon the bows of large ships with terrifying force.

When the HMNZS Otago met some stretching more than 20m high, the 1900-tonne offshore patrol vessel came close to capsizing, with 75 people onboard.


Discussing the December 2017 near-tragedy, Defence Minister Ron Mark blamed climate change.


The deep south

An ocean apart

Our deep blue sink

Icy mystery

A race against time