The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand. It is separated from the North Island by Cook Strait. The South Island covers 151,215 square kilometres (58,384 sq mi) and has a temperate climate. It is also called by its Māori name, Te Wai Pounamu.
The South Island is sometimes called the "mainland", because it is 33% bigger than the North Island. Only 24% of New Zealand's population live in the South Island.