Covering a total area of 268,021 sq.km (103,483 sq mi), New Zealand is comprised of two large islands that can be observed on the physical map of the country above - the North Island and South Island (which are separated by the Cook Strait), as well as Stewart Island, hundreds of coastal islands and about 600 small regional islands.
From north to south, New Zealand is a country of snow-capped mountains and scenic landscapes. Positioned along the Ring of Fire, the Southern Alps (and its many ranges) extend through the western portions of South Island. As marked on the map by an upright yellow triangle, the country's highest point, Mount Cook (Aoraki) is located in the Southern Alps, as well as over 350 glaciers and a wide assortment of national parks. Mount Cook rises to an elevation of 12,316ft (3,754 m). Throughout the Southern Alps, an additional 19 mountains rise above 10,000 ft (3,000 m). Along the western side of these massive peaks there's a narrow strip of coastline. Along their eastern flank, the mountains slope into a region of rolling hills and plains, drained by glacier-fed rivers.
In the far south, within the confines of Fiordland National Park, a jagged coastline of fjords, inlets and bays front the Tasman Sea. Milford Sound – located within the park, is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise to 3,937 ft (1,200 meters) or more on either side. It's widely considered New Zealand's top travel destination.
The mountains found on North Island are volcanic in nature, and many remain quite active. On the island's southwestern corner, Mount Taranaki (or Mt. Egmont) rises to an elevation of 8,261 ft (2,518 m). Other volcanic peaks of note stretch across a wide central plateau, including Mount Ruapehu (2,797 m/9,177 ft), Mount Ngauruhoe (2,291 m/7,515 ft), and Mount Tongariro (1,968 m/6,458 ft). This thermal belt area is replete with boiling mud pools, geysers, hot springs and steam vents.
Broad coastal plains ring much of North Island, and along its central western coastline, limestone caves, caverns and underground rivers are common. Along the north eastern coastline, the Bay of Islands is famous for its 125 (or more) scenic islands and secluded coves. With Mount Maunganui guarding the entrance, and nearly 62 miles (100 km) of white sand, the Bay of Plenty is New Zealand's premier beach area.
Large areas of temperate rain forests are found along the western shore of South Island, and across much of New Zealand's North Island.
Occupying an extinct volcanic crater, the country's largest lake is Lake Taupo on North Island. The country's longest river, the Waikato, flows north from Lake Taupo through Hamilton, and on into the Tasman Sea. Lake Te Anau is the largest lake on South Island. The Clutha River is the island's longest river, and like most rivers here, it originates in a Southern Alps glacial lake. The lowest point of New Zealand is South Pacific Ocean (0 m).
New Zealand is primarily divided into 16 regions and 1 special territorial authority. In alphabetical order, the regions are: Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato, Wellington, West Coast. Chatham Islands is a special territorial authority. New Zealand is secondarily divided into 15 cities and 58 districts collectively referred as the ‘territorial authorities.
Covering a total area of 268,021 sq.km, New Zealand consists of two main islands (North Island and South Island) and about 600 small islands. Located at the extreme southwestern point of North Island is, Wellington – the capital and the 2nd largest city of New Zealand. It is the world’s southernmost capital city and an important cultural, economic and commercial center of the country. Wellington harbor is an important port and functions as the country’s trading, transportation and communications hub. Auckland is the largest and the most populous city of New Zealand, located in the northern part of North Island. It is also the country’s commercial hub and the chief sea port.
New Zealand is an island country and one of the many islands that make up Oceania. It is located in the South Pacific Ocean to the southeast of Australia, south of New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga Islands. New Zealand is geographically positioned both in the Southern and Eastern hemispheres of the Earth. The island nation is completely surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. New Zealand shares maritime borders with Australia, Tonga, Fiji and the other island nations in Oceania.
Regional Maps: Map of Oceania
|Legal Name||New Zealand|
|41 18 S, 174 47 E|
|Independence||26 September 1907 (from the UK)|
|Total Area||268,838.00 km2|
|Land Area||264,537.00 km2|
|Water Area||4,301.00 km2|
|Total Border||0.0 km|
|Climate||Temperate with sharp regional contrasts|
|Coordinates||41 00 S, 174 00 E|
|Mean Elevation||388 m|
|Lowest Elevation||0 m|
|Highest Elevation||30 m|
|Aoraki/Mount Cook 3,724 m; note - the mountain's height was 3,764 m until 14 December 1991 when it lost about 10 m in an avalanche of rock and ice; erosion of the ice cap since then has brought the height down another|
|Ethnic Groups||European 64.1%, Maori 16.5%, Chinese 4.9%, Indian 4.7%, Samoan 3.9%, Tongan 1.8%, Cook Islands Maori 1.7%, English 1.5%, Filipino 1.5%, New Zealander 1%, other 13.7% (2018 est.)|
|Languages||English (de facto official) 95.4%, Maori (de jure official) 4%, Samoan 2.2%, Northern Chinese 2%, Hindi 1.5%, French 1.2%, Yue 1.1%, New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official) .5%, other or not stated 17.2% (2018 est.)|
|Religions||Christian 37.3% (Catholic 10.1%, Anglican 6.8%, Presbyterian and Congregational 5.2%, Pentecostal 1.8%, Methodist 1.6%, Mormon 1.2%, other 10.7%), Hindu 2.7%, Maori 1.3%, Muslim, 1.3%, Buddhist 1.1%, other religion 1.6% (includes Judaism, Spiritualism and New Age religions, Baha'i, Asian religions other than Buddhism), no religion 48.6%, objected to answering 6.7% (2018 est.)|
|Currency||New Zealand dollars (NZD)|
|GDP Per Capita||$42,084.35|
|Exports||Dairy products, meat and edible offal, logs and wood articles, fruit, crude oil, wine|
This page was last updated on November 23, 2020