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As we transition to our new site, you'll still find some Stats NZ information here on this archive site.

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Physical

New Zealand comprises the North and South Islands, and a host of smaller islands including Waiheke, Stewart/Rakiura and the Chatham Islands. Tokelau and Ross are dependencies. Extensive areas have been set aside as national parks, including Fiordland, Aoraki/Mt Cook and Tongariro.

Protected offshore islands and oceanic reserves ensure New Zealand’s unique plants and wildlife are preserved, including the kiwi, a flightless bird after which both the people and the fruit are named.

The North Island has New Zealand’s largest lake, Taupo (606 sq km), longest river, Waikato (425km), and most of the country’s active volcanoes – Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. Hot springs, geysers and mud-pools also form part of the volcanic system centred around Rotorua. In the South Island, one of the most striking physical features is the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana. These, along with fiords, glaciers and lakes, and the coastal plains of Canterbury and Southland, add to the variety of the South Island’s scenery. New Zealand’s deepest lake (Hauroko, 462m) and deepest cave (Nettlebed, 889m) are also located in the South Island.

Links

Websites

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Graph, New Zealand in Profile Map.

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