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Mount Ngauruhoe seen from Mount Tongariro, with Mount Ruapehu in the background
Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu in the background, seen from the summit of Mount Tongariro, the three active volcanoes that dominate the landscape of the central North Island..
Image: © Guillaume Piolle

About New Zealand

New Zealand Flag
New Zealand (NZ) is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean situated about 2000 km (1,300 mi) east of Australia. New Zealand consists of two main islands and some smaller islands. There is the North Island (Te-Ika-a-Maui) and the South Island (Te Wai Pounamu), which are separated by the Cook Strait. New Zealand's main islands are the surface area of the mostly submerged continent of Zealandia.

The Realm of New Zealand (a geopolitical entity) comprises New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue (island), Tokelau (some coral atolls), and the Ross Dependency, a region in Antarctica.

New Zealand shares maritime borders with American Samoa (United States), Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia (France), Kiribati, Samoa, and Tonga.

The islands of NZ lie along the collision lines of the Pacific and the Australian tectonic plates. The resulting geologic activity has caused volcanic eruptions and earthquakes throughout New Zealand's history.
In 2010 and 2011 earthquakes have caused widespread damage in the city of Christchurch, the largest city on South Island.

With an area of 270,467 km², New Zealand is slightly bigger than the United Kingdom (242,900 km²), or about the size of the US State of Colorado. The island nation offers about 15,000 km (9,300 mi) of coastline.

New Zealand has a population of almost 5 million people (in 2019); the capital city is Wellington, the largest and most populous city is Auckland, both cities are located on the North Island. Spoken languages are English and Maori.

Principal airports of the country are the international airports at Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington.

Map of New Zealand

Political Map of New Zealand
Political Map of New Zealand

The map shows New Zealand, the location of the national capital Wellington, region capitals, major cities and towns, main roads, railroads, and major airports.

You are free to use above map for educational purposes (fair use), please refer to the Nations Online Project.

More about New Zealand

Fox Glacier, Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand
Fox Glacier, a 13-kilometer-long river of ice moving down Aoraki/Mt Cook towards the sea on the West Coast of the South Island.
Photo: Pavel Špindler

Main geographical features of New Zealand.

Geographic extremes of New Zealand

The distance from Cape Reinga (North Island) to The Bluff (South Island) is about 2,100 km (1,300 mi).

The highest mountain in New Zealand is Aoraki or Mount Cook, with an elevation of 3,724 m, a peak in the Southern Alps of the South Island.
The largest lake in New Zealand is Lake Taupo. The crater lake of a volcano that collapsed about 26,500 years ago is a famous recreation site situated on the North Island.

North Island
North Island is the larger of the two main islands; its geography is characterized by volcanic activity.

The North Island Volcanic Plateau with its volcanoes, lava plateaus, and crater lakes, covers much of the center of the island.

Mount Ruapehu (2797 m; 9176 ft), The mountain is an active cone volcano, the tallest mountain on the North Island and the only one with glaciers; it last erupted in 2007. Ruapehu is situated in the highly active Taupo Volcanic Zone (TVZ), a zone with many volcanic chimneys and geothermal fields. Mount Ruapehu, Mount Ngauruhoe and the island volcano White Island in the Bay of Plenty are the most active, and they erupt frequently. Geothermal activity in the region creates geysers, mud pools (fumaroles), hot springs, and other surface manifestations due to magma heated groundwater boiling up to the earth's surface.

South Island
South Island is the larger of the two main islands. The Southern Alps (Kā Tiritiri o te Moana) is a mountain range that runs 500 km (300 mi) along the length of South Island.
Its tallest peak is Aoraki / Mount Cook (Aorangi), it is the highest mountain in New Zealand at 3,754 m (12,316 ft).

The coastal plains around Christchurch and along the coast in central east of the island are named the Canterbury Plains; the plains are part of the Canterbury-Otago tussock grasslands ecoregion.

Map shows the location of following cities
and towns in New Zealand:

Alexandra, Ashburton, Auckland, Balclutha, Blenheim, Bluff, Cambridge, Carterton, Christchurch, Cromwell, Dannevirke, Dargaville, Dunedin, Gisborne, Gore, Greymouth, Hamilton, Hastings, Hawera, Hikurangi, Hokitika, Huntly, Invercargill, Kaikohe, Kaikoura, Kaitaia, Kawakawa, Kawerau, Kingston, Kurow, Lake Tekapo, Levin, Marton, Masterton, Mataura, Methven, Motueka, Murupara, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Oamaru, Orawia, Otautau, Otorohanga, Pahiatua, Palmerston, Palmerston North, Patea, Picton, Pukekohe, Rangiora, Rapahoe, Reefton, Richmond, Riverton, Rolleston, Ross, Rotorua, Seddonville, Stratford, Taihape, Taumarunui, Taupo, Tauranga, Te Anau, Te Puke, Thames, Timaru, Tokoroa, Waiau, Waihi, Waikanae, Waimate, Wairoa, Waiuku, Wanaka, Wellington, Westport, Whakatane, Whangamata, Whanganui, Whangarei, and Whataroa.

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Maps of other countries in Australia/Oceania and the Pacifics:
Australia Map, New Caledonia Map, Papua New Guinea Map, Samoa Map