Where is New Zealand Located?
Discovering the land of New Zealand has to start somewhere and its location is as good an any… So where is New Zealand? New Zealand is a country in the Oceania continent. It’s located in the South Pacific Ocean, about 1,500km (930 miles) east of Australia and around 1,000km (620 miles) south of South Pacific Islands, such as Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, etc.
New Zealand is a Commonwealth nation which means it was once a British Colony. English is the main language spoken in New Zealand. New Zealand is also home to the Maori culture, who were the first Polynesian people to settle on New Zealand. The country is made up of two large landmasses called the North Island and South Island, as well as hundreds of smaller islands. We’ll go through that and more in this quick guide to Where is New Zealand?
Quick Facts About New Zealand
- Population: 4.886 million
- Landmass: 267,710 square kilometres (103,363sq mi)
- Languages: English, Maori and New Zealand sign language
- Capital city: Wellington
- Currency: New Zealand Dollar
- Famous for: Natural landscapes, Maori culture and agriculture
Where is New Zealand in the World?
New Zealand is located the Oceania continent in the Southern Hemisphere. The country is situated in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,000km (620 miles) east of Australia. (Because, no, New Zealand is not part of Australia). New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, is about 2,100km (1,300 miles) from Sydney, Australia.
New Zealand is also situated south of the South Pacific Islands, such as Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Samoa, etc. For instance, Auckland is around 3,185km (1,980 miles) south of Suva, the capital of Fiji.
New Zealand is also around 5,000km (3,100 miles) north of Antarctica.
How Big is New Zealand?
New Zealand’s landmass covers an area of 267,710 square kilometres (103,363sq mi). Mainland New Zealand is considered as the North Island and South Island, New Zealand’s two largest islands. These two islands are separated by a body of water known as the Cook Strait, with its narrowest point being 22km (14 miles) between the two main islands.
New Zealand is also made up of hundreds of smaller islands, the most well-known populated islands being Stewart Island, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Waiheke Island. Some Subantarctic islands are also part of the New Zealand territory, such as the Auckland Islands and Campbell Islands.
Who are the People of New Zealand?
People from New Zealand are commonly known as New Zealanders. The population, which is around 4.6 million, is a mix of European New Zealanders and Maori New Zealanders, as well as other international migrants.
A Quick History of the New Zealand People
Due to its water locked and remote location, New Zealand was one of the last countries to be found and settled. The Maori, a Polynesian culture where their exact origin is still unknown, are said to have been the first to settle in New Zealand during the 1300s. However, some say that there were smaller civilizations on New Zealand when the Maori first arrived.
It was around the 1600s when Europeans started to discover and map the coast of New Zealand, most famously by the Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman, and British explorer, James Cook. The British then colonised New Zealand around 1840 with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, forming a nation of the British and the Maori under the governance of the British Empire.
Who Governs New Zealand Now?
New Zealand gained independence in 1907 which means while New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy under England, it has it’s one parliamentary government and Prime Minister.
Learn more about the history of New Zealand here.
What are the Landscapes of New Zealand Like?
New Zealand is famed for its diversity in natural landscapes. While the North Island is known for its active volcanoes and geothermal activity, the South Island has the mountain range of the Southern Alps spanning through the length of the island’s middle. The Fiordland National Park in the South Island holds New Zealand’s biggest concentration of fiords and glacier-carved landscapes. Both Islands hold spectacular mountains, dense forests of trees, ferns and mosses, black sand and golden sand beaches, magnificent lakes and rivers.
New Zealand landscapes also comprise of agricultural lands for livestock, vineyards and fruit orchards, while other industries that have shaped the land include forestry and mining.
… And Where is the Old Zealand?
We know you were wondering it! There isn’t really an “Old Zealand” or “Zealand” in relation to the country of New Zealand. However, the name “Zealand” is thought to have come from the Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman, where, in Dutch, the word “Zeeland” means “sea-land”. Zeeland is also a Dutch province.
There is a Danish island called Zealand, which part of Copenhagen is located on. However, this is believed to have no connection to the naming of New Zealand.