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The Vegetation of New Zealand

1. General

1. General.

The New Zealand Botanical Region comprises those islands lying in the south-west Pacific between the parallels of 30° and 55° S. lat. and 158° 56' W and 176° W long. The archipelago, if may be so termed, consists of the following groups of islands, each far distant from the others — the Kermadecs, New Zealand proper the Chathams and the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands. The total land area of the Region is about 270,000 sq. km.

New Zealand proper consists of two large islands, North Island and South Island and the much smaller Stewart Island. The above, together with some small islands and islets, including the Three Kings m the north, lie between the 34° 6' and 47° 20' parallels S. lat. and the meridians 166° 30' W. and 178° 30' W. long.

North Island has an area of 114,740 sq. km., a length of 829 km and a maximum breadth of 458 km. (Cape Egmont to East Cape), and 324 km. from Tirua Point to Tolaga Bay, but north of lat. 38° and south of lat. 40° is quite narrow. The area of South Island is 151,120 sq. km., its length 845 km., and its greatest breadth 338 km. (Cape Saunders to Dusky Sound). Stewart Island has an area of 1721 sq. km. and is about 48 km. in length. Taking the land surface as a whole it is long and narrow, the most distant points from the sea being Tokaanu (North Island) 104 km., and 20 km. to the east of Kingston (South Island) 128 km.

The long isolation of New Zealand far from other land masses is a matter of profound significance with regard to the flora Tasmania, the nearest land of importance. is about 1540 km. distant. The actual Australian continent is somewhat further away (1640 km.). Norfolk Island is 650 km. from North Island, Lord Howe Island 1320 km. and the New Hebrides 1540 km. South America is distant 6900 km. from the Chathams and the latter 600 km. from New Zealand proper. Finally, Antarctica lies 1350 km. from Macquarie Island and 2250 km. from Stewart Island.

A consideration of the ocean-depths in the neighbourhood of the New page 43Zealand Archipelago both serves to emphasize the isolation of the region and to show how wide-spread would be the effect of a gener 1 considerable elevation of the ocean-bed. The 180 m. line follows rather closely the outline of the present main islands and includes the adjacen small islands together with the Three Kings, Stewart Island and the Snar s. The 900 m. line conforms closely to the above line on the eas, but westwards it extends a considerable distance from the land, while to the south it goes beyond the Lord Auckland Islands. The 1800 m 1 ne includes the whole archipelago except Macquarie and Kermadec Islands, and, extending far to the north-west, it reaches to within comparatively close proximity to the Queensland coast while Lord Howe Island and New Caledonia rise from this broad submarine ridge. Southwards to Antarctica the ocean bed lies between 1800 m. and 3600 m. below the surface, while between Australia on the west and South America on the east the depth is profound.