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Three Kings Islands - New Zealand

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

Image: By Isaack Gilsemans - Research Services

Alexander Turnbull Library- National Library of New Zealand

The Ashmore sailed towards the Three Kings Islands, a group of thirteen islands approximately 55 kilometres northwest of Cape Reinga where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet. They are uninhabited and measure 4.86 km² in area. The islands are situated on a submarine plateau, called the Three Kings Bank. Even though they are only separated from the mainland of New Zealand by an 8 km wide, 200 to 300 m deep submarine trough, the Three Kings Islands aren't considered part of its region or district. They are part of the Area Outside Territorial Authority.

There are nine island groups in New Zealand's outlying islands, located in the subantarctic and subtropics which lie outside of the New Zealand continental shelf. 

North of New Zealand:

The Three Kings Islands

Kermadec Islands

South of New Zealand:

Chatham Islands

Solander Islands

Subantarctic Islands:

Bounty Islands

Antibodies Islands

The Snares

Auckland Islands

Campbell Islands.

"Undersea New Zealand" provides a unique insight into the shape of the seafloor within one of the world's most extensive deepwater jurisdictions. New Zealand straddles an active plate margin, creating a highly complex and diverse seascape of submarine trenches, underwater volcanoes, active submarine canyons and quiescent broad plateaux. All data used in the compilation is held at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). Bathymetry is compiled from multibeam and single-beam data sourced from surveys by NIWA and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), as well as international surveys by vessels," NIWA says.

Underwater Footage - Sea Life - Up To 1123m Down

Footage: Te Papa Museum, New Zealand

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