The islands of New Zealand lie in the south-west Pacific Ocean. From the country’s western shores Australia is some 1,600 km away, or a three-hour flight to its major cities. From northern New Zealand the nearest Pacific islands are roughly the same distance. The Americas are about 10,000 km from the eastern shores. The long, narrow land mass straddles latitudes from 34° to 47° south: the far north is subtropical, while the far south has a cool, temperate climate.
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