Tasman Sea

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The Tasman Sea is the large body of water between Australia and New Zealand, approximately 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) across. It extends 2,800 km (approx.) from north to south. It is a south-western segment of the South Pacific Ocean. The sea was named after the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman, the first recorded European to encounter New Zealand and Tasmania. The British explorer Captain James Cook later extensively navigated the Tasman Sea in the 1770s as part of his first voyage of exploration.

The Tasman Sea is commonly referred to in both Australia and New Zealand as The Ditch; for example, crossing the ditch means going to Australia from New Zealand or vice versa.




The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Tasman Sea as follows:[1]

On the North. The parallel of 30°S from the Australian coast Eastward as far as a line joining the East extremities of Elizabeth Reef and South East Rock (31°47′S 159°18′E / 31.783°S 159.3°E / -31.783; 159.3) then to the Southward along this line to the South East Rock.

On the Northeast. From the South East Rock to the North point of Three Kings Islands (34°10′S 172°10′E / 34.167°S 172.167°E / -34.167; 172.167) thence to North Cape in New Zealand.

On the East.

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