In What Continent Is New Zealand?

continent-new-zealand Credit: Paul Bica/CC-BY 2.0

The continent of New Zealand is sometimes referred to as Zealandia, and encompasses a large underwater land mass. New Zealand is most often identified as its own continent.

New Zealand is comprised of a 4 million square mile area known as Zealandia, which includes the country's three primary islands as well as underwater extensions, various other small islands and part of the Antarctic continent. The underwater portions of Zealandia include:

  • Three ridges: Norfolk, Colville, Kermadec
  • Two rises: Lord Howe, Chatham
  • Two plateaus: Challenger, Campbell

The visible portions of Zealandia that make up New Zealand are North Island, South Island and Stewart Island. These land masses span slightly more than 104,000 square miles, while the underwater portions make up approximately 93 percent of the entire continent.