The land mass that was to become New Zealand split away from the supercontinent Gondwana about 85 million years ago. From around 55 million years ago, the gap between New Zealand and the nearest large land mass, Australia, has been around 2,000 kilometres wide. Any plants and animals that have arrived in New Zealand since then will have had to cross this huge body of water.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Animation by Rupert Sutherland
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