The Tasman Sea (Māori: Te Tai-o-Rēhua, Pitcairn-Norfolk: Tasman Sii) is a marginal sea of the South Pacific Ocean, situated between Australia and New Zealand. It measures about 2,000 km (1,200 mi) across and about 2,800 km (1,700 mi) from north to south. The sea was named after the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman, who in 1642 was the first known person to cross it. British explorer Lieutenant James Cook later extensively navigated the Tasman Sea in the 1770s during his three voyages of exploration.
|Location||Western Pacific Ocean|
|Basin countries||Australia, New Zealand|
|Max. length||2,800 km (1,700 mi)|
|Max. width||2,200 km (1,400 mi)|
|Surface area||2,300,000 km2 (890,000 sq mi)|
|Islands||Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island|
|Benches||Lord Howe Rise|
|Settlements||Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, Hobart (Australia) |
Auckland, Wellington, New Plymouth, Whanganui (New Zealand)
The Tasman Sea is informally referred to in both Australian and New Zealand English as the Ditch; for example, crossing the Ditch means travelling to Australia from New Zealand, or vice versa. The diminutive term "the Ditch" used for the Tasman Sea is comparable to referring to the North Atlantic Ocean as "the Pond".