The Tasman Sea divides Australia and New Zealand and belongs to the Pacific Basin. There are several islands in its waters, the largest of which is Tasmania, named after the explorer Abel Tasman.
Geographical location of the Tasman Sea
The Tasman Sea is an inter-island sea, and on the map it looks like an almost regular rhombus.
It is unique in that the Tasman Sea is simultaneously located in 3 climate zones:
The weather at different sites may not be the same. The Tasman Sea covers an area of 2,300,000 km², with a depth of up to 6,000 m, as the East Australian Basin lies at the bottom. The relief of the bottom is complex, dominated by depressions, there are several mountain ranges. Tides are high, sometimes reaching 5 m, salinity 35%. The Tasman Sea is the southernmost in the Pacific Basin, if you exclude Antarctic waters.
The west wind belt, known as the “Roaring Forties,” is considered the most dangerous area for mariners. It is located between latitudes 40 and 50.
On a map of Australia, look for the Tasman Sea at the southern tip of the mainland near the state of New South Wales. With another edge it reaches the west coast of New Zealand. North of the Tasman Sea is the Coral Sea, which washes the shores of New Guinea. The seas are separated by coral reefs. The northern point of the conventional boundary is Norfolk Island.
The Tasman Sea on the map
The official date of the crossing of the sea by European seafarers is 1642. The Dutch navigator A. Tasman discovered the largest island of the archipelago, and James Cook in his first voyage not only crossed the sea, but also described its position, some of the flora and fauna, the island tribes and the climate in some detail.
The islands of the Tasman Sea make up several isolated groups:
- Balls Pyramid;
- Lord Howe;
All of them are territorially owned by Australia.
Islands and cliffs of the Tasman Sea
The largest and most famous island, Tasmania, is 240 km from the Australian mainland, the population is 500 thousand. The five main attractions of the island are included in the UNESCO lists, but the main treasure is its unique nature and endemic animals not found anywhere else in the world.
Norfolk is the second largest island, famous for its independence, has a coat of arms, flag, organized self-government. The island is home to the scenic playing fields of the Norfolk Golf Club. The infamous Bloody Bridge witnessed a terrible revolt of the convicts, who, according to one version, walled the body of the chief of guards in one of the pillars. The islanders assure tourists of the existence of a legion of ghosts and organize special excursions to the most mysterious places, accompanying travel with chilling stories.
Kangaroo Island is the third largest island and is home to national reserves and parks. It attracts tourists with interesting environmental trails, active sports, surfing and fishing.
It is strictly forbidden to bring animals and firearms into the island.
Balls Pyramid is uninhabited, 20 km from Lord Howe. The shape resembles a sail and is known as the highest volcanic cliff in the world. Its height reaches 562 meters. In fact, the cliff is the top of a huge submerged plateau. It emerged from the strata of boiling lava, gradually solidifying in bizarre layers.
Climatic features of the Tasman Sea
As you move from north to south, the tropics give way to a subtropical belt that gently transitions to the temperate zone. Following the change of climatic belts there are metamorphoses with the plant world and marine life. The difference in surface water temperature is slightly smoothed out by the East Australian Current, but even it is not able to even it out when it is +27 in the south and +15 in the north. During the winter, remnants of icebergs floating upstream from Antarctica can be found in the temperate climate belt.
Flora and Fauna of the Tasman Sea
A special feature of the Tasman Sea is a large number of rare inhabitants, many species are included in the Red Book and recognized as endangered. In the northern and southern parts there is a different list of flora and fauna.
Warm gentle waters, a high degree of warmth without a long drop in temperature attracted the tropical inhabitants.
Here they live:
- sperm whales;
- flying fish;
White, tiger, hammerhead, blue, and reef sharks are common. Tourists are offered the extreme entertainment of diving in a diving cage and watching the ruthless predators in their natural environment.
Also popular are boat trips, which include watching whales and flying fish, capable of jumping high out of the water and flying considerable distances through the air thanks to their twin fins.
The climate here is much colder, in winter the thermometer reads +5-8 degrees, sometimes there are fragments of icebergs and the underwater world is completely different.
The bottom is covered with thickets of algae, commercial fish species predominate:
- horse mackerel;
Interesting facts about the Tasman Sea
- It is the southernmost.
- The northern and southern parts of the sea have completely different flora and fauna.
- Geographically, the water basin connects New Zealand and Australia.
- The shape of the outline is similar to a rhombus.
- The sea is simultaneously in three climate zones.
- The difference in water temperatures in opposite parts reaches 10-18 degrees.
- On the territory is the highest volcanic cliff on the planet.
- The islands are home to a large number of endangered species that are under worldwide protection.
- Most of the sights of the Tasman Sea Islands are listed by UNESCO.
- The first traveler to cross the sea alone was Colin Quincy, who set sail in 1977.
On the islands of the Tasman Sea there are protected areas, where live the Tasmanian devil, wallaby and many other animals and birds that have not managed to take root in other parts of the world. The amazing sea, where tropical fish live in one part and ice floes float on the other side, is unique and holds many more secrets that have yet to be revealed.