North Island of New Zealand
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North Island of New Zealand

October 9, 2004
The grasslands and forests covering the North Island of New Zealand contrast with the waters of the South Pacific in this Envisat Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) image. About 80% of the 3.9 million population of New Zealand live in urban areas; towards the bottom of the northwest peninsula called Northland, the linked cities of Auckland and Manukau can be seen as brown shades adjacent to the Hauraki Gulf. Much of the island is grassland, seen in lighter green. The darker green signify forested zones. To the east of the island is Urewera National Park, protecting the largest remaining native forest on the North Island. In the centre of the island is Tongariro National Park is New Zealand's oldest, is more mountainous with three volcanoes rising high above the surrounding landscape: Mounts Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. The latter is North Island's highest peak at 2797 metres, while Ngauruhoe stood in for Mount Doom in the film trilogy Lord of the Rings.

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