Concept

Timeline of New Zealand history

Summary
This is a timeline of the history of New Zealand that includes only events deemed to be of principal importance – for less important events click the year heading or refer to List of years in New Zealand. Prehistory (to 1000 CE)
  • 85 mya: Around this time New Zealand splits from the supercontinent Gondwana.
  • 5 mya: New Zealand's climate cools as Australia drifts north. Animals that have adapted to warm temperate and subtropical conditions become extinct.
  • 26,500 BP: The Taupō volcano erupts extremely violently, covering much of the country with volcanic ash and causing the Waikato River to avulse from the Hauraki Plains to its current path through the Waikato to the Tasman Sea.
  • 18,000 BP: New Zealand's North and South islands are connected by a land bridge during the last ice age. Glaciers spread from the Southern Alps carving valleys and making fiords in the South Island. The land bridge is submerged around 9,700 BCE.
  • 181 CE: Lake Taupō erupts violently.
Pre
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