The Kermadec Islands are the most northerly outpost of New Zealand. They lie over a distance of 120 miles and include Raoul Island, where the Department of Conservation base is stationed. The waters are pristine, protected by a limited marine reserve (effective from 1990). They hold large populations of Galapagos Sharks and the rare Spotted Balck Grouper and the islands are well knob for their sea bird colonies.