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The Surville Cliffs are the northernmost point of the mainland of New Zealand. They are situated on the North Cape of the North Island, 30 kilometres to the east of Cape Reinga (which is often mistaken as New Zealand's northernmost point), and three kilometres more northerly. In the past the cliffs have sometimes been referred to as Kerr Point but true Kerr Point lies a short distance away at the western end of North Cape.
The first European discovery of the cliffs was made by Jean-François-Marie de Surville in December 1769, when he sailed his ship 'St Jean Baptiste' to New Zealand to find a safe anchorage to care for sick crew. He found them only a few days before they were seen by James Cook.
The cliffs expose 1.2 square kilometres of serpentinised peridotite mafic rocks. They form a unique environment that supports a number of threatened and endangered plants endemic to the area, including:
- Pittosporum ellipticum subsp. serpentinum
- Hebe brevifolia
- Hebe ligustrifolia
- Helichrysum aggregatum
- Leucopogon xerampelinus
- Pimelea tomentosa (Sand Daphne)
- Phyllocladus trichomanoides (Tanekaha)
- Pseudopanax lessonii (Coastal Fivefinger)
- Uncinia perplexa (Surville Cliffs Bastard Grass)
- "A new species of Leucopogon (Ericaceae) from the Surville Cliffs, North Cape, New Zealand (abstract)". Royal Society of New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
- L. Forester and A.J. Townsend (2004). "Threatened plants of Northland". Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand. Retrieved 2007-09-03.
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