|Area||120 ha (300 acres)|
|Highest elevation||330 m (1,080 ft)|
The Solander Islands (officially, Solander Islands/Hautere) are a small chain of uninhabited volcanic islets situated near the western end of the Foveaux Strait in southern New Zealand. The Maori name Hautere translates into English as "flying wind". The islands lie 38 km (24 mi) south of Prices Point on the southern coast of the South Island, close to where Lake Hakapoua drains through Big River to the Pacific Ocean due west of Te Waewae Bay, and 64 km (40 mi) northwest of the Putatara (Rugged) Point in the northwest of Stewart Island, or 56 km (35 mi) from Codfish Island west of Stewart Island. The islands measure 1.2 km2 (0.46 sq mi) in total area. Administratively, they are part of Southland District.
The islands are geographically forbidding and weather conditions often confound the approach of ships. It is perhaps for this reason that the islands have only ever been briefly inhabited, and then only due to shipwreck or other marooning. Five men - four Europeans and one Australian aboriginal - were marooned there between 1808 and 1813, the longest continual period of habitation of the island group. They are thought to have been left ashore in two groups on two separate occasions to carry out sealing operations, but the sea state prevented the approach of any ship to recover them. In 1810, sealing traffic moved to Macquarie Island, farther to the west, and they were effectively abandoned. When they were rediscovered in 1813, it is likely that they had amassed a considerable number of dried seal pelts.
The islands are remnants of an isolated extinct Pleistocene volcano with andesite rocks, one to two million years old. They lie on a bank with depths less than 100 m (328 ft), but are separated from the continental shelf around Foveaux Strait by a 4 km (2.5 mi) narrow trough with depths in excess of 200 m (656 ft) (at least 237 m or 778 ft). Therefore, the islands are included in the New Zealand Outlying Islands, despite their proximity to the mainland. The Solander Islands are the only New Zealand volcanic land features related to the subduction of the Australian Plate beneath the Pacific Plate.
There are 53 vascular plant species, one third of which are very rare. The flora is dominated by ferns and orchids. The southern, and nominate, subspecies of Buller's albatross (Thalassarche b. bulleri) breeds only on the Solanders and the Snares.
The islands are home to a variety of bird life.
The Solander group has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because of its significance as a breeding site for Buller's albatrosses (with about 5000 pairs) and common diving petrels.
Administrative divisions of the Realm of New Zealand
|Regions||11 non-unitary regions||5 unitary regions||Chatham Islands||Outlying islands outside any regional authority
(the Kermadec Islands, Three Kings Islands, and Subantarctic Islands)
|Territorial authorities||13 cities and 53 districts|
|Notes||Some districts lie in more than one region||These combine the regional and the territorial authority levels in one||Special territorial authority||The outlying Solander Islands form part of the Southland Region||New Zealand's Antarctic territory||Non-self-governing territory of New Zealand||States in free association with New Zealand|