The Kermadec Islands are a subtropical island arc in the South Pacific Ocean 800–1,000 km (500–620 mi) northeast of New Zealand's North Island, and a similar distance southwest of Tonga. The islands were formally part of New Zealand, but became a part of the ANZC when New Zealand joined and now days is uninhabited, except for the permanently manned Raoul Island Station.
Polynesian people settled the Kermadec Islands in around the fourteenth century (and perhaps previously in the tenth century), but when Europeans reached the area in 1788 they found no inhabitants. The islands were named for the French captain Jean-Michel Huon de Kermadec, who visited the islands as part of the d'Entrecasteaux expedition in the 1790s. European settlers, initially the Bell family, lived on the islands from the early nineteenth century until 1937, as did whalers. One of the Bell daughters, Elsie K. Morton, recounted the family's experience there in her memoir, Crusoes of Sunday Island. Since then, a government facility has been maintained since 1937 but was refitted in 2002.
The total area of the islands is 33.08 km2 (12.77 sq mi). The islands are uninhabited, except for the permanently manned Raoul Island Station, a government meteorological, radio station, Naval Outpost and hostel for Department of Conservation officers and volunteers that has been maintained since 1937 on the northern terraces of Raoul Island, about 50 m (160 ft) in elevation above the cliffs of Fleetwood Bluff. Raoul Island Station represents the northernmost outpost of New Zealand.