The Tasman Sea (Māori: Te Tai-o-Rehua) is a marginal sea of the South Pacific Ocean, situated between Australia and New Zealand.
It measures about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) across and about 2,800 kilometres (1,700 mi) from north to south.
The sea was named after the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman, who was the first recorded European to encounter New Zealand and Tasmania.
The British explorer Captain James Cook later extensively navigated the Tasman Sea in the 1770s as part of his first voyage of exploration.
The Tasman Sea is informally referred to in both Australian and New Zealand English as The Ditch; for example, crossing the Ditch means travelling to Australia from New Zealand, or vice versa.
The diminutive term “The Ditch” used for the Tasman Sea is comparable to referring to the North Atlantic Ocean as “The Pond”.