Topo50 maps

The Topo50 map series provides topographic mapping for the New Zealand mainland and Chatham Islands at 1:50,000 scale.

At a scale of 1:50,000, Topo50 maps show geographic features in detail. They are useful for a wide range of activities such as local navigation by vehicle or on foot, locality area planning and study of the environment. Used by a wide variety of groups, Topo50 is the official topographic map series used by New Zealand emergency services.

To produce our Topo50 maps of the New Zealand mainland we use:

  • the New Zealand Geodetic Datum 2000 (NZGD2000) – the coordinates of longitude and latitude
  • the New Zealand Transverse Mercator 2000 (NZTM2000) projection – this is what enables the curved mathematical surface approximating the Earth to be represented on a flat sheet of paper.

To produce our Topo50 maps of the Chatham Islands we use:

  • the Chatham Islands Transverse Mercator 2000 (CITM2000) projection.

Topo50 sheet index

The sheet index shows you the areas covered by each map sheet, and their name and sheet code so that you can find and download the map you need. A link to the sheet index is available at the bottom of the page.

Search the Topo50 sheet index

Printed paper maps

Use our search tool to locate your nearest map retailer where you can purchase paper maps.

Search for a map retailer

Download a digital Topo50 map with Map Chooser

Use our Map Chooser to select and download a map for the area you want at 1:50,000.

You can download these maps free as image files provided at 300 DPI, as either:

  • a TIFF – shows the whole map including the legend and index much like a paper map
  • a GeoTIFF – shows the spatial data area only (without legend or index), with georeferencing that automatically aligns your chosen map with adjacent maps within GIS systems.  (You can download the Topo50 map legend (tif 859KB).

Select and download a map using Map Chooser

For bulk digital map orders, please contact us.

Tips for reading your Topo50 Map

  • Even if a road or track is marked on the map you do not necessarily have right of access.
  • Do not use tracks or routes marked as closed. They are no longer maintained or passable and should not be used by recreationalists. Contact the Department of Conservation or other authorities for the latest information on tracks and huts.
  • Not all aerial wires, cableways and obstructions that could be hazardous to aircraft are shown on the map.
  • Contours and spot elevations in forest and snow areas may be less accurate.

Learn how to read and navigate from our Topo50 maps using the Topo50 Map Reading Guide. Look for the attachment at the bottom of this page.

TIFF format example

GeoTIFF format example


Georeferencing keys in the GeoTIFFGeoreferencing value
PCSCitationGeoKey (Ascii,60)

"Transverse Mercator; New Zealand Geodetic Datum 2000; GRS80"

ProjectionGeoKey (Short,1)User-Defined
ProjectionGeoKey (Short,1)CT_TransverseMercator
ProjLinearUnitsGeoKey (Short,1)Linear_Meter
ProjNatOriginLongGeoKey (Double,1)173
ProjNatOriginLatGeoKey (Double,1)0
ProjFalseEastingGeoKey (Double,1)1 600 000
ProjFalseNorthingGeoKey (Double,1)10 000 000
ProjScaleAtNatOriginGeoKey (Double,1)0.9996
Ellipsoid7019/GRS 1980 (6378137.00,6356752.31)
Projection Linear Units9001/metre (1.000000m)
Corner Coordinates (eg)

Upper Left (1876000.000,5658000.000)
Lower Left (1876000.000,5640000.000)
Upper Right (1900000.000,5658000.000)
Lower Right (1900000.000,5640000.000)
Centre (1888000.000,5649000.000)