New Zealand is a country located in a region called Oceania. This Southern Hemisphere country is surrounded by the South Pacific Ocean. The Māori name for the country is Aotearoa which means “land of the long white cloud”. Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand. The city is located on South Island with about 417,000 people. The country’s largest city is called Auckland located on the North Island. Auckland has about 1.6 million inhabitants.
These islands are one of Earth’s most peculiar bioregions, inhabited by flightless birds seen nowhere else such as a nocturnal, burrowing parrot called the kakapo and kiwi. This former British colony has a population consisting predominantly of European descent, with the significant indigenous Māori, Pacific Island and rapidly growing Asian Minorities as well as minor populations of people from the Middle East, Americas and Africa. New Zealand has four distinct seasons. The weather though varies widely between the North and South Island. The North Island has subtropical weather in summer, and the mountainous South Island has cold weather in winter.
The country is known for its roast lamb and seafood. Kahawai and mackerel are sustainable seafood choices. And don’t miss to try a typical New Zealand ‘barbie’ (barbecue) or a traditional Māori hāngī meal. The Hokey pokey is also a popular dessert of vanilla ice cream with honeycomb. New Zealand is also known for its adventurous twist to nature: experience jet-boating through shallow gorges, go bungee jumping off anything high enough to give a thrill.
- The tuatara is another unique animal that only exists in New Zealand
- National parks and nature reserves cover over 20% of New Zealand’s land area. There are 13 national parks in New Zealand.
- The Manuka tree is unique to New Zealand, although it now exists also in Australia though.
- New Zealand’s currency is the New Zealand Dollar.
- The main islands are 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 20 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.
- The Super Rugby season begins in February and normally ends in August, be sure to visit around this time.
- Take a walk through Milford Sound, a beautiful fiord in Fiordland National Park
- Also check out the Wanaka; two beautiful lakes and the gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, canyoning, rock climbing