About New Zealand
New Zealand is a land of hidden treasures and vast, unspoiled beauty. Fresh air, magnificent scenery and wide ranging outdoor activities are the feature attractions of New Zealand.
It’s not a big country but you quickly see its reputation for being ‘clean and green’ and the sheer variety it has to offer, are well deserved and hard to beat! At 269, 000 square kilometres in area, New Zealand is made up of 3 main Islands – the North, South and Stewart Islands. Similar in area to Great Britain, It lays 2250 kms east of Australia, north of Antarctica in the South Western Pacific. Situated on a fault line, between the Pacific and Indian plate, New Zealand was formed when the two plates pushed against each other. The result was a largely mountainous country being formed. Mountain ranges and hill country dominate New Zealand landscape.
Today New Zealand is a peaceful country with little crime and a comfortable lifestyle. The people are friendly and outgoing. One quarter of New Zealand is protected wilderness and the country remains relatively free of pollution. Major industries include agriculture, dairy, forestry, fishing, and tourism.
Auckland City – New Zealand largest and most cosmopolitan city, with a diverse population of many cultures and ethnic groups, is by far the best city in which to live and learn!
Christchurch City – The South Island’s largest city.
Wellington City – New Zealand’s capital city; often windy but beautiful in summer.
In New Zealand you can explore the diversity of the surrounding country and culture, from great glaciers to rainforests, isolated beaches to the clean, clear waters of the Pacific, active volcanoes to gushing geysers, so easily accessible to the traveller. New Zealanders are great adventurers and travellers (The highest international traveller per head of population) thus almost any activity is easily accessible and relatively affordable to both New Zealanders and internationals.
New Zealand parks cover a large portion of the country and its coast, with protected areas accounting for around one third of the total land. Visitors are welcome on most of this except in a small number of places where the environment is particularly sensitive. In all parks the scenery is spectacular, with an amazing variety of land and seascapes, flora and fauna. Five of the National Parks have been declared World Heritage areas, a mark of international recognition for their exceptional natural beauty and cultural significance.
Seasons are opposite to the Northern hemisphere, with January and February the warmest months and July the coldest. The climate is temperate – averages range from 7C (approx 24F) in July to 26C (approx 80F) in January – but summer temperatures reach the low thirties in many places. The mean average rainfall varies widely – from less than 400 mm in Central Otago to over 12,000 mm in the Southern Alps. For most of the North Island and the northern South Island the driest season is summer. However, for the West Coast and much of inland Canterbury, Otago and Southland, winter is the driest season.