The Maoris’ were the first inhabitants of New Zealand coming from Polynesia in the 13th Century and it wasn’t until the late 18th century that Europeans began to settle on New Zealand leading to the first independent European colony being established in 1840. After many years of “Land Wars” between the British and the Maori, New Zealand has become a peaceful nation with settlers from all over the world now living in harmony together. Because of New Zealand’s incredible natural beauty, wildlife and culture it’s a great destination for adventure seekers.
About New Zealand
Located 1,000 miles southeast of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation made up of a number of different islands, the largest of which being the North and the South Islands which are separated by a channel known as the Cook Strait.
The North Island is the smaller of the two islands but due to the geography, warmer climate and the fact that it's home to the two largest cities in New Zealand it's the most densely populated of the two. The North islands geography mainly consists of low, volcanic mountains and because of its volcanic past, the North Island features an abundance of hot springs and geysers.
The South Island is around 33% larger than the North but due to the topography of the island, it’s home to only 23% of the total population. The South Island is home to the Southern Alps, a northeast-southwest oriented mountain range which is covered in glaciers. Its highest point is the summit of Mount Cook which is 12,349 ft above sea level and is known in the Maori language as Aoraki which loosely translates as “Cloud Piercer”. To the east of these mountains, the island is dry and is made up of the treeless Canterbury Plains. On the southwest, the island's coast is heavily forested and jagged with fjords. This area also features New Zealand's largest national park, Fiordland.
Size: (Approx) 268,680 square kilometres
Population: (Approx) 4.4 million people
Languages: English & Maori
Land borders: None
Climate: The climate is mostly cool temperate to warm temperate. January and February are the warmest months with July being the coldest. New Zealand does not have a huge temperature range with the exception of central Otago, but in any area the weather can change rapidly and unexpectedly. Subtropical conditions can be experienced in Northland. Peak summer temperatures are in the range 24-28 degrees Celsius, although inland Central Otago often experiences 30-34 degrees
Money: New Zealand dollar
Tipping: Tipping in New Zealand is not customary and is not required but if you receive exceptional service a tip will always be appreciated.
Formalities: British Citizens are allowed to stay in New Zealand for up to 6 months without a visa.
Travel advice: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office produce up-to-date information on countries around the world. This which can be checked on www.fco.gov.uk