New Zealand (Aotearoa) is a Southwestern Pacific Island nation that lies approximately 1500km southeast of Australia between latitudes 34 degrees south and 47 degrees south. It is a long and narrow country that is comprised of two major islands; the North Island and the South Island.
Trips to New Zealand:
The North Island is home to the capital city of Wellington and the largest city of Auckland which also serves as the main gateway into the country. The North Island has a `spine’ of mountain ranges running through the middle with gentle rolling farmland on either side. The central North Island is dominated by the Volcanic Plateau, an active volcanic and thermal area.
The mountainous South Island is the larger land mass and is divided along it length by the Southern Alps which are the `backbone’ of the island and caused by the meeting of the Australian and Pacific plates.
The South Island is spectacular in nature and home to Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand highest mountain (3,724m) plus numerous glaciers, deep fiords, and braided rivers which attract visitors to New Zealand from all over the world to experience it’s incredible year round adventure and nature.
New Zealand was settled by Maori people who voyaged great distances across the Pacific Ocean in small ocean-going canoes and became the first inhabitants of Aotearoa New Zealand, some 400 years prior to European exploration and settlement. The rich Maori culture is a core part of New Zealand’s identity to this day.
The people of New Zealand, or Kiwi’s, are friendly and down to earth in nature and are made up of Maori, European, Pacific and Asian cultures and heritage.
The land mass of New Zealand is comparable in size to the United Kingdom, Japan or the state of California in the USA and has a population of roughly 4.8 Million people.