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A Glimpse of New Zealand
An Introduction to New Zealand
New Zealand, or Godzone, a term shortened from a title of a poem, 'God's Own Country', by Thomas Bracken in the 1880s, is used to refer to its many beautiful aspects -- landscape, climate and social equality.
Aotearoa, meaning 'Land of the Long White Cloud', is the Maori name for New Zealand. It is believed that more than a 1000 years ago, the Maori people arrived on canoes from a South Pacific homeland known as Hawaiki. They were the first settlers who developed a very successful soceity. European migration began in the 18th and 19th centuries.
New Zealand is located 1900 kilometres east of Australia in the South Pacific Ocean. It is similar in size to Britain and Japan and has two main islands – North and South, a thirds smaller island called Stewart Island, and a number of small islands. It is mostly farmland and more than a quarter is forest area. Hence, whichever way you turn, you encounter a beautiful scene with greenery everywhere. The people of New Zealand are called Kiwis and all things Kiwi come under the generic name of Kiwiana
New Zealand is an independent nation and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Comparable in size to the United Kingdom, the Philippines and Colorado in the USA, it has a diverse multicultural population of 4 million people. New Zealand’s indigenous Maori, a Polynesian people, make up around 15% of the population. Extensive areas have been set aside as national parks, including Fiordland, Aoraki/Mt Cook and Tongariro. Wellington, is the capital city of New Zealand.
Protected offshore islands and oceanic reserves ensure New Zealand’s unique plants and wildlife are preserved. Its wildlife includes the kiwi, a flightless bird, unique varieties of parrots, frogs and reptiles. New Zealand has no native land mammals other than bats. There are no snakes.
The North Island has New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo (606 sq km), longest river, Waikato (425 km), and most of the countries volcanoes – Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe an Tongariro – all of them usually quiet. Hot springs, geysers and mudpools also form part of the volcanic system centred around Rotorua.
Here one of the most striking features is the Southern Alps, these along with the fiords, glaciers and lakes, the coastal plains of Canterbury and Southland, add to the variety of the scenery. New Zealand’s deepest lake, Lake Hauroko (462m) and deepest cave (Nettlebed, 889m) are also located in the South Island.
Places of Interest in South Island
- Nelson New Zealand Tourism Information
Famed for its temperate climate and high sunshine hours, Nelson region can be explored year round by land, sea and air. A region that has something for everyone from the adventurer, art lover to a wine connoisseur.
- Canterbury New Zealand Tourism
The Canterbury region is situated in New Zealand's South Island. Christchurch City is the gateway to the Canterbury region, one of the most diverse corners of the world. Here you will find sparkling beaches, extinct volcanoes, hectares of flat farmla
Top 10 AMAZING Facts About New Zealand
Quiz - What Do You Know About New Zealand?view quiz statistics
Nature's Beauty in New Zealand
- The Gorge Explorer: A Steam Train Excursion in New Z...
[Video] The steam train excursion from Paekakariki to Woodville via the Manawatu Gorge in heritage carriages, some dating back more than a 100 years was an exciting experience. Check out the video and photos and how to book one yourself.
- Queenstown New Zealand Tourist Information
Queenstown, located in the southwest corner of New Zealand, draws around 1.7 million visitors each year. A unique experience to Queenstown is the TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise on what is believed to be the oldest working coal-fired steamship in the s
- Native New Zealand Birds: Tui and Kereru
Two native birds of New Zealand the tui and kereru are fruit eating birds that help in seed dispersal. Watch a video capturing the two birds in action.
- Coast Redwoods – Tallest and Largest Trees in the ...
The world’s largest and tallest living things are the redwood trees in California. They have been tried to be cultivated in other countries. In 1901 a grove of Coast Redwoods was planted near Rotorua in New Zealand.
The first impression one has after flying from India and landing in Auckland is ‘Where are the people?!’ New Zealand has a population of around 4.2 million and Auckland has 1.3 million, so one can imagine how sparsely populated it must be compared to India which has a population of 1 Billion and more. One has to go to the main shopping area like Queen Street to see people.
Auckland is the gateway to New Zealand and is a harbour city with spectacular views and breathtaking scenery. It has an average of 245 days of sunshine per year, the average summer temperature being 20° C and in winter 13°C, which is quite pleasant. Summer is from December to March and is of course the best time to visit. It is New Zealand’s largest city and has volcanic hills dotted all over it maintained beautifully for people to climb up and explore leisurely both by car or just walking up. The city centre, around Queen Street is a shopper’s paradise with a fascinating mix of up market boutique shops and small specialist stores.
About the Author
Sushma Webber lives in New Zealand and is an entrepreneur. She has worked as a volunteer in many not-for-profit organizations. She is interested in creating a balance in life between the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects. She is interested in mindful awareness practices, Zen practices and translating these in daily life at work in front of the computer and during various activities of her life.