New Zealand (Māori: Aotearoa) is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country’s varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand’s capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
Sometime between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that later were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of Britain and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands. In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a Dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand’s population of 4.7 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand’s culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.
New Zealand lies between 37 and 47 degrees south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Both the North and South Islands of New Zealand enjoy moderate, maritime climate, weather and temperatures.
New Zealand weather and climate is of paramount importance to the people of New Zealand, as many New Zealanders make their living from the land. New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall, and many hours of sunshine throughout most of the country. New Zealand’s climate is dominated by two main geographical features: the mountains and the sea.
New Zealand has a largely temperate climate. While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10 C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and abundant sunshine.
Because New Zealand lies in the Southern Hemisphere, the average temperature decreases as you travel south. The north of New Zealand is subtropical and the south temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest June, July and August. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20 – 30ºC and in winter between 10 – 15ºC.
The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu—and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga.
ATM are everywhere and New Zealand has many of the same banks that Australia does.
Your mobile phone will work in New Zealand and its best to check with your Australian provider to find out the costs involved. New Zealand has wifi spots and wifi cafes in most towns you visit. Some will be free and others paid.
New Zealand can be explored in so many ways so it’s important to ask yourself the question… what’s important to me on this trip?
We have many clients who have enjoyed the luxury of joining a Grand Pacific Tours group tour, where you can experience the difference… letting them look after you every step of the way!
We have also had many want to explore the Island of the Long White Cloud themselves by putting together a little car hire and accommodation package, maybe including a train ride or two, you can check out all that Anzcro have to offer for that type of holiday here.
Most of our team in the Albany Travel With Purpose office have been to New Zealand plus John and I have been a large number of times due to family and a deep love for the country so you can contact us on 1800 960 007 or email [email protected] to work out the best plan for you.