Population: 4.5 million
Main Languages: English, Maori
Main Religion: Christian
Currency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
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New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea.
The majority of New Zealand’s population lives on the smaller North Island. Both, the largest city and the capital, are located there. The North Island is known for its geothermal active centre in the area of Waikato as well as for its beautiful scenery and the high number of beaches.
The South Island is popular for the diversity of its stunning nature. There are mountain chains, alpine areas, crystal clear lakes and rivers as well as beautiful long beaches and large rainforests. Also, it is where famous wine-growing regions are located.
1. Getting there
South Island: Christchurch International Airport
2. Weather-What to pack
The weather in New Zealand is extremely changeable. Apart from the alpine areas, there is rarely snow in the winter, but it can be windy and damp at any time of the year. The temperatures drop as you travel south over the country. Nights in the South Island can be particularly cold.
New Zealand's seasons are opposite of those in the UK. Summer in New Zealand is from December to February. Autumn lasts from March to May. Winter is from June to August. Spring spans September through November.
Practical and sturdy clothes that are good for layering, to accommodate the changing temperatures, are what you need for your stay in New Zealand. Students arriving in the July semester will need warm sweaters to wear indoors. In summer, it is acceptable to wear shorts, t-shirts and light footwear.
1. Getting around
A good site for all the information about transport in New Zealand is Four Corners.
2. Where to visit
Rotorua: The area around the city Rotorua is affected by a spectacular as well as beautiful and unique nature, which is known for its stunning geothermal activity.
Bay of Plenty: Located along the Pacific Coast Highway the Bay of Plenty, which is home to the heart of the kiwi fruit industry, is the perfect destination for people who would like to enjoy a perfect mix of activities, beautiful sceneries, culture as well as top dining experiences.
Great Lake Taupo: The region centred around the largest freshwater lake in Australasia is famous for its unique and picturesque areas. Lake Taupo is due to its variety of different thrilling activities a paradise for water lovers and adventure seekers. It also used to be the film location for The Lord of The Rings movies.
Northland: Cape Reinga is the northernmost point of New Zealand. From the lighthouse you can watch the fascinating encounter of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Also located in the northern area is the famous 90 mile beach, where you can try sand-boarding, and the kauri forest with its impressive trees.
Bay of Islands: Located in the Northland Region the Bay of Islands is known for its legendary beaches and beautiful nature. It was where the first European settlers arrived, and where they forged the first relationship with local Maori. Nowadays it is one of New Zealand’s great holiday destinations, for international tourists as well as for Kiwis.
Fiordland and Milford Sound: The environment of the Fiordland National Park, which was established in 1952, encompasses high mountains, clear lakes and fiords and rainforests as well as the popular Milford Sound, one of the worlds natural wonders. The mountains stand tall and straight out of the sea, partly covered with rainforest and waterfalls hundreds of meters below the water. In the Maori legend, a godly figure created this stunning scenery.
Queenstown: The worlds adventure capital surrounded by a majestic chain of mountains and located near the crystal clear Lake Wakatipu. It is the perfect place for enjoying thrilling activities as well as visiting the old, English-style city centre or discovering the stunning landscape. In winter it is one of New Zealand’s best-known alpine areas.
Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier: New Zealand’s highest glaciers are located on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Islands, not far away from each other. There you have the opportunity to make a unique glacier experience. Join a suitable hiking tour out of a wide range of programmes to explore this stunning glacial landscape.
Mount Cook: New Zealand’s tallest Mountain Mount Cook, which stands at an altitude of 3,754 metres above sea level, is located in the Mount Cook National Park, a wonderland made of snow, ice and rocks. There is a wide range of different tours to discover this unspoiled nature as well as stunning views.
Kaikoura: Situated on the East Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, is the perfect place to discover the ocean and the mountains. Go there if you would love to watch whales or swim with dolphins in their natural habitat, an unforgettable experience.
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