Overview: New Zealand in a nutshell
Haere Mai - Welcome to New Zealand
New Zealand is part of Oceania and consists of two major islands in the South Pacific Ocean, approx. 1.600 km southeast of Australia.
New Zealand is slighly bigger than the UK and slighly smaller than Germany - it has with a total land area of 268,680 sq.km. / 103,741 sq.mi. approximately the size of the state of Colorado, USA.
The two islands are usually referred to as the North and the South Island. New Zealand has a coastline of 15,134 km (9,406 mi) and the elevation ranges from sea level up to 3,754 m / 12,316 ft (Aoraki-Mount Cook).
Generally spoken the terrain is predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains.
New Zealand's two main islands (the North and South Islands) and the many small islands have a combined total land
area of 270,534 square kilometres.
New Zealand is 1,600
kilometres long and 450 kilometres
wide at its widest part.
The geographic location of New Zealand and the elevation differences explain why New Zealand has a diverse
climate and that temperatures show strong regional contrasts.
New Zealand experiences summer from
December to February and winter from
June to August.
Politically New Zealand includes the Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands.
New Zealand has two official languages which are English and Maori.
A population of only approximately 4 millions of which 80% lives in cities means that New Zealand is the perfect country for outdoor activities, for nature lovers.
New Zealand's landscape and temperate climate lends itself to outdoor activity. The country is renowned for its range of adventure pastimes - the best known being bungy jumping, jetboat riding, rafting, skiing, hiking, waterskiing, mountain climbing and caving.
The adventure tourism industry makes the most of having a country surrounded by sea, criss-crossed by rivers and lakes, covered in native bush and with a central spine of spectacular snow-capped mountains.
There's something for everyone who enjoys the outdoor lifestyle and the special sense of freedom the relatively sparsely populated land provides.
Maori are the tangata whenua (indigenous people of the land) of New Zealand and their culture is an integral part of New Zealand life.
The resultant New Zealand identity is unique, fresh, invigorating and adventurous.
But New Zealand has much more to offer: Discover the country's art & culture scene, pamper yourself in state-of-the art spa's and wellness hotels, relax with golfing and fishing, enjoy local food & wine, check out the diverse spectrum of events, and, and, and, ...
If you take a look at the maps you get an impression how far New Zealand is away from most places in the world (unless you're from Australia). Even a flight from Sidney to Wellington takes more than 3 hours!
New Zealand is in the GMT+12 (same as UTC+12) hrs timezone, that's where the international date line happens to be.
E.g. New York City is in the time zone UTC-5 (five hours earlier than London, UK) which means Wellington would be 17 hrs ahead of New York's time! That's why New Zealanders can celebrate the New Year that early...