New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses that of the North and South Islands and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans.
The introduction of potatoes and muskets triggered upheaval among Maori early during the 19th century, which led to the inter-tribal Musket Wars. In 1840 the British and Maori signed a treaty making New Zealand a colony of the British Empire. Immigrant numbers increased sharply and conflicts escalated into the New Zealand Wars, which resulted in much Maori land being confiscated in the mid North Island.
New Zealand is made up of two main islands and a number of smaller islands, located near the centre of the water hemisphere. The main North and South Islands are separated by the Cook Strait, 22 kilometres wide at its narrowest point. Besides the North and South Islands, the five largest inhabited islands are Stewart Island, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island (in the Hauraki Gulf), d'Urville Island in the Marlborough Sounds and Waiheke Island about 22 km from central Auckland. The country's islands lie between latitudes 29° and 53°S, and longitudes 165° and 176°E.
The South Island is the largest land mass of New Zealand, and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps. There are 18 peaks over 3,000 metres, the highest of which is Aoraki / Mount Cook at 3,754 metres. Fiordland's steep mountains and deep fiords record the extensive ice age glaciation of this south-western corner of the South Island. The North Island is less mountainous but is marked by volcanism. The highly active Taupo Volcanic Zone has formed a large volcanic plateau, punctuated by the North Island's highest mountain, Mount Ruapehu 2,797 metres. The plateau also hosts the country's largest lake, Lake Taupo, nestled in the caldera of one of the world's most active supervolcanoes.
New Zealand Climate and Weather
New Zealand weather and climate is of paramount importance to the people of New Zealand, as many New Zealander's 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.
Things to do
Cycling: hen you’re riding, every corner has another view, another stop, another photo. The most ordinary place becomes special when you stop and talk to the people. You can go anywhere in the country. From the balmy climes of the sub-tropical north to the more refreshing lands of Southland, the well-maintained roads will take you there.
Water activities: Thousands of kilometres of coastline, lakes and rivers herald New Zealand as a water sports mecca. Sailing, surfing, diving, fishing – Kiwi’s love the water and we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to water activities. Indulging your passion for the water is easy to do and limited only by your imagination.
Food & wine: Indulging in local food and wine is a must-do for many travellers. If gastronomy and the odd tipple are high on your agenda, New Zealand won't disappoint. New Zealand is a food and wine lover’s paradise. Vineyards stretch throughout every region, chefs put playful local twists on fine cuisine and festivals serve up taste sensations with a side of local music.
Backpacking: As a backpacker in New Zealand your experiences will be diverse, mixing nature and the outdoors with a splash of adventure, in a rich and pure environment. When you’re young (or young at heart) there’s no better way to travel than with a pack on your back and a country at your feet. And if you’re looking for a place to start, there’s none better than New Zealand.
Other activities: Had your fill of culture, adventure and scenery? Consider some of these other fun-filled activities. Hit the shops, soak in a hot pool or have a dabble at a casino; there’s loads of options for filling in the free time you may have in your sightseeing itinerary.
New Zealand Highlights
Aoraki / Mt Cook – Follow the steps of New Zealand's most famous son to the country's highest mountain, visit the Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre and explore this beautiful Alpine region.
Bay of Islands – Pack up a rod and follow the big fish up to the Russell peninsula. Super-size your catch with a chartered fishing trip or kick back and enjoy the surf.
Otago Rail Trail – Follow in the tracks of steam trains from yesteryear with a leisurely cycling holiday or walking trip in the golden region of Otago.
Punakaiki National Park – It's always Pancake Day at Punakaiki... Here you can view stunning limestone rock formations and blowholes on the rugged and wild West Coast of the South Island.
Queenstown – The 'Adventure Capital' of New Zealand offers truly great walks, as well as bungy-jumping, jet boating, horse-riding, rafting, paragliding and more.
Rotorua – Literally a visitor hotspot, view natural geothermal waters, geysers and mud pools and indulge in activities such as cycling, zorbing, fishing and walking.
Southern Sounds – Take scenic cruises to savour the waters and hanging valleys of Milford and Doubtful Sounds and enjoy viewing their abundant marine and birdlife.
Waitangi – Soak up the history at the birthplace of modern New Zealand and stand in the spot where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.
Waitomo – Get ready to glow.. Explore the labyrinths of Waitomo's many caves and be enchanted by the mesmerizing lights of thousands of glowworms.
Whakaari – Adventure on Whakaari (White Island), home to New Zealand's largest active volcano, walking tracks and world-famous scuba sites.
Online dating is now widely accepted as a valid, convenient & fun way of meeting like-minded people. New Zealanders using Globogirls.com have found meeting people online is more convenient and comfortable than through 'normal' offline channels such as bars and parties. With standard dating precautions followed, Globogirls.com members feel more at ease getting to know each other in this new social scene.