New Zealand | Aotearoa | Campervan Hire
We’ve focused on some general information.
• Area: 270,500 km2
• Coastline: 15,134 km
• Capital City: Wellington
• Largest City: Auckland
• Official Languages: English, Maori, Sign Language
• Population: 4.4 Million (25% South Island, 75% North Island)
• Ethnic Groups: 70% European, 15% Maori, 7% Asian, 6% Pacific Islanders, 2% other
• Religion: Christian (55%), No Religion (34%), Other (11%)
• Currency: New Zealand Dollar
• Industry: Dairy, Tourism, Agriculture, Forestry
• Government: Parliamentary Democracy & Constitutional Monarchy - Independent member of the Commonwealth
Temperate with sharp regional contrasts
New Zealand, being a long narrow landmass in the open ocean, is very exposed to weather systems. Cold southerly winds from the Antarctic and hot damp airflow from the Subtropics. It’s not uncommon to experience a beautiful hot day only to be surprised by a change of wind direction with cold temperatures.
Average rainfalls vary sharply across regions.
South Island example:
• Fiordland: rainforest weather with an average of 7000mm of rain a year
• Otago: very dry, often drought like weather with an average of 400mm of rain a year
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. The top of the South Island contains areas of forest in Abel Tasman, Kahurangi and other national parks. Fiordland, in the south-western corner of the South Island, is an area of big mountains with beautiful fiords. The South Island is famous for its natural beauty.
The North Island is less mountainous but is marked by volcanism. The highly active Taupo volcanic zone has formed a large volcanic plateau. The North Island's highest mountain, Mount Ruapehu 2,797 metres, and the country's largest lake, Lake Taupo, are found on this plateau. The island's northern regions are flatter and where once covered by huge kauri trees. The coastline features some stunning beaches and views.
The country owes its varied topography, and perhaps even its emergence above the waves, to the dynamic boundary it straddles between two major tectonic plates - the Pacific and Indo-Australian Plates.
New Zealand has a shorter human history than any other country.
Early Maori developed their own distinctive and fascinating culture based on the Polynesian traditions. Social organisation was largely communal with families (whanau), sub-tribes (hapu) and tribes (iwi) ruled by a chief (rangatira). The Maori language is unique and the people’s traditions and customs are beautiful and very special. The pre-eminent M?ori architecture consisted of meeting houses (marae) decorated with symbolic carvings and illustrations.
The European immigrants brought aspects of their own society to New Zealand and also influenced M?ori culture, particularly with the introduction of Christianity. However, Maori still regard their allegiance to tribal groups as a vital part of their identity.
In general New Zealanders are friendly, trustworthy, helpful and welcoming people.
The standard of education is high and New Zealanders have been known to be creative and inventive. Some of the most famous inventions are the splitting of the atom, bungy jumping, Hamilton jet boat, tranquiliser gun, electric fences, fastest motorbike in the world, electronic petrol pump – to name just a few!
New Zealanders love the outdoors, especially the water. People are active, have a very positive outlook and stand together in tough times. Kiwis rock!
Come and experience New Zealand and its people!