New Zealand has been blessed with pure beauty and brilliant complexity of the landscapes, often contrasting, are the delight of an unforgettable trip, so if you have the chance to visit the great islands of the South Pacific, definitely have to take advantage of it!
New Zealand is one of the archipelagos separated by stretches of the Pacific Ocean, which make up Oceania, being separated from Australia to the northwest of the Tasman Sea. New Zealand is considered the farthest destination, the closest neighbors being New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. Islands of New Zealand are part of the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ that includes many active volcanoes, in New Zealand earthquakes frequently occurring.
Due to the fog surrounding the high volcanoes and snow capped peaks, the first Maori who reached New Zealand, called her ‘Aotearoa’ meaning 'the country of the long white cloud'. Fascinating is that in the same country there are two populations, as almost 15% of 4, 2 million people, are of Maori origin, and the remaining 80% of European origin, making New Zealand a strange juxtaposition, but also an incredible fascinating place.
Its magnificent scenery attracts annually millions of tourists from around the world. Forests and beaches, deserts, volcanoes and mountain peaks, all forms a picture drawn from paradise.
To get here you should know that most international flights are landing in Auckland, and the main airline is Air New Zealand. Qantas Airline's has connections only between major cities and tourist centers such as Auckland (the largest city in New Zealand and one of the few cities in the world with harbors on two separates parts of water), Rotorua (an extraordinary tourist center, geothermal and Maori), Wellington (the southernmost capital city in the world), Queenstown (one of the major alpine resorts worldwide), or Christchurch (here is the second major airport of New Zealand, but with a limited number of flights). Christchurch is also the city with the most striking British footprint. Some of the cheapest flights in Europe are via Asia, companies such as Cathay Pacific and Air New Zealand, linking London and Auckland via Hong Kong. If you are in South America, you can use Aerolines Argentinas or LAN Chile.
When can I travel in New Zealand? This is the most common question and the answer most loved is that you can travel all year round! However, the best time to visit is during the summer, between December and February, when days are moderately warm, the alpine national parks are accessible and beaches in the best condition. To visit the country without spending too much money, you can choose during the off season, in October, November or April and May, when most sights are not so busy, it's cooler and accommodation prices are significantly lower. You must remember that the official tourist season lasts from May to October, and all the attractions are open, being organized also different thematic routes across New Zealand. Except this time, in low season, the variety of trips decreases and some sights may be closed.
Quick facts about New Zealand
Location: South Pacific Ocean (Southeast of Australia, below the Pacific Islands and above Antarctica).
Languages: English (official), Maori (official), Kiwi Slang (unofficial).
Religions: Anglican; Catholic
Time zone: UTC +12
Currency: New Zealand dollar = NZD = $
Time: New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
Climate: Summer = December, January, February, March.
Average maximum temperature = 20 - 30º Celsius (68 - 86º Fahrenheit).
Winter = June, July, August. Average maximum temperature = 10 - 15º Celsius (50 - 59º Fahrenheit).
Electricity: 240 V AC, 50 Hz. Plugs have three flat blades – 1 is vertical and the other 2 are forming an angle.
Credit cards: The abbreviations used are AE = American Express; DC = Dinners Club; MC = Master Card; V = Visa.
Visas: Visitors from over 50 countries such as United States, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Japan and Member States of the European Union do NOT need a visa for stay up to 3 months. British citizens have the right of visiting up to 6 months without a visa.