Travel is only glamorous in retrospect.
— Paul Theroux, 1941 -
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New Zealand

Background

New Zealand

The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. In that same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both World Wars. New Zealand's full participation in a number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent years, the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances.

About

New Zealand is known in the native Maori language as Aotearoa, often translated as The land of the long white cloud.

New Zealand is a country of stunning and diverse natural beauty which includes: jagged mountains, steep fiords, pristine lakes, raging rivers, scenic beaches, and active volcanic features. The islands are one of Earth's richest flora zones and is inhabited by some unique fauna, including many flightless birds such as the kiwi, which is the national symbol.

The Maori culture continues to play an important part in everyday New Zealand life, and there are abundant opportunities for the visitor to understand and experience the history and the present day form of Maori life.

The country is sparsely populated, but easily accessible. New Zealand has modern visitor facilities, and developed transportation networks. New Zealand often adds an adventure twist to nature, and is the home of jetboating through shallow gorges, and bungy jumping off anything high enough to give a thrill.

Read more about New Zealand in our New Zealand travel guide »

Featured journals from

New Zealand

New Zealand!

by xEline

Alles over mijn avonturen in Nieuw-Zeeland

Feb 2017 - Mar 2017  »  New Zealand

Tula ~ Oceania 2014

by mstuladee

New Zealand ~ Fiji Islands ~ Australia

Jan 2014  »  Canada | New Zealand

Gap Yaaar Adventures

by jenniebryans

Oct 2016 - Nov 2016  »  New Zealand | United States

3 Seasons

by SlyOldFox

Adventures in winter avoidance

May 2014  »  New Zealand | Vietnam

South East Asia 2009

by jeffsadventures

Feb 2007 - Oct 2009  »  New Zealand | Vietnam

San Francisco July 2017

by ScotsCollegeDigi

We are a bunch of computer geeks travelling to San Francisco to visit many of the larger, well known IT organisations to see what they do and how and why they do it.

Jun 2017 - Jul 2017  »  New Zealand | United States

DOWN UNDER, WHERE?

by TheLiliens

A new continent, and a new region for the Liliens. It's exciting to think that we'll be heading to the land of kangaroos, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Maori. We begin with a cruise crossing the Pacific, stopping in Hawaii, Fiji and a number of other S. Pacific islands. Then comes some independent touring in AUS, and finally a move over to New Zealand for its spectacular scenery, and its own unique spin on things. We'll be sailing to several ports on both the north and south islands that make up NZ, so it will give us a good overview of the country before heading back to Sydney, from where we'll be returning home. Phew, we're tired already.

Sep 2017 - Nov 2017  »  Canada | United States | Fiji | New Caledonia | Australia | New Zealand

US West Coast and Whistler 2017

by LifeIsAJourney

2 weeks in a camper starting in Seattle and heading up to Whistler

Sep 2017  »  New Zealand | United States

Featured hotels in

New Zealand

New ZealandHUKA LODGE 

271 Huka Falls Road
TAUPO 3384
New Zealand

Price (US$): $1464 - $2763 / night

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HUKA LODGE.CLUB 5C HOTEL WELCOMES RELAIS AND CHATEAUX CLUB 5C MEMBERSWITH A VIP WELCOME AND A DISCOVERY PRIVILEGE. PLEASEINDICATE THE CLUB 5C MEMBERSHIP NUMBER IN THE RESERVATIONAND PLEASE SHOW YOUR CLUB 5C MEMBERSHIP CARD ON ARRIVAL. more »

New ZealandSofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa 

8 Duke Street Po Box 1797
Queenstown 9300
New Zealand

Price (US$): $205 - $401 / night

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Location. Near the airport, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa is located in Queenstown's Queenstown City Centre neighborhood and close to TSS Earnslaw Steamship, Steamer Wharf, and Queenstown Beach. Additional points of interest include Kiwi and Birdlife Park and Skyline Gondola. Hotel Features. Dining options at Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each… more »

New ZealandHotel St Moritz, Queenstown - MGallery Collection 

10-18 Brunswick Street
Queenstown 9348
New Zealand

Price (US$): $172 - $501 / night

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Location. Located in central Queenstown, Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown MGallery Collection is near the airport and close to Steamer Wharf, TSS Earnslaw Steamship, and Queenstown Beach. Additional points of interest include Kiwi and Birdlife Park and Skyline Gondola. Hotel Features. Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown MGallery Collection's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a health… more »

New ZealandWesthaven Luxury Lodge 

Westhaven, Te-Hapu Rd. 336,
Collingwood 7073
New Zealand

Price (US$): $822 - $999 / night

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Location. Westhaven Luxury Lodge is located near the beach in Collingwood and attractions in the region include Wharariki Beach. Property Features. Westhaven Luxury Lodge features a bar/lounge and a snack bar/deli. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a sauna. Wireless and wired high speed Internet access is available in public areas (surcharges apply) and the lodge has an Internet point. Wedding services, tour/ticket assistance, and tour assistance are available.… more »

New ZealandHuntley Lodge 

67 Yaldhurst Road, Upper Riccarton,
Christchurch
New Zealand

Price (US$): $573 - $640 / night

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Location. Near the airport, Huntley Lodge is located in Christchurch's Riccarton neighborhood and close to Bush Inn Centre, Riccarton House, and International Antarctic Centre. Nearby points of interest also include Riccarton Park and University of Canterbury. Hotel Features. Huntley Lodge's restaurant serves breakfast and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. Spa amenities include massage/treatment rooms and facials. This 5 star property… more »

Browse more hotels in New Zealand »

New Zealand

Capital
Wellington
Location

Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia

Geographic coordinates

41 00 S, 174 00 E

Area comparative

about the size of Colorado

Coastline

15,134 km

Climate

temperate with sharp regional contrasts

Terrain

predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains

Lowest point

Pacific Ocean 0 m

Highest point

Aoraki-Mount Cook 3,754 m

Natural resources

natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone

Population

4,252,277 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

European 56.8%, Asian 8%, Maori 7.4%, Pacific islander 4.6%, mixed 9.7%, other 13.5% (2006 Census)

Religions

Anglican 13.8%, Roman Catholic 12.6%, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Reformed 10%, Christian (no denomination specified) 4.6%, Methodist 3%, Pentecostal 2%, Baptist 1.4%, other Christian 3.8%, Maori Christian 1.6%, Hindu 1.6%, Buddhist 1.3%, other religions 2.2%, none 32.2%, other or unidentified 9.9% (2006 Census)

Languages

English 91.2% (official), Maori 3.9% (official), Samoan 2.1%, French 1.3%, Hindi 1.1%, Yue 1.1%, Northern Chinese 1%, other 12.9%, New Zealand Sign Language (official)

Government type

parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Independence

26 September 1907 (from the UK)

National holiday

Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840); ANZAC Day (commemorated as the anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25 April (1915)

Chief of state

Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Anand SATYANAND (since 23 August 2006)

Head of government

Prime Minister John KEY (since 19 November 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Bill ENGLISH (since 19 November 2008)

Internet country code

.nz

Internet users

3.4 million (2009)

Airports

122 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Auckland, Lyttelton, Manukau Harbor, Marsden Point, Tauranga, Wellington

Other countries in the region