Without adventure civilization is in full decay.
— Alfred North Whitehead, 1861 - 1947
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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 ZealandCentral Ridge Boutique Hotel 

4 Sydney Street
Queenstown 9300
New Zealand

Price (US$): $326 - $376 / night

Check rates »

Location. Near the airport, Central Ridge Boutique Hotel is located in Queenstown's Queenstown City Centre neighborhood and close to Queenstown Beach, TSS Earnslaw Steamship, and Steamer Wharf. Nearby points of interest also include Queenstown Gardens and Kiwi and Birdlife Park. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include a sauna. Spa amenities include spa services, massage/treatment rooms, facials, and beauty services. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas.… more »

New ZealandBest Western BK's Pioneer Motor Lodge 

205 Kirkbride Road
Airport Oaks
Mangere 2022
New Zealand

Price (US$): $106 - $107 / night

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Location. Located in Mangere, Best Western BK's Pioneer Motor Lodge is near the airport and close to Villa Maria Estate, JKs Driving Range, and Mount Mangere. Nearby points of interest also include Otuataua Stonefields and Treasure Island Adventure Golf. Property Features. The property has a complimentary airport shuttle (available 24 hours). Complimentary wireless and wired high speed Internet access is available in public areas. Best Western BK's Pioneer Motor Lodge features a rooftop… more »

New ZealandQuality Inn Sails Taupo 

138 Lake Terrace
Taupo
New Zealand

Price (US$): $143 - $144 / night

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Location. Quality Inn Sails Taupo is located in Taupo, close to Lake Taupo, Taupo Hot Springs, and Lake Taupo Museum and Art Gallery. Nearby points of interest also include Taupo Bungy and A.C. Baths. Property Features. Quality Inn Sails Taupo features barbecue grills, laundry facilities, and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. Guest parking is complimentary. Additional property amenities include dry cleaning/laundry… more »

New ZealandRaetihi Lodge 

Double Bay
Kenepuru Sound
Raetihi
New Zealand

Price (US$): $172 - $256 / night

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Location. Located in Raetihi, Raetihi Lodge is on the waterfront and attractions in the region include Mabel Island, Edwin Fox, and Picton War Memorial. Regional points of interest also include Picton Harbour and Johanneshof Cellars. Property Features. Raetihi Lodge's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Recreational amenities include a sauna, a fitness facility, and complimentary bicycles. This 4.5 star property has a business center and offers a… more »

New ZealandForty Two 

1/42 Man Street
Queenstown 9300
New Zealand

Location. Forty Two is located in Queenstown, close to Steamer Wharf, TSS Earnslaw Steamship, and Kiwi and Birdlife Park. Nearby points of interest also include Queenstown Beach and Skyline Gondola. Property Features. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. Concierge services and tour/ticket assistance are available. Additional property amenities include barbecue grills, laundry facilities, and a fireplace in the… 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