ONE OF THE LEADING TRAVEL DESTINATIONS IN THE WORLD
The total land area of the whole of New Zealand is 268,021km² making it about the same size as the UK, Italy or Japan. Both Main Islands are very long with a total length of 1600 km and very narrow with a total width of 400km. This along with the other islands gives New Zealand the ninth longest coastline of any country in the world with a total length of 15,135km. With the islands being very narrow it means that nowhere is far from the sea, which is a bonus as the ocean plays a huge part in New Zealand’s culture and economy.
The overall population of New Zealand is approximately 4.471 m people, the North Island populating 77% of this with a total of 3,400,850 people. North Island was once largely covered in dense forest and many of these tracts still remain. It is a very hilly Island mainly because of the old volcano activity. However, the South Island being the larger island out of the two it is mostly dominated by the extraordinary Southern Alps.
The North Island is home of the country’s capital (Wellington) and the largest city (Auckland). Wellington is the second most populous urban area of New Zealand with 393,600 residents. It is located at the South-western tip of the Island between Cook Strait and Rimutaka Range. Auckland is the largest and most populous urban city in New Zealand with 1,413,700 which in total is 31% of the country’s population. The South Island has a 33% larger landmass than the North Island so it is often referred to as the mainland; however it only holds 23% of the country’s full population whereas, North Island homes 56% of them.
New Zealand was one of the oldest land masses to break away from the Gondwana supercontinent 80 million years ago. As a result of this isolation New Zealand has developed a very unique plant and animal life and is free from snakes and other dangerous creatures. The Islands aren’t very mammal dominated because of this isolation and the movement of humans 900 years ago meant it was completely free of mammals expect those that could reach the island by swimming (seals, sea lions and off-shore whales), or flying (bats and many native bird species e.g. Kakapo, kiwi)
New Zealand’s culture is very unique. The culture of its aboriginal Maori people influences the language, the arts and even the accents of all New Zealanders. Their love of outdoors, the different sports they participate in, and the arts make New Zealanders and their culture so unique. This is what interests so many people to travel and explore the culture and well being of this amazing country.
Flight Time: 23 hours 17 minutes (Auckland)
Time Difference: GMT +12 hours
Language: English is the most commonly spoke within the country however; The Maori language has had an official language status for the country.
Currency: New Zealand Dollar
Total coastline: 15,135km
Population: Approx 4.471 million
Capital: Wellington (North Island).
The New Zealand climate overall is fairly mild, without extremes of hot and cold. The average New Zealand temperature will decrease as you travel south. The hottest months are January and February and July is the coldest month of the year. In summer the average temperature ranges between 20-30°C and in winter between 10-15°C. The sea is a strong influence on the weather; the popular westerly wind from the Tasman Sea means the west coast of both islands is usually wetter and colder, with the eastern regions being a lot hotter and drier. The far north is seen to have subtropical weather throughout the summer, and inland alpine areas of the south island can reach temperatures as low as -10°C in winter. The rest of the country tends to have more temperate and mild temperatures as they’re situated by the coast. In New Zealand the temperatures are much cooler the more south you go, which is why Auckland tends to be warmer than Queenstown. But with New Zealand being a relatively small country the temperatures don’t differ that much.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
New Zealand is beautiful all year round no matter when you visit. You should always consider the purpose of why you are travelling this would then help you to choose the time of when to travel. If you are looking for a summer holiday to explore the culture and views of the country, the warmest months in New Zealand are usually January and February; however like anywhere else the weather can vary a lot and can become slightly unpredictable especially at the end of a season. if you are looking to go on a ski holiday, most ski resorts open in June but some might open slightly earlier. The most popular locations for skiing are Queenstown, Cardrona and Mount Hutt on the South Island.
Health & Vaccinations
We would recommend that you check with your doctor to make sure you are up to date with all the usual vaccinations before travelling – measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), yearly flu shot, Hepatitis A + B. You should also ask them for any recommendations on what medication to take on your travel but you should check with the New Zealand customs as they have strict restrictions on bringing medication into their country.
Passport & Visa
Your Passport should be valid for a minimum period of 1 month from the date of exit from New Zealand. The New Zealand authorities have confirmed they will accept British passports extended by 12 months by British Embassies and Consulates under additional measures put in place in mid-2014.
The immigration rules in New Zealand are very strict, especially on employment. Anyone wanting to work within the country will need a visa which allows them employment. However, British passport holders can now enter New Zealand as a visitor for up to 6 months on arrival without needing visa, providing you can satisfy an Immigration Officer that you meet the requirements of the immigration rules. Visitors to the country must have an onward ticket, for more information on this you can contact the New Zealand High Commission in London.
WHERE TO STAY