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New Zealand

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New Zealand is a spectacularly beautiful country which possesses vast mountain chains, steaming volcanoes, sweeping coastlines and lush rainforests. Since New Zealand is separated from other land masses for more than 100 million years, has allowed many ancient plants and animals to survive and evolve in isolation. The land is not only proud of the unique flora and fauna it possesses, but is also a great landscape that is full of unrivalled variety of landforms. While exploring the beautiful confines of New Zealand one can view everything from mountain ranges to sandy beaches, lush rainforests, glaciers and active volcanoes.
Auckland is the best place to start exploring the North of the country. It's a great city and offers everything one desires. Wellington is the capital city, and is located at the extreme southern tip of the North Island. Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island. Many activities can be organized from here. Trekking to Mount Cook is just one of the many things you can do.

Fact File
Official name : New Zealand
New ZelandGovernment : Independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations
Capital city : Wellington
Nationality : New Zealander(s)
Ethnic Group : 75% New Zealand European (Pakeha), 10% Maori, 5% other European, 4.5% Polynesian, 5% Asian, 0.5% other
Location : New Zealand lies southeast of Australia between latitudes 34 degrees south and 47 degrees south.
Continent : Australia
Currency : New Zealand Dollar (NZD); 1 NZD = 30.772 INR = 0.7074 US Dollar = 0.5822 Euro (subject to change).
Population : 4 million
Languages : English, Maori

Religion : Predominantly Christian (75%)
Area : 268,680 sq km
Famous for : Natural scenery and attractions
Major cities : Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown
Clothing : Summers : heavy cottons ; Winters : heavy woolens
Major events : Summer City Programme (January to February; Wellington); BMW Wine Marlborough Festival (2nd week in February; Blenheim); New Zealand Festival (February, even-numbered years only; Wellington), an entire month of national and international culture; Golden Shears Sheep-Shearing Contest (March; Masterton), and Canterbury Show Week (November; Christchurch)
Things to Buy : Bounty of Kiwi made products including Wines, sheepskin, jade and cultural items such as Maori carvings, while many of our world-renowned natural products such as Manuka, can be found in the Health Beauty section.

Things to do : Water sports, sightseeing
New ZelandCuisine : Roast Kumara (sweet patato), Pavlova, biscuits, kiwifruit, whitebait. Maori cuisine – hangi(meat, vegetables, puddings) ; Kaimoana(seafood) – shellfish, crayfish, paua, green mussels. Beverages – coffee, Lemon and Paeroa.

Visa Permit
To visit New Zealand you will need a Visitor’s Visa unless you are a visa free visitor. Find out about visas and permits, and whether you need one.
If you are stopping off at a New Zealand airport on your way to another country you may instead need to apply for a Transit Visa.
You may not need a visa or permit
You don’t need a visa or permit if you’re:
a New Zealand citizen or you hold a New Zealand residence permit
an Australian citizen, or Australian resident who holds a current permanent resident return visa (temporary or provisional resident return visa holders will need a visa to enter New Zealand).
And you don’t need a Visitor’s Visa to visit New Zealand if you’re:
a British citizen or a traveller holding a British passport who has the right to live in the United Kingdom. We may grant you a Visitor’s Permit for up to six months
visiting New Zealand for no more than three months and you’re:
travelling on a United Nations laissez-passer
a citizen of a visa free country. Find out if you’re a 'visa free’ visitor.

New Zealand has a very unique and dynamic culture. The culture of its aboriginal Maori people affects the language, the arts, and even the accents of all New Zealanders. Their place in the South Pacific, and their love of the outdoors, sport, and the arts make New Zealanders and their culture unique in the world.

New ZelandWhen to Go
The warmer months (November to April) are busiest, especially from December 20 to the end of January. Ski resort towns are obviously busier during the winter months. The peak season is during Christmas season. It's probably more pleasant to visit either before or after this hectic period, when the weather is still warm and there aren't as many other travellers around.

New Zealand has a maritime climate, as opposed to the continental climate of larger land masses. Climate and weather conditions in the seas around New Zealand can cause climatic volatility. Rain is more evenly distributed in the North Island than in the South.

Getting There
By Air : ‘Christchurch International Airpor’t, ‘Wellington International Airport’ and ‘Auckland International Airport’ are the three international airports in the country.There are seven airports that handle international flights namely Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Queenstown and Wellington.
By Sea : A few cruise ships visit New Zealand, but there are no regular passenger ship services and this mode of transport is a thing of the past.

Getting Around
By Air : Several smaller airlines - Mt Cook Airline, Eagle Air and Air Nelson - are partly owned by flagship Air New Zealand and have been grouped together as 'Air New Zealand Link'. This network provides thorough coverage of the country.
By Bus : New Zealand also has an extensive bus network, with the main operator being InterCity (servicing both the North Island and South Island). The two other major bus operators are Newmans (North Island) and Mt Cook Landline (South Island. An alternative is to use shuttle bus companies, which are smaller, cheaper and friendlier than the large bus companies.
By Train : Wellington railway station, Auckland station and Dunedin railway station are the main railway stations in the country. Though main train routes are few, train travel is reasonably fast.
By Sea : The Interislander ferry (operating between Wellington in the North Island and Picton in the South Island) provides the option to travel by boats. New Zeland

Major attractions
Wellington (capital city) : The Greater Wellington metropolitan area contains the Wellington City, New Zealand's capital, which is an amazing city. The city is ideally located on the shores of a harbour and is surrounded by a natural stage of wooded hills and is considered New Zealand's most desirable weekend destination. The city also presents some of the most vibrant entertainment districts in the country, where one can find some of the best bars, cafes, restaurants and theatres. Wellington boasts an diverse range of shops with a host of fashion stores and the country's premier department store, the city presents some of New Zealand's best, if not most affordable, shopping opportunities.
Oriental Bay : Just fifteen minutes walk from the central city, Oriental Bay is a popular beach for Wellingtonians. People come here to relax and some holidays amidst the solitude of natural surroundings. Various activities undertaken here are jogging, picnics and even swimming on warm sunny summer days.
Museum : Wellington is the location of New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa. It is located on Wellington's waterfront and hosts many cultural and contemporary exhibits.

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