Destination New Zealand

Prachee Gokhale (( ))

Prologue – This is an honest attempt to present to you, this enchanting island country of New Zealand.
There are two sections to this write up. The first section, Section 1, which follows, deals mainly with solid facts and figures and could appear ‘school bookish’ to many. But there can be no in-between when putting forth authentic published data, can there??!!
The second section will deal with my personal experiences here in New Zealand and will be more of an informal narrative!

I know there is a lot of curiosity about this country and I have tried to deal with as many aspects of it as possible. If however you find that some particular information that YOU need is missing, feel free to write in and ask for the same!!

Aotearoa – Land of the long white cloud

Haere mai!! Welcome to ‘Aotearoa’, (the Maori name for New Zealand) which means, the land of the long white cloud
This is a brief, though hopefully, sufficiently informative, write-up about
New Zealand
The geography & wildlife
The climate
It’s people
It’s history
Norms to be followed when meeting people/ behavior in public.



Far away in the South Pacific Ocean, isolated from the rest of the world, lie a group of hilly, green islands that make up New Zealand. It lies between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It’s closest neighbour, Australia, lies about 100 miles (1,610 kilometers) away to the northwest.

The country is famous the world over for it’s spectacular scenery. New Zealand’s blue-green lakes, crashing waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and hilly, green pastures spotted with sheep impress all who see them

New Zealand is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is New Zealand’s Head of State!! This position is symbolic rather than one with any decision-making power. New Zealand is governed by a parliamentary system with only one chamber, the House of Representatives, made up of 97 members.

New Zealand search engines and links:


Becoming a New Zealand citizen means you have the same rights as a person born in New Zealand. These include:
International travel and freedom to return on a New Zealand passport
Full access to education
Access to international sport (you can represent New Zealand in sport).

To apply for a New Zealand passport, you have to be a New Zealand citizen. As a New Zealand citizen, you are expected to:
Obey and promote the laws of New Zealand.
Not act in a way that is against New Zealand’s interests.

To become a New Zealand citizen

To become a New Zealand citizen you need to meet some general requirements, such as:
You must have right to reside in New Zealand indefinitely
You must have made your permanent home base here for the past three years (or two years if you are or have been married to a New Zealand citizen)
You must intend to continue to live in New Zealand.
You must be able to understand and speak English.
You must be “of good character”. Having court convictions may affect your application.

Dual Nationality

New Zealand allows dual citizenship. A person may become a New Zealand citizen and still keep the citizenship of their birth country.
Note: For detailed information about immigration rules/regulations and requirements, visit


New Zealand has two main land bodies, the North Island and the South Island and a number of smaller islands. These two islands extend 1,610 kilometers in length, with a total coastline of more than 5,152 kms. The Cook Strait separates the North and the South Island.

Newzealand Map

The total area is 270,500 square kms, of which, the North Island covers 114, 592 square kms and the South Island, 152,719 square kms. Several smaller islands belong to the country but are hundreds of kilometers away. They make up the rest of the area!! These islands include the Chatham Islands about 850 kms east of the South Island and a section of Antarctica called the Ross Dependency. The Tokelau Islands, also in the South Pacific Ocean, are governed by New Zealand.

  Newzealand bird   newzealand fruits

Ah!! There’s the KIWI bird, in black and white, the national bird and also an endangered species.


The colour picture is of the KIWI fruit.

The country’s long and narrow shape gives it many sheltered bays and beaches. No point in the country, is farther than 112 kms from the sea!! Mountain ranges and hill country dominate New Zealand’s landscape – one of the most striking physical features being the Southern Alps. These along with fiords, glaciers and lakes and the coastal plains of Canterbury and Southland add to the variety of the South Island scenery.

In the North Island, the volcanic interior contains New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo. It is a place of hot pools, volcanoes and deep forests. Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, lies at the southern end of the North Island, Hilly and windy. Wellington is often compared to San Francisco

New Zealand is lucky to have no snakes, no scorpions and only one native spider, that has a poisonous bite (the Katipo). Most insects are harmless. Kiwi, the flightless bird, is a native of New Zealand and also the National Bird. There are, near to none, wild animals in the forests of New Zealand and so if one gets lost in a forest, the only danger to guard against is the cold!! Along the coasts of New Zealand, are found Seals, Dolphins, Penguins and a variety of fish.


New Zealand lies south of the Equator and therefore its climatic patterns are opposite to those of the Northern Hemisphere. The season’s here are upside down too. Summer lasts from December to March, and winter lasts from June until September. January and February are the warmest months, and July is the coldest.

The climate is,temperate with averages ranging from 8oC in July to 17oC in January. However, summer temperatures reach the low 30s in many places. During summer, New Zealand sun is especially fierce between 11am and 4pm, when harmful UV rays are at their strongest. On clear days it’s a good idea to avoid being in the sun between these times.

The Northern parts of the country (Northland and Auckland) are subtropical, with rainfall common throughout the year. Farther South, the climate is cooler, and the winters are cold and snowy.

The mountain ranges that extend for most of New Zealand’s length act as a barrier to weather approaching from the west. This means that there is a lot of difference in climate between the regions east and west of the mountains.

The average annual rainfall varies from 300 mm in Central Otago to about 13,000mm in the Southern Alps. Most of the country experiences at least 2000 hours of sunshine a year. On the West Coast of the South Island and much of inland Canterbury, Otago and Southland winter is the driest season. Some areas, particularly the mountainous areas and the south of the South Island, experience heavy snowfalls in the winter. Sometimes the Desert Road (part of the main north/south route in the North Island) is closed in winter because of snow.

For more information on climate and weather visit  ,

Here we come to the end of Page 1.You can get more information on people & history of New Zealand in Page 2.

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