This pure and unspoilt country of just 4 million inhabitants covers an area just slightly larger than the United Kingdom. One quarter is protected wilderness and much of the country remains pollution free – protecting the clean, green image that is synonymous with New Zealand. Its spectacular scenery includes snow-capped alps and deep fiords scattered with beautiful islets, luxuriant rainforests, river laced lowlands, active volcanoes, gushing hot springs and glorious beaches. Its unique and endless variety of flora and fauna is matched by that of its wildlife.
'Kiwis' pride themselves on their hospitality and friendliness. The Maori people and their traditions add volumes to the richness of its history, culture and daily life. European, Pacific and Asian influences also add to the unique and dynamic culture that can be seen, heard and experienced throughout.
New Zealand has two main islands. The North Island, with the country’s main gateway Auckland, offers a fascinating blend of sophisticated cities and magnificent scenery. Its northern coastline, within easy reach of Auckland, is dotted with lovely islands and sweeping peninsulas. Its bush areas are mostly sub-tropical, with mangrove swamps and hardwood rainforests, and home to an astonishing array of wildlife. At its centre are the hot springs and geysers of Rotorua, Lake Taupo, beautiful national parks and a range of volcanic mountains. On its southern tip lies New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington.
The South Island is more lightly populated and is renowned worldwide for its scenery and wine. The breathtakingly beautiful Southern Alps run the whole length of the island and are dominated by mighty peaks including Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest. Gleaming glaciers sparkle in the sunlight. Fiords cut dramatically into the South West coastline and the country's loveliest lakes reflect the mountains in their clear blue waters.