Tag Archives: New Zealand

New Zealand is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean which is situated some 1,500 km (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 km (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans.

During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country’s varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand’s capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

Sometime between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that would later become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand’s population of 4.7 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand’s culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands.

Location of New Zealand (orthographic projection)
Location of New Zealand (orthographic projection)

New Zealand is a country of stunning and diverse natural beauty: jagged mountains, rolling pasture land, steep fiords, pristine trout-filled lakes, raging rivers, scenic beaches, and active volcanic zones. These islands are one of Earth’s most peculiar bioregions, inhabited by flightless birds seen nowhere else such as a nocturnal, burrowing parrot called the kakapo and kiwi. Kiwi are not only one of the national symbols – the others being the silver fern leaf and koru – but also the name New Zealanders usually call themselves.

These islands are sparsely populated, particularly away from the North Island, but easily accessible. There are sparklingly modern visitor facilities, and transport networks are well developed with Airports throughout the country and well maintained highways. New Zealand often adds an adventure twist to nature: it’s the original home of jet-boating through shallow gorges, and bungy jumping off anything high enough to give a thrill.

Māori culture continues to play an important part in everyday life and government and corporate symbolism with abundant opportunities for visitors to understand and experience both the history and present day forms of Māori life.

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Slope Point, New Zealand

“Slope Point” is the southernmost point of New Zealand’s South Island. It lies 4803 km (2984 mi) from the South Pole and 5140 km (3194 mi) from the equator. The place is regularly exposed to extreme weather conditions including heavy winds. The fierce and cold Antarctic winds can uninterruptedly travel over the Southern Ocean for 3200 km (2000 mi) and turn trees into strange but somehow beautiful statues.
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Top 10 Wettest Places on Earth

Earth is still the only planet we know where water can exist in liquid form on the surface and the water is vital for all known forms of life. Rain brings life: it is a major component of the water cycle (also known as hydrologic cycle, the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth) and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the Earth. Here are the top ten wettest places on Earth.
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The Giant Weta – The Heaviest Insect on Earth

In the small islands of New Zealand, world’s heaviest insect lives: The Giant weta. There are 70 types of species of weta in the genus Deinacrida of the family Anostostomatidae. Giant weta are endemic to New Zealand and are examples of island gigantism: which is a biological phenomenon leading to a larger size than their mainland relatives because of their isolation and lack of large predators. A female giant weta filled with eggs can reach up to 70 grams or more!
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