Located in the south-western Pacific Ocean, New Zealand consists of two main islands – the North Island and the South Island, and a host of other such smaller islands. Owing to its remote location, New Zealand was one of the last countries to be inhabited by the humans. The remote landscape of the country is breathtakingly beautiful and diverse – ranging from snow-covered Alps to picturesque towns, majestic fjords to rolling green hills, to lush countryside and sunny, exotic beaches.
New Zealand’s history can be traced back to 1000 AD when the Maoris arrived from various parts of Polynesia. Though Dutchman Abel Tasman first sighted the island in 1642, it was British explorer James Cook who sailed into New Zealand in 1769 and mapped most of the country. New Zealand was then established as a British colony in 1840 and became a self-governing country in 1852. In 1907, New Zealand gained Dominion Status under the British Empire and it was only in 1947 that it became an independent country, belonging to the British Commonwealth.
The majority of the Kiwis (as the New Zealand residents are popularly called) follow Christianity (55%) – including Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterian, Baptists and others. Though, English is the official and most widely-spoken language, while Maori is the other official language and is spoken by the Maori descendants who make up almost 15% of the population. The climate in New Zealand varies from sub-tropical to temperate from the north to the south regions respectively.
A number of other distinctive aspects of New Zealand worth a mention includes the thriving biodiversity of plant, animal and fungal life, and the extraordinary art, crafts, architecture, and carvings belonging to the traditional Maori culture.
A holiday to New Zealand with HolidayMe typically ranges from