New Zealand consists of two large islands, North Island and South Island, plus several smaller ones of which Stewart Island is the largest and often referred to as ‘our third island’. North and South Islands are separated by the 32km / 20mile wide Cook Strait. To the north and east lies the Pacific Ocean and between ourselves and Australia lies the Tasman Sea.
The total land area is 270,535 sq Km / 104,453 sq miles, about the size of Italy, the United Kingdom or the US state of Colorado.
4 million people, majority British descent, Maori comprised about 14% of the population. Independent nation and member of British Commonwealth.
Wellington, population 0.5m
Auckland, population 1.3m
English (mostly widely spoken), Maori (official, but not widely spoken) and sign language.
GMT + 12 hours, one of the first nations on earth to see the Sun.
There are presently 53 nations from where visitors do not need to obtain a visa before leaving home for a visit of up to three months. The website of the New Zealand Department of Immigration has more information about visa requirements to visit New Zealand.
New Zealand dollar (NZD) of 100 cents, approx 0.7 US dollars, approx 0.5 Euros –
*see picture below for New Zealand currencies.
Tap water is fresh and safe to drink.
230 / 240 volts (50 hertz)