New Zealand The Land of the Long White Cloud, is a country of two large islands and many smaller islands in the south-western Pacific Ocean. New Zealand is notable for its isolation.
New Zealand is 1,600 km long and 450 km wide at its widest part. Covering an area of approximately 270,500 sq km (all islands combined) it is roughly the size of Japan, the British Isles or California – large enough to contain a huge variety of scenic attractions, and small enough so you can get to see most of them.
The population of New Zealand is mostly of European descent, with the indigenous Māori as the largest minority.
Wellington is New Zealands capital city, it is a picture perfect city. It is set between a magnificent harbour and rolling green hills. It is also a compact city where funky shops, exciting galleries and great restaurants are within easy walking distance. Wellington is at the southern tip of the North Island. All roads lead to Wellington and it is the departure point for the interisland ferries. Getting around the city is easy because it is so compact. There is a good public transport system.
The South Island is the largest land mass, and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps, the highest peak of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook, at 3,754 metres.
The North Island is less mountainous than the South, but is marked by volcanism.
The dramatic and varied landscape of New Zealand has made it a popular location for the production of television programmes and films, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Wellington is the arts and culture capital of New Zealand. Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, is on Wellington’s waterfront. The city has many other cultural attractions for visitors to discover.
Wellington is great if you love being outdoors. It is surrounded by hills, a rugged coastline and one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. Adventure activities include mountain biking, sailing, bushwalking and much more.
You can enjoy the sights by taking a guided tours such as Walking tours, coach tours or even helicopter tours.
Wellington is only a short drive or ferry ride away from New Zealand’s top wine regions, Wairarapa and Marlborough. Both regions are popular weekend destinations.
How to get there
New Zealand’s three international airports are at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Some flights from Australia also land at Hamilton, Palmerston North, Queenstown and Dunedin.
New Zealand is a three and a half hour flight from Eastern Australia. From the West Coast of the United States, a direct flight to New Zealand is 12 hours. Other places on the Pacific Rim, like Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo, flights take around 10 hours.
Wellington International Airport is only ten minutes drive from the city centre. There are regular buses, taxis and shuttles.
There are many car hire companies to choose from. The constantly changing and compact landscapes mean that driving in New Zealand is very enjoyable.
New Zealand’s rail journeys will take you on a series of spectacular sightseeing trips, all in the comfort of fast, modern trains.
Tranz Scenic operates eight long-distance train services in New Zealand, including:
The Overlander (Auckland to Wellington) takes you through the central North Island’s majestic scenery of native forests, ravines, gorges and volcanic peaks
The TranzCoastal (Picton to Christchurch) runs along the South Island’s east coast between snow-capped mountains and rugged coastline
A Ferry is the best way to travel between New Zealand’s North and South Islands. The 83-kilometre journey between Wellington and Picton is regarded as one of the world’s great scenic cruises.
Between the two Islands lies Cook Strait, which offers a stunning view of the South Island’s Kaikoura Ranges and often the opportunity to spot wildlife such as whales, dolphins and seabirds.
Daily scheduled bus passenger services are available throughout the country. InterCity Coachlines operates the largest network throughout both islands, and Newmans Coach Lines provide services in the North Island and on the major tourist routes in the South Island. Larger cities offer bus tours of the main sights or city centre.
New Zealand has a huge variety of annual festivals, concerts, shows and events. From Art Deco, fine food and wine, Pacific culture and jazz.
Eating Dining Shopping
Wellington – There is concentrated shopping and indulgence in the Lambton Quarter, intellectual and lifestyle shopping in the Willis Quarter, funky and innovative shopping in the Cuba Quarter and sheer entertainment in the Courtenay Quarter.
Useful telephone numbers
Emergency Number Tel:
Airport Information Tel: (Wellington International) (0)4 385 5100
Tourist Office:Tel: (+64) 4 917 5400
Holiday rents online: Tel:
National Transport Line Tel:
24 hour medical service Tel: