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Quick Facts About NZ

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NZ Travel Tips > Quick Facts About NZ

Location South Pacific Ocean (Southeast of Australia, below the Pacific Islands and above Antarctica)
Size A little bigger than the UK, Japan, and California, and a little smaller than Sweden
Population 4 million (+ 1 million travelling overseas themselves!)
Main cities Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch
Climate A huge range but the North Island is generally warmer
  • Summer = December, January, February, March (but March is often hot too). Average maximum temperature = 20 - 30º Celsius (68 - 86º Fahrenheit)
  • Winter = June, July, August. Average maximum temperature = 10 - 15º Celsius (50 - 59º Fahrenheit).
Time New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). As a rule of thumb we’re usually about 12 hours ahead of the UK. In summer New Zealand uses ‘daylight saving’, with clocks put forward one hour to GMT+13 so that we can enjoy more of the summer sun into the evening – brilliant!
Public holidays There are about 10 public holidays/year but these don’t stop the buses from running and doing their thing. Besides if you're here travelling you'll probably be on holiday the entire time you lucky thing! Christmas, New Years and Easter are the big ones for most Kiwis.
Languages English (official), Maori (official), Kiwi Slang (unofficial). You’ll notice this local slang as soon as you arrive in New Zealand. Much of it originates from our unique rural and Maori heritage. Make sure you take a few good sayings home with you!
Ethnic mix 65% European/Caucasian, 14% Maori, 9% Asian, 7% Pacific Islander, 5% Other, 1% Hobbit
Government A very peaceful democracy
Money New Zealand dollar = NZD = $. See What to bring for more info.
Main exports Wood and paper products, textiles, wood products, wool, dairy and meat products, fish and some brilliant little sauvignons and reds from our vineyards.
National sports Rugby all year round (go the All Blacks!). Netball for women in winter, and cricket in summer.
National icons 1) the Kiwi bird - it’s brown, flightless, nocturnal and endangered but we love the little fella 2) the Silver Fern plant – with its very distinctive triangular shape and silver colour, and 3) black – our national colour that you’ll see worn so proudly. Often with a Kiwi or Silver Fern overtop.

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