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Quick Facts About NZ

The things you need to know about New Zealand

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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

4.5 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 (but March is often hot too). Average maximum temperature = 20 - 30 Celsius (68 - 86 Fahrenheit)
Winter = June, July, August. Average maximum temperature = 10 - 15 Celsius (50 - 59 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's 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 (not really...)

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

3) Black; our national colour that you'll see worn so proudly. Often with a Kiwi or Silver Fern overtop.

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