South Pacific Ocean (Southeast of Australia, below the Pacific Islands and above Antarctica)
A little bigger than the UK, Japan, and California, and a little smaller than Sweden
4.5 million (+ 1 million travelling overseas themselves!)
Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch
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)
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!
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.
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!
65% European/Caucasian, 14% Maori, 9% Asian, 7% Pacific Islander, 5% Other, 1% Hobbit (not really...)
A very peaceful democracy
New Zealand dollar = NZD = $. See "What to bring" for more info.
Wood and paper products, textiles, wood products, wool, dairy and meat products, fish and some brilliant little sauvignons and reds from our vineyards.
Rugby all year round (go the All Blacks!). Netball for women in winter, and cricket in summer.
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.