Zealand is primarily made up of the North Island and the South Island.
The latitude of New Zealand is similar to that of Portugal, but its
climate is more like the West of England. It is a fairly wet country
with a little more rain even than Bristol, the wettest month being
July, in their winter.
The North Island has the milder temperatures and snow is very rare
in the far north. Its climate changes rapidly over relatively short
The Islands are
on a series of fault lines. This volcanic activity gave New Zealand
its mountains and also its geothermal attractions.
is home to many geysers and bubbling mud pools. It is one of the most
popular tourist destinations, but the drawback is that the sulphur
does make the town smell of rotten eggs.
It is a great place to experience Maori culture, including their nose-rubbing
greetings, food and traditional dances.
The scenery in New Zealand is diverse, from mountains to rolling farmlands
to coastlines. Being quite a wet island, the countryside is very lush
It is only sparsely
populated, and it is a well known fact that there are plenty more
sheep than people!
beautiful Coromandel Peninsula in the east of the North Island
In the North, the Bay of Islands, has miles of unspoiled coastline.
This is where both Maoris and the Europeans first settled. It is a
paradise for water sports from windsurfing to big game fishing.
The cities and the suburbs are sprawling. Auckland is the largest
city, nicknamed ‘The City of Sails’ due to the number of boats and
yachts in the harbour.
Despite being by far the most populated city in New Zealand, with
just over one million people there are only three times as many people
as in Bristol.
The capital of New Zealand is Wellington. It is a compact city with
the ‘Beehive’ parliament building and all the main attractions within
walking distance of each other.
Auckland, New Zealand's largest city
In January and
February, the middle of the New Zealand summer, the average temperature
in Auckland is 23 degrees, 73 Fahrenheit.
I was proudly told that ‘we don’t have central heating here as it
doesn’t ever get cold enough’.
At the time it was July when the average temperature is 13C. That
is easily cold enough for central heating in my book.
With mild winters and warm summers, the north is nearly subtropical.
In the south, Wellington's average temperatures are only a little
lower, but it does have very strong winds which funnel through the
Cook Straits making the winters fairly unpleasant.
Inland has harsher
weather conditions - colder winters and hotter summers. Frost is
common in the winter months, and snow lasts the whole year round
on the volcanic peaks.
is rarely see anywhere on the North Island of New Zealand, which
is one of the reasons for its abundance of outdoor activities.