Lush rainforests, sweeping coastlines, steaming volcanoes, huge mountain chains and incredible fiords - New Zealand's stunningly beautiful landscape is unparalleled. Though small in size, there are numerous natural wonders that find home in the beautiful islands of New Zealand, and as all these stunning sights are all so close together New Zealand really is the perfect touring destination.
Situated in the southwest Pacific, New Zealand comprises of two main islands; the North Island and the South Island. The North Island is mostly rolling farmland yet is dominated by the centrally positioned mountains and Volcanic Plateau - an active volcanic and thermal area. The more sparsely populated South Island is made up of the impressive Southern Alps, the vast Canterbury Plains and again, much farmland.
As most of the country is near the coast New Zealand enjoys mild temperatures, moderate rainfall and an abundance of sunshine. December, January and February are New Zealand's summer months when you can take pleasure in long, sunny and warm days and mild nights. Winter falls during June, July and August when it is colder and considerably wetter in most places. During winter snow falls in the South and lower North Islands blanketing the mountain ranges to create beautiful vistas and sensational skiing.
New Zealand's isolation has given the opportunity for an abundance of native flora and fauna to thrive. Giant tree ferns, the mighty Kauri, and the coastally located Pohutakawa trees can all be easily sighted, and if you're lucky, native birds such as the endangered Kakapo, the cheeky Kea and the famous flightless Kiwi can even be spotted.
The Maori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and their culture has a significant impact on the wider New Zealand community. Maori culture is rich in traditions that have been passed down for hundreds of years; Kapa Haka (group performance), Moko (tattoo), carving and weaving are all traditional arts that are still common today. Recent years have also seen many modern arts adopting elements of Maori culture and as a result much of New Zealand art, television, film and music is full of Maori influences. New Zealand also benefits from an abundance of Pacific and Asian influences that complement its strong British roots and help create a truly unique society.