"Sharrie's New Zealand Adventure" New Zealand by Sharrie
New Zealand Travel Guide: 14,517 reviews and 36,767 photos
NEW ZEALAND (NZ) is a country of great diversity in terms of landscape and vegetation. To a visitor, NZ is an entirely unique country in that one can experience America (for its similarity to Yellowstone's geysers), Canada (for its glacier lakes), Switzerland (its picturesque mountains) & Scandinavia (its fiords) all in one (on a smaller scale naturally)! Therefore, if you talk to a traveler who has been to NZ, you do have to know whether he/she has been to the NORTH ISLAND or the SOUTH ISLAND. They are two very distinctive landscapes.
My first approach to NZ was at the North Island. It was an eye-opener for me. For someone who has never been to a volcanic country (in its rarest state; Japan is an exception in that it is very well developed with modern skyscrapers), a tectonic plate was a mysterious & new concept to me. Ok, the following paragraph is for the benefit of those readers who has not been acquainted with this natural occurrence.
In geologist term, when one tectonic plate slides under another, it forms a subduction zone. The North Island is on the southern reaches of the zone where the oceanic Pacific plate is sliding underneath the Continental plate, resulting in volcanic activity which in turn created a number of large volcanoes and thermal areas and some equally impressive volcanic depressions. Lake Taupo, NZ's largest lake was formed by gigantic volcanic explosion in 186 AD.
As for the South Island, the geological process is different. Here, the 2 tectonic plates are (still) smashing into each other, resulting in a process called 'crustal shortening'. This has caused the Southern Alps to rise; my visit to the FOX GLACIER & FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER an experience of a lifetime! Check them out on South Island travelogue.
Facts about New Zealand
Do you know that NZ's Capital is Wellington?! (Population: 410,000)
Population: 3.82 million.
Largest City: Auckland (Population: 1 million)
Languages: English, Maori.
National Holiday: Waitangi Day, Feb. 6 (1840).
GDP Per Capita (PPP): US$17,900.
Currency: NZ$ = 100 cents.
Trivia: NZ has more sheeps than citizens!
National Anthem: GOD DEFEND NEW ZEALAND
Country Code: 64
Yellow Pages: YellowPages.co.nz
Newspaper: NZ Herald
CIA World Factbook: Year 2009
Online Travel Guide: Columbus World Travel Guide
Online Destination Guide: LonelyPlanet.com
Map: Lonely Planet Map
Enjoy a cruise to Cape Brett & Piercy Island. With such a beautiful scenery, one can't help but drink it all in and... more travel advice
Most popular location in North Island because of its scenic setting on the cliffs of the Waikato River. You have to... more travel advice
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