"Antipodean Paradise" Top 5 Page for this destination New Zealand by fishandchips

New Zealand Travel Guide: 14,561 reviews and 36,953 photos

A Bit of Background

Originally called Staten Landt by Abel Tasman (as he thought that the land he had discovered was the Staten Landt aka Australia) New Zealand is a land of stunning beauty. It has a multitude of things to do and see with a huge number of differing activities often available within a small trip to do.

New Zealand is divided into three main islands - North, South and Stewart Islands. Each has its own charms with the North Island more urban, South Island more natural beauty for the outdoors type and Stewart for some good walks.

The most visited places are Auckland, Bay of Islands, Christchurch and Queenstown with February and March the busiest months. Being in the Southern Hemisphere we have our warm months around Xmas with our best months January & February.

If you think you know lots about NZ then take the Kiwiana Quiz to see how much you really know!! I scored a perfect twenty - can you?

Clean, Green and Nuclear Free

New Zealand is over 1.600 kilometres long, and its widest part is 450 kilometres. The total land area is around 270 550 square kilometres with approximately 10 000 kilometres of coastline.

New Zealand includes The Chatham Islands, Kermadec Islands, Campbell Island, Antipodes Islands, Bounty Islands and Auckland Islands as well as its North, South and Stewart Island.

Mount Cook in the South Island, is the highest mountain at 3754 metres. The largest lake is Lake Taupo and the river with the greatest flow is the Clutha. The total population of New Zealand is 4 million with Maori making up only 8% of this population.

Fiordland is the land that time forgot and is a good spot to go to for a view of what Gondwana probably looked like. It has NZ's highest rainfall and waterfall, deepest water, world's highest sea cliffs and some of the best walks in the world.

New Zealand is a land of stunning beauty!! For a glimpse of many New Zealand places have a look at this Webcam Page.

Trivia & Other Bits

We have our own unique accent (which is very different from our Aussie cousins). To hear how some Kiwi's sound (more from the far North of NZ) as per an Aussie comedy programmme check out the Beached As video.

New Zealanders gets their nickname from our famous, flightless bird, the Kiwi. This bird isn't as iconic as the Silver Fern due to most of our sports teams using the fern instead of the kiwi (except for the National Rugby League team also called 'the Kiwi's')!

A group of people referred to as the Moa Hunters are thought to have been the original inhabitants though this information is 'oral tradition' and so a bit of conjecture around this. In my travelogue Who Really Discovered New Zealand? there are several other "versions".

The last of the Moriori lived on the Chatham Islands with a monument to Tame Soloman erected there to signify the passing of the last full blooded member of his race. He died in 1933.

When Cook originally sailed around New Zealand he made two mistakes in his mapping. First was Banks Island which is a Peninsula and 2nd showing Stewart Island as a Peninsula - as you can see in the attached map!!

New Zealand is also called Aotearoa and this was originally the name for the North Island (as named by Kupe's wife so the story goes). It seems to have several different meanings in english - in "The Dictionary of New Zealand English", H.W. Orsman gives translations as being "Land of the Long Day", "Land of the Long Dawn" or "Land of the Long Twilight". The name Aotearoa can also mean "long bright world" but is best known as the "Land of the Long White Cloud".

In 1985 New Zealand led they way for the rest of the World and became Nuclear Free. This was in the face of much opposition from our ANZUS partners (thanks guys!!) after nuclear capable ships from the USA were banned from visiting.

New Zealand is a proud nation with many notable locals and sporting teams but, according to NZ Statistics, there are no New Zealanders as a group. This is set to change in the next census (2011) with the option of identifying yourself as a New Zealander a preset option.

The Haka is synonomous with New Zealand and is often linked to the NZ Rugby team - The All Blacks. For both the Maori & NZ translation of Ka Mate & the new haka (Kapa o pango) have a look at my NZ Customs Tips

For more New Zealand info than you can throw a stick at visit the New Zealand search engine mkiwi

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A beautiful land with friendly people
  • Cons:It takes a lot of flying time to get here.
  • In a nutshell:Jewel of the South Seas.
  • Intro Updated May 1, 2010
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Reviews (81)

Comments (9)

  • kiwilingous's Profile Photo
    Mar 25, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Where are you going to eat now that Pedro's has gone? The Quake sure took its toll....

  • May 7, 2009 at 10:40 PM

    Excellent stuff Guyser! I see you are still spending too much time on Ponsonby Rd :-)

  • swissballs's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Excellent tips and photos & really good intro. Cheers

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2007 at 12:19 AM

    Quality stuff, some genuine 5 stars amongst them. Interesting about the sandflies.

  • swings's Profile Photo
    Jun 6, 2007 at 2:43 PM

    Oh, and now, who might this Bob Deans be? ;) So nice to read the words of the haka.... and great suggestion to go to a marae. I didn't know they were open to the public, nor would I have known the protocol. w

  • Sep 17, 2006 at 3:14 PM

    Enjoyed your NZ page esp. the history info! Nate

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Jul 27, 2006 at 12:18 AM

    super intro, excellent travelogues and very useful tips including Ka Mate and Kapa o Pango! thanx Guy for sharing

  • Morepork's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2006 at 9:56 PM

    Great work on my Homeland !

  • fatfrank's Profile Photo
    Jul 17, 2006 at 9:11 PM

    Great NZ tips and pics :-) New Yorker is one of my favourites too!!. ff

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