You probably know New Zealand for its reputation for adventure, thrills and wide open spaces, but it also has some little-known aspects. Here are 5 fun, unique and unforgettable sides to the Land of the Long White Cloud.
New Zealand is located on the continent of Oceania. It is made up of two large islands and an additional chain of smaller islets. The main islands are called the North and South Islands. The islands are located on the southwest Pacific Ocean. New Zealand is quite isolated from other major landmasses. It is located about 1500 km east of Australia and about 1000 km south of Fiji and Tonga.
Due to its isolation, the continent to which New Zealand belongs is quite vague. Analyzing its geography, government, and associations with other landmasses will help us a great deal in determining which continent it belongs to.
Geography of New Zealand
New Zealand is made up of two large islands and around 600 small islands. The two main islands are connected by the Cook Strait. The islands are located in the southwestern region of the Pacific Ocean. The location of the country is almost in the center of the water hemisphere. The South Island, which is the 12th largest island in the world, is blessed with the Southern Alps. The Southern Alps have 18 peaks, which exceed 3000 meters above sea level. The country is topographically varied in nature. The North Island is the largest in the world. Although it is less mountainous than the South Island, it has active volcanoes. The country’s active volcanic activities and diverse topographic nature are attributed to its strategic location at the meeting point of the Pacific and Indo-European plates.
New Zealand climate
New Zealand experiences a maritime climate. Annual temperatures in the country vary between 10 ° C and 16 ° C. The west coast of the South Island is generally extremely cold and wet, especially in winter. The Mackenzie Basin and central Otago experience a semi-arid climate. Christchurch is the driest city in the country. It receives about 1 million milliliters of rain per year. Wellington is the coldest and wettest city, with an average annual rainfall of over 10 milliliters per year.
New Zealand Government
New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy. It exercises a representative parliamentary democracy. The monarch is the head of state while the prime minister is the head of government. The legislative powers of government are exercised by the House of Representatives, which is the lower house of the bicameral parliament, and the Queen. General elections are usually scheduled after a maximum period of 3.
New Zealand is in Oceania
The continent of Oceania, commonly referred to as Oceania, is the smallest of the seven continents. The continent is made up of just three countries: Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. However, there are a few other territories and islands located near the landmasses of this continent and therefore they are considered part of the continent.
The entire continent of Oceania is surrounded by the waters of different oceans from different directions. Due to its isolation, New Zealand has seen an evolution of some species endemic to the country. New Zealand is a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, an organization created to bring together sovereign nations that are islands in the Pacific Ocean.
South Island town celebrates chocolate for a whole week at its Cadbury Chocolate Carnival (July 7-13, 2012). One of the highlights is the release of 25,000 candy Jaffas. As the chocolates cascade down Baldwin Street , the steepest street in the world, thousands of onlookers frantically await their arrival. (By the way, Dunedin is known as the “eccentric capital of New Zealand”. This small town prides itself on hosting the only annual rugby match in the country where the players are naked!)
2. Napier, North Island
It is nicknamed the ” City of Art Deco “; and the Art Deco Trust ensures that this special character is preserved. Napier’s buildings were rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake, which nearly leveled the city. Art deco being then in vogue, this style marked the reconstruction a lot. Today, Napier and South Beach in Miami, Florida are recognized as the two cities with the best preserved art deco architecture in the world.
3. New Zealand is famous for its wine routes and tastings.
But for those who love hoppy drinks, there are also plenty of breweries and microbreweries to visit. Fans have a choice. On the North Island, let’s mention the Galbraith Brewery , in Auckland, the Waiheke Brewery , on the island of the same name, and the Sunshine Brewery in Gisborne. On the South Island are The Twisted Hop in Christchurch, Moa Brewery in Blenheim and Brewery of the Bays in Nelson . Ask what local microbrew beer to taste in a bar or pub: here’s a sure way to make new friends.
4. Dangerous animals are absent from New Zealand
There are no cougars, bears, wolves or snakes. Thus, a walk in the forest is less dangerous than a walk in the woods of North America. There’s nothing waiting for you around the bend but flora and fauna and maybe a waterfall.
5. In New Zealand, they make excellent drinks based on espresso coffee.
According to New Zealanders, it’s only been five years since the country fell in love with good coffee. But when the Kiwis decide to do something, they do it well! Even in remote cafes you can drink an exceptional americano, latte, cappuccino or flat white (similar to a long cappuccino). The best of the best are crowned each year at the New Zealand Coffee Awards .