New Zealand lies in the southwestern Pacific Ocean and consists of two main islands, both marked by volcanoes and glaciation. It is gloriously underpopulated by only four million people and is similar in size to Japan. New Zealand was inhabited by the maori people before the arrival of the Europeans in the 1700s. Its people are warm and friendly and nowdays New Zealand has become a fascinating blend of cultures who mingle and thrive in a peaceful yet vibrant society.
New Zealand with its unspoilt scenery is often referred to as 'God's own'. It is a world famous tourist destination with its snowy mountains, glaciers, beautiful lakes, golden sandy beaches and volcanic activity. Because of its size several attractions can be visited within the same day.
New Zealand's stunning natural landscapes have featured in two recent films, The Last Samuri where Mt Taranaki was Mt Fuji's stunt double, and Peter Jackson's blockbuster "Lord of the Rings".
Although there are four distinct seasons, New Zealand does not have remarkable extremes of hot and cold weather. Visitors will find they can explore and enjoy New Zealand in any season of the year.