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New Zealand is situated in the South Pacific ocean, between latitude 34'S and 47'S. The country runs roughly north-south with mountain ranges down much of its length. Its two main islands cover 266,200 sq km (103,735 sq miles), about the size of Japan or California and slightly larger than Great Britain.
Comparable in size and/or shape to Great Britain, Colorado and Japan, New Zealand has a population of only 4 million - making it one of the world's least crowded countries. It is a haven for those seeking peace, rejuvenation and relaxation as well as a playground for thrillseekers and adventurers. A temperate climate with relatively small seasonal variation makes it a year-round holiday destination.
New Zealand's spectacularly beautiful landscape includes vast mountain chains, steaming volcanoes, sweeping coastlines, deeply indented fiords and lush rainforests.
New Zealand's separation from other land masses for more than 100 million years has allowed many ancient plants and animals to survive and evolve in isolation. Complementing our unique flora and fauna is a landscape that contains an unrivalled variety of landforms. In a couple of days' drive it is possible to see everything from mountain ranges to sandy beaches, lush rainforests, glaciers and fiords and active volcanoes.
Auckland is the best place to start exploring the North of the country. It's a great city and offers you everything you want.
Wellington is the capital city, and is located at the extreme southern tip of the North Island. Increasingly referred to by locals as "Wellywood" due to the huge success of film director Peter Jackson [Lord of the Rings Trilogy], Wellington regularly plays host to international films stars. The capital also boasts a symphony orchestra, opera house, several live theatres, the excellent Embassy Cinema and the national museum Te Papa. There are also regular daily ferry services to the South Island.
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island. Many activities can be organized from here. Trekking to Mount Cook is just one of the many things you can do.