Area: 268,676 sq km plus 730,000 sq km of Antarctic coastline
State system: constitutional monarchy
Form of government: parliamentary democracy
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II of England
Official language: English
Population: 3592400 people
Population density: 13 people/sq.km
Urban population: 86%
According to thereligionfaqs, the main territory of the country New Zealand is located on three large islands, although the country includes several small islands, as well as part of the Antarctic coast. The three islands stretch in a narrow strip (maximum 350 km wide) for 1600 km. The North Island (115,000 sq. km) is home to about 70% of the country’s population, the South Island (151,000 sq. km) and Stewart Island (17,000 sq. km) are less populated, but much more picturesque and interesting in terms of nature and landscape. New Zealand is located in the so-called “belt of fire”, and volcanic activity on the islands is quite intense. As a result of the active process, a mountain range on the South Island also arose. Only 25% of the country’s territory is located below 200m above sea level. The coastline is 6880 km, most of the coast is absolutely virgin. 13 national reserves occupy 12% of the territory. The most famous of them is Fiordland, which received the status of “world heritage” under the UNESCO program.
The landscapes of New Zealand are extremely diverse. These are the green lush pastures of the North Island, and the desert at the peak of Mount Tonariro, the endless plains of Canterbury, the rocky New Zealand Alps and the gentle, vegetated hills of the east coast, wild sandy beaches, majestic fjords, formidable volcanoes…
New Zealand is located in the Pacific Ocean, separated from Australia by the Tasman Sea.
THE LOCAL TIME
The time difference with Moscow is 9 hours (in Moscow – 13.00, in New Zealand – 22.00).
The local currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). 1NZ$ = 0.84US$ as of July 2012
New Zealand accepts American Express, Diners Club, MasterClub, Visa and traveler’s checks.
Tipping is not customary in New Zealand.
The official language is English. Sometimes quite incomprehensible due to the accent, especially in the South Island. The Maori language is practically not found in everyday life, but its presence in place names is very strong.
To travel to New Zealand, you need to obtain a visa, the processing time of which is about 2 weeks.
In the northern part of New Zealand, the climate is subtropical maritime, in the southern part it is temperate. Sharp temperature fluctuations are not observed, with the exception of the Otago region. The mountain range on the South Island and the mountainous plateau on the North Island from Wellington to the Bay of Plenty are a natural barrier to winds: the weather on the east coast is drier and less windy. Winds are common in New Zealand, and are particularly strong around Cook Tide. On the east coast, precipitation falls fairly evenly throughout the year. The closer to the south, the cooler the climate. The average daily temperature in the northern part of the country is 15C, in the area of the Cook Strait separating the North and South Islands – 12C, in the south – 9C. The hottest months are January and February, the coldest months are July and August.
Electricity in the network: 240 volts. The sockets are three-phase, so take care of the adapter (however, you can buy it on the spot).
Buses are the most common way to get around the country. The road network is quite developed: 52,000 km of highways and 42,000 km of unpaved roads. But before entering the city bus (the one that travels around the city), ask the driver in which direction the bus is going.
If you are not constrained by funds and do not want to waste time traveling, you can use the services of airlines.
Traveling by train is very comfortable. But the railway network includes only 8 lines, on which only one train passes per day (in each direction). Prices are high, benefits are the same as on bus routes.
Taxis cost $1 per person and $4 for a 10-15 minute route.
There is also a ferry service between the North and South Islands. This is a very interesting way to get around and if you don’t get seasick you can easily afford it.
Without a doubt, a car is the most convenient mode of transport for traveling around New Zealand. International driving license is required. Also, don’t forget that New Zealand drives on the left side of the road. Paradoxically, for some reason, bad roads lead to the most interesting places. Therefore, it is best to use a jeep.
Car rental costs $35 per day including insurance. If you take a car for long-term use (minimum 21 days), then the price is reduced to $25 per day. Jeep will cost a little more, only $75 per day. And if you decide to visit both islands, then choose a rental agency that will provide you with a car on the other side of the Cook Strait. This way you will avoid the fantastic ferry charges for your car.
By the way, this is also the most economical mode of transport if you are traveling with at least two people.
To call New Zealand from Moscow, dial 8-10-64.
Main city codes: Wellington – 4, Hamilton – 71, Gisborne – 79.