Famous for its stunning landscapes, impressive topography and crystal clear Pacific Ocean waters New Zealand offers a vast array of activities for locals and international visitors alike.
Geographically isolated in the South Pacific and with relatively low population density and stringent customs inspections New Zealand has been able to maintain many of its endemic native species, including the namesake Kiwi. Our programs in New Zealand focus on conserving this environmental treasure house.
A developed nation, New Zealand stands its ground among larger countries in areas such as sport, agriculture, technology and education. English and Maori are both official languages with English being spoken by almost every New Zealander. Agriculture remains a primary industry and NZ wines continue to make their mark on the world; resulting in an excellent and varied cuisine.
The first human settlers reached New Zealand circa 1250 from the Polynesian Islands and are the ancestors of the indigenous Maori tribes still prominent in New Zealand today. The Dutch were the first Europeans to reach New Zealand via explorer Abel Tasman but it was the British that eventually colonised the islands, signing the Treaty of Waitangi with Maori Chefs in 1840.
The most populated city is Auckland in the North Island, known locally as the ‘City of Sails’ for its harbours and inlets. Auckland is also home to some 50 dormant volcanos which dot its skyline from almost every viewpoint. The Capital, Wellington, lies at the base of the North Island and is renowned for its culture, restaurants and heritage attractions. A short drive from either city sees you immersed in national parks, rural farms and nature in all its abundance.
The South Island, home to the historical city of Christchurch, is less populated than the North and contains some of the country’s most stunning landscape features, including the Southern Alps, raising to more than 3,000 meters (12,218 feet) and covering a staggering 500kms (310miles) north to south, and the Milford South Fjords where cliff faces rise straight out of the ocean and waterfalls drop into the crystal clear waters of the Sound where dolphin and whale watching are popular activities.