1. New Zealand comprises two major islands (North Island -115,000 km2, South Island – 151,000 km2), plus several small islands.
2. Maoris were the first inhabitants of New Zealand, arriving from other Polynesian Islands around 1000 AC..
3. The first European exploration was in 1642 (Abel Tasman – Dutch), and it was formally added as a Britain Colony in 1840
4. New Zealand is a Parliamentary Democracy and a Constitutional Monarchy ,with a Primer Minister and the Queen of England as head of state.
5. Wellington is the capital of the country and Auckland is largest city; both located in the North Island. Queenstown, in the South Island, is known as the Adventure Capital of the World -actually, the bungee-jumping is a New Zealand invention.
6. Maori language was officially recognized in 1987, it means that there are two official languages: English and Maori.
7. The official New Zealand flag was first used in 1869. The four stars represent the constellation of Crux (the Southern Cross) as they are seen from New Zealand. The Union Jack represents New Zealand Commonwealth heritage.
8. New Zealand is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the most active volcano (Mount Ruapehu) is located in the North Island.
9. Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand, is a volcanic crater formed 26500 years ago.
10. Rotorua (also called the Sulphur City) is known for its geothermal activity, being the youngest geothermal system.
11. Auckland City Sky Tower (328 meters high) is the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere.
12. December, January and February are the busiest months for travellers. Many citizenships do not require a Visa for holidays (maximum stay 3 months).
13. Due to its long geological isolation, New Zealand has many unique native animals and plants: the giant Kauri Tree, the famous flightless Kiwi (a national symbol of the country) and the Whio -or blue duck– are some of them.
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