Kia Ora. Your New Zealand experience starts here.
New Zealand is the youngest country on earth – the last major landmass to be discovered. It has a rich and fascinating history, reflecting both Maori and European heritage.
Work is just one aspect of going to New Zealand. There are many opportunities to take part in adventure activities and exploring during your time off – bungee jumping is a well-known and thrilling pastime but there are many other things to do – bush walking and trekking in the mountains and forests, water sports, snowboarding to name a few.
So if you want to pump up your adrenalin, immerse yourself in any of the many geothermal hot pools or cruise dramatic bays spotting dolphins and whales… New Zealand is the place for you!
New Zealand: Facts
New Zealand is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean consisting of two main islands, both marked by volcanoes and glaciation. On the North Island, capital Wellington’s dramatic setting, including Mt. Victoria, the Fiordland and Southern Lakes, stood in for mythical Middle Earth in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Religion: Predominantly Christian
Currency: New Zealand Dollar
Population: 4.6 million
Official Languages: English; Māori and NZ Sign Language
Some aspects of New Zealand which might surprise you:
- Lunch is often a quick light meal, such as a sandwich and a cup of tea, and the main meal of the day is usually in the evening.
- Because of the small population there are very few big cities. Some places on the map don’t have even one shop.
- Public transport is very limited in New Zealand – it is best to have a car to get around.
- Their favourite sports are rugby, cricket and netball.
- They drive on the left hand side of the road.
- New Zealanders generally have a relaxed, friendly manner and enjoy meeting people from other countries.
- Some regions in New Zealand occasionally have earthquakes.
New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, 12 hours ahead of GMT/UTC. In summer New Zealand uses daylight saving, with clocks put forward one hour to GMT/UTC +13. Daylight saving begins on the last Sunday in September and ends on the first Sunday of the following April, when clocks are put back to GMT/UTC +12.
New Zealand’s international airports are at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Agricultural Restrictions and Quarantine
New Zealand’s agricultural industries are free of many insect pests, and plant and animal diseases common elsewhere in the world. A lot of effort is put into minimising the risk of these being introduced at ports and airports.
Heavy fines may be imposed on people caught carrying prohibited materials. On arrival visitors should place any questionable items, particularly fruit, in the bins provided.
Flight time estimates
- UK – Asia – Auckland: 25 hours – (at least one stop)
- UK – US – Auckland: 27 hours – (at least one stop)
- UK – Dubai – Australia – Auckland: 29 hours – (at least two stops)
Note: These times indicate actual flight times.
Getting to New Zealand is easy with a choice of airlines flying there, every day, from the United Kingdom.
Seasons in New Zealand are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere. This means that the warmest months are December, January and February, while the coldest are in June, July and August. Don’t let cold months put you off – winters tend to be short and generally fairly mild.
That said, on any given day the weather and temperature can change unexpectedly and sometimes dramatically. You should be prepared for that, particularly if you are going hiking or doing other outdoor activities. In summer there’s plenty of sunshine and activities in and around the water include rafting, snorkeling, diving and kayaking. You’ll find snow on the mountains in winter and excellent skiing. Away from the mountains, New Zealand winters are mild and temperatures generally do not fall below freezing.
Before you go have a look at the New Zealand tourism website at www.newzealand.com/UK-Ireland/