Planning your elective-New Zealand
Nisheeth Rajpal gives the lowdown on the land of the All Blacks, kiwis, and the great Maori tribes
- By: Nisheeth Rajpal
New Zealand lies in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, 1600 km south east across the Tasman Sea from Australia. New Zealand consists of two main islands - the North Island and the South Island - and several dozen much smaller islands. The North and South Islands are the most heavily populated, although the North Island is three times as populous as the South Island. The Cook Strait, 20 km wide, separates the two islands.
New Zealand has 5100 km of coastline. No place anywhere in the country is further than 130 km from the coast. Outdoor activities are a big part of New Zealand culture. Kiwis spend many a weekend camping, hiking, hunting, and mountain climbing. All the large cities are a short journey from unspoiled countryside, and New Zealand's government has made a point of commissioning numerous national park projects. From surfing in the summer to skiing in the winter