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New Zealand is an island country found in the Pacific Ocean around 900 miles to the east of Australia. More than 4.4 million people call this country home.

Evidence suggests that the first settlers landed on New Zealand as late as between 1250 and 1300. The country mainly exports products relating to agriculture, forestry, mining and horticulture. Tourism is one of the biggest industries employing one in twenty people.

New Zealand has over 15,000 kilometres of beautiful coastline. To get from A to B there are many modes of transport to consider. Ferries and water taxis are a popular choice. With a wide variety of vehicles to choose from, car hire is favoured by visitors wanting to drive themselves. What about trying out a motor home and taking your comforts with you so you can stop and relax whenever you choose. New Zealand also offers local and international flights to help you get around quickly and easily.

New Zealand holds many festivals but one of the most popular with tourist is the traditional Maori Kai food festivals where visitors have the opportunity to try natural local foods. The Kawhia Kai Festival is one of the most popular festivals of this kind, and allows visitors to experience the indigenous culture of New Zealand.

New Zealand_Auckland at nightThe country plays host to many sports, with some of the favourites being rugby union, cricket and netball. The country has one of the most successful International Rugby Union teams, having won the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Basketball is also very popular here as is golf and tennis. With miles of coastline water sports like sailing and surfing are obviously well liked. Eden Park in Auckland is New Zealand's biggest stadium with the capacity to seat 60,000 people.

If you are visiting New Zealand as a family then spending a day at Auckland Zoo, which is home to the largest collection of exotic and native animals in all of New Zealand and is great for all the family. Visit the picturesque coves and beautiful white sand beaches of The Coromandel or go hiking in the Tongariro National Park which is the oldest in New Zealand and is a UNESCO world heritage site. Tongariro has a range of spectacular scenery, from forests to active volcanoes.

Last updated: 14 March 2014

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