With the Pacific Ocean to the
east, and the Tasman Sea to the west, New Zealand
is an island nation with a population of only 3.7
New Zealand was probably first settled by the Maori - Polynesians
who arrived from the Hawaiian islands over 1000 years ago. European
settlement didnt begin until the 17th Century, with the British
colonising the islands and exploiting its vast natural resources,
timber, whales and seals, and also fighting many wars with the Maori
tribes over the land. Eventually the British and Maori chiefs signed
a peace treaty and relations between European and Maori have improved
Today, the people of New Zealand come together in a wonderful mixture
of races, cultures, and ethnic backgrounds; British, European, Asian
and Maori, all sharing a common language, English. Agriculture, dairy
products, timber, and tourism are the primary industries. The country
is modern. The Standard of living is high. The Lifestyle is casual
and relaxed. New Zealanders, or "Kiwis", are known for
their friendliness, tolerance and modesty.
As New Zealand is located in the Southern Hemisphere, June - August are
winter months, while December - February are summer. The climate in
Auckland is temperate, with temperatures never dropping below 0 degrees
Celsius. In winter, the weather is quite changeable with four seasons
in one day. Winter can also be quite wet. Summer is beautiful with
long warm days, with daylight lasting until 9:00 pm.
Daylight Saving operates from the first weekend of October (clocks forward
one hour) until the third weekend of March (clocks back one hour).
For more weather information click
New Zealand, whilst being a relatively new country and not having a long
history of cuisine, still offers a wide selection of food; Being an agricultural
country, the meat, fish, fruit and vegetables are market fresh. New Zealand
lamb, beef and venison are world famous. There is also an excellent variety
of fresh seafood, such as Snapper, Hapuka and Salmon, plentiful shellfish
including Mussels, Oysters, Abalone, and Scallops, and of course the
famous Crayfish (Lobster). Furthermore because the people of New Zealand
are from such diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds - European, Asian
and Polynesian - New Zealand cooking is a rich mix of tastes, colours
For those who enjoy a glass of wine with their meal, New Zealand produces
some of the best white wines in the world. The chardonnays and sauvignon
blanc, in particular, are excellent. Wineries and vineyards are found
on both North and South Islands, with some very famous ones only 20
minutes from Auckland. They all welcome visitors.
Cost of Living
In general, because the New Zealand dollar is relatively weak against
the major world currencies, New Zealand is a relatively inexpensive destination.
New Zealands economy is based on agriculture and service industries,
which means that manufactured goods, most of which must be imported,
tend to be more costly.
Some price (indications only) of some common items.
||Item Price NZ$
|Milk - 2 litres
|1 kg potatoes
|1 kg sirloin steak
|Washing powder 1kg
|can of Coke (325 ml)
|Cappuccino (cafe price)
|CD - new release
|Movie ticket (student price)
||5 - 10.00
|Box of tissues