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New Zealand - Last minute and Luxury Holidays

New Zealand and the Pacific Islands

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New Zealand is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean comprising two large islands (the North Island and the South Island) and numerous smaller islands, most notably Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands. In Maori, New Zealand is also known as Aotearoa, which is usually paraphrased in English as the Land of the Long White Cloud.

The Realm of New Zealand also includes the Cook Islands and Niue, which are self-governing, but in free association; Tokelau; and the Ross Dependency (New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica).

New Zealand, along with Hawai'i and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) form what is known by anthropologists as the Triangle of Polynesia.

New Zealand is notable for its geographic isolation, being separated from Australia to the northwest by the Tasman Sea, some 2000 kilometres (1250 miles) across. Its closest neighbours to the north are New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga.

The population is mostly of European descent, with the indigenous Maori being the largest minority. Non-Maori Polynesian and Asian people are also significant minorities, especially in the cities.

Elizabeth II, as the Queen of New Zealand, is the nominal Head of State and is represented, in her absence, by a non-partisan Governor-General; the Queen 'reigns but does not rule', so she has no real political influence. Political power is held by the democratically-elected Parliament of New Zealand under the leadership of the Prime Minister who is the Head of Government.

New Zealand comprises two main islands (called the North and South Islands in English, Te-Ika-a-Maui and Te Wai Pounamu in Maori) and a number of smaller islands. The total land area, 268,680 square kilometres (103,738 sq miles), is a little less than that of Italy and Japan, and a little more than the United Kingdom. The country extends more than 1600 kilometres (1000 miles) along its main, north-north-east axis, with approximately 15,134 km of coastline. The most significant of the smaller inhabited islands include Stewart Island/Rakiura; Waiheke Island, in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf; Great Barrier Island, east of the Hauraki Gulf; and the Chatham Islands, named Rekohu by Moriori. The country has extensive marine resources, with the seventh-largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world, covering over four million square kilometres (1.5 million sq mi), more than 15 times its land area.[3]

The South Island is the largest land mass, and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps, the highest peak of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook at 3754 metres (12,316 ft). There are 18 peaks of more than 3000 metres (9800 ft) in the South Island. The North Island is less mountainous than the South, but is marked by volcanism. The tallest North Island mountain, Mount Ruapehu (2797 m / 9176 ft), is an active cone volcano. The dramatic and varied landscape of New Zealand has made it a popular location for the production of television programmes and films, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the Last Samurai.

Information provided by Wikipedia

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LastMinute.com - For last minute prices to New Zealand.
eBookers - Cheap Flights, Hotels, Airline Tickets, Car Hire and Holiday Packages.
Airline Network - For flights to New Zealand.
Expedia - Book cheap flights, travel, hotels & package holidays.
Opodo - For flights, hotels, car hire and package holidays
Singapore Airlines - One of the world's leading carriers to New Zealand.
Kuoni Travel - Tailormade holidays and luxury travel worldwide.

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