New Zealand
November / December 2000



268,680 km²
(6.2x the Netherlands)


UTC +12


English, Maori

Highest point

Mount Cook - 3,764 m


The British flag adorns the top corner of the New Zealand flag. The stars represent the Southern Cross constellation. The current flag dates from 1869.


The winter months from April to September in Auckland are the wettest. On the south island, there is a lot of precipitation on the west coast. The hinterland receives relatively little precipitation. The table below shows the average temperature.


Temp. (°C) Jan Apr Jul Okt
max 23 20 14 18
min 16 13 8 11


Temp. (°C) Jan Apr Jul Okt
max 22 17 10 17
min 12 8 1 7

After New Zealand gained self-government in 1947, the New Zealand pound was introduced. The New Zealand dollar replaced it in 1967. The banknote features mountaineer Edmund Hillary who, together with the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was the first to conquer Mount Everest in 1953.



When James Cook arrived in northern New Zealand he named it 'Bay of Islands'. There are about 150 small ones islands. The first settlers built settlements among the local residents, the Maoris. Most of them were rugged whalers. The small village of Russel was the first capital of New Zealand. The Anglican Church, built in 1835 is the oldest in the country. In Waitangi, a treaty was signed between the kolonists and Maoris. Here you can admire a 35 meter war canoe with the name 'Ngatokimatawhaorua'. 80 maori sail out to sea once a year to commemorate the treaty.

A part of Norway in New Zealand is the best way to describe Fjordland on the South Island. This is the wettest place of New zealand with about 9 meters of rain every year. Take a boat trip over the 16 km long Milford Sound with steep walls and impressive waterfalls.

There are two large glaciers, located at the highest mountain in New Zealand, Mt. Cook. The Franz Josef Glacier and the Fox Glacier. These have already retreated far due to the rapidly changing climate. Hike on one of the glaciers or fly by helicopter above the glaciers. Throw snowballs on top. and fly down the other glacier.

Rotorua is located in the geothermal heart of New Zealand and you can smell it. Here and there, residential houses are uninhabitable because of geothermal activity. It smells like rotten eggs due to sulfur. The nickname of Rotorua is 'Rottenrua'. The Whakarewarewa park and the farther away Wai-O-Tapu have bubbling mud pools and geysers which make the landscape look surreal. You can take a 4x4 or helicopter to the Tarawera volcano. Until 1886 this was a spa with salt terraces like in turkey. An eruption ripped open the crater over a length of 17 km.

Absoluut hoogtepunt op het noordereiland is de Tongariro Crossing bij het Taupo meer. In een setting met drie grote vulkanen, Tongariro (1958 meter), Ngauruhoe (2290 meter) en Ruapehu (2796 meter) ligt de mooiste dagwandeling van Nieuw-Zeeland. Naar de voet van de Tongariro is het vrij vlak. Daarna klauter je een uur over rotsblokken omhoog. Vervolgens volgt een vlak stuk over de kratervlakte. Dan omhoog naar de Red Crater en dan door het losse gruis afdalen naar de drie Emerald Lakes. Vlak voor de laatste afdaling begint heb je vanaf het Blue Lake een mooi uitzicht over alle drie de vulkanen. Vaak trekt de bewolking in de middag dicht waardoor je geen of weinig zicht hebt op de Ngauruhoe en Ruapehu. De afdaling vanaf hier naar de parkeerplaats is lang (ca. 3 uur)

Cape Kidnappers is located just south of the Art Deco city of Napier. The breeding season of a huge gannet colony at the end of November can be experienced up close.