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About New Zealand

The Land and the People

New Zealand is a unique country. Its scenery sets it apart from the rest of the world while its people have a reputation for friendliness, strength and independence. There is abundant beauty and diversity in scenery, lifestyle and culture. From rolling green farmlands to barren volcanic desert areas, from golden beaches with clear blue water to majestic snow covered mountains, New Zealand offers a sample of every possible landscape within a relatively small country.

Major Cities

The capital of New Zealand is Wellington (population approximately 400,000), situated at the southern tip of the North Island. Other major cities and towns are Auckland (population approximately 1,000,000), Hamilton (population 120,000), Palmerston North (population approximately 75,000), Christchurch (population approximately 400,000) and Dunedin (population approximately 110,000).


Situated in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand\'s seasons are the reverse of those in the Northern Hemisphere. The climate is temperate with mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers.


Depending on the timing and duration of your study the clothes you bring will vary. In summer time, casual wear is sufficient. However, in winter warm clothing such as woollen sweaters, waterproof coats and warm jackets are recommended. In keeping with New Zealand\'s relaxed lifestyle, dress is informal on most occasions. International students are also encouraged to bring their national costume for the many social functions which institutions generally organise.


Stores and shops usually open from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Thursday and until 9pm on Friday nights. There is an increasing number of shopping centres opening until 9pm on Thursdays as well. Many shopping centres open all day Saturday and Sunday in major cities and tourist areas. New Zealand shops offer a wide variety of products including fashion clothes, outdoor clothing and equipment, crafts and international food halls.

Travel To and Within New Zealand

New Zealand has two main international airports, Auckland and Christchurch, served by 24 international airlines offering either non-stop, direct or online services to North America, South America, Australia, Asia, the UK and Europe, as well as the neighbouring Pacific Islands. Wellington, the hub of the domestic network, also has a service to the major east coast Australian cities. Distances between major attractions in New Zealand are short and there is a good transport network.

Sporting and Recreational Facilities

With such an abundance of open space accessible to everyone, sports are an important activity for many people. Rugby football is the national sport but many others have a large following. Schools, universities and colleges offer excellent sport facilities for students who want to play tennis, squash, cricket, basketball, soccer, netball, softball, or, indeed, rugby.

The wide open spaces and national parks have influenced New Zealanders\' love of outdoor activities. Tramping (hiking), camping and skiing are all popular activities. There are some hundreds of beaches, ideal for swimmin, diving and fishing!- many of them within walking distance of student campuses. New Zealand also has some of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses in the world, and many people can enjoy the game on the uncrowded greens and inexpensive private and public clubs.


New Zealand offers an array of exciting entertainment. All the major cities and towns have cinemas, nightclubs, restaurants, art galleries and museums. In addition to these, seven professional theatre companies operate throughout the country and pop concerts feature regularly, often with overseas artists. Five professional orchestras perform frequently and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, The Royal New Zealand Ballet and the New Zealand String Quartet tour throughout the country as well as overseas. Daily newspapers provide details of local entertainment and nightlife.


As an English speaking country all media is in English. There are 3 main television channels and some satellite channels are also available. New Zealand has numerous AM/FM radio stations, both national and regional. Daily newspapers (morning and evening editions) are produced in the major cities. The video system is PAL 625.

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