New Zealand is a microcosm of all the world's natural wonders. Located in the South Pacific the New Zealand archipelago spans a number of climatic zones and landscape types. The sub-tropical north contains miles of stunning beaches and many smaller offshore islands. The volcanic interior of the North Island is one of the richest volcanic regions on Earth with snow-capped volcanoes, shooting geysers, and thermal lakes. The temperate South Island has a vast mountain range spanning the whole length of the island. To the west are lush rainforests framed by steep snow capped mountains and a wild coastline. This coastline contains spectacular fiords in the south while the sunny northern coast has the best beaches in the country. Both islands contain lush rainforests that give way to sparser vegetation as you head higher up the mountainous terrain.
The first people to arrive in New Zealand were Polynesians called the Maori. Their culture exists alongside a modern western culture today. There are also a number of beautiful cities that rate in the world's top 10 for quality of life.
New Zealand is a land of contrasts. This multicultural wonderland contains some of the most stunning landscapes on Earth with modern cities set in spectacular natural locations.
Author & photographer: David Johnson (Virtual Oceania). Providing a credit or link is appreciated.
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