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New Zealand

New Zealand's spectacular scenery – made famous by The Lord of the Rings trilogy – includes stunning snow-clad alps, steaming volcanoes, pristine lakes, rugged coastlines and lush rainforests, making it a haven for those seeking rest, rejuvenation and relaxation as well as a playground for adventurers.

New Zealand's English-speaking society is sophisticated and culturally diverse and the honesty and friendliness of its people are world-renowned. According to the 2010 Global Peace Index, New Zealand is the worlds most peaceful country.

Auckland, "City of Sails", is New Zealand's largest, most cosmopolitan city, with over 1.2 million people. It is situated in the North Island between two magnificent harbors and has all the benefits that a seaside city offers – numerous white sand beaches, parks, public gardens and walkways. It also offers fabulous shopping and dining opportunities: designer fashions, local art and crafts, and internationally recognized food and wine. Auckland's temperate climate, easy access to the sea and variety of activities earn the city consistent top five rankings in international lifestyle surveys.

Safe food and drinking water is a concern for all travelers. New Zealand tap water is clean and safe to drink and its food safety standards are strictly regulated by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority and Food Standards Australia & New Zealand.

There are two medical systems in New Zealand; a publicly funded system which is essentially free to New Zealand residents and a private system for those who don't wish to wait, have private insurance or are willing to pay out of pocket. The private hospital system in New Zealand does not have to cope with triage, ER, trauma and chronic conditions, which are handled by the parallel public system. As a result, the costs for running a private hospital are much less. Savings on procedures performed in New Zealand average 60% from US rates with no compromise in quality. In addition to this, New Zealand is considered to have one of the safest blood supplies in the world.

New Zealand is located in Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia.

Climate: Temperate with sharp regional contrasts.

Population: 4,252,277 (July 2010 est.)

Currency: New Zealand dollars (NZD)

Exchange Rates: New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar - 1.4015 (2010), 1.6002 (2009), 1.4151 (2008)

Time Zone: NZST[n 6] (UTC+12), Summer (DST) NZDT (UTC+13)

Languages: English 91.2% (official), Maori 3.9% (official), Samoan 2.1%, French 1.3%, Hindi 1.1%, Yue 1.1%, Northern Chinese 1%, other 12.9%, New Zealand Sign Language (official).

Visitors Web site: www.newzealand.com

Other Information

  • English-speaking first world country
  • The worlds most peaceful country- 2010 Global Peace Index
  • Majority of its population is of European descent, with indigenous Maori as the largest minority
  • World-class medical care at internationally accredited hospitals
  • Beautiful island country with a distinctive fauna and geography
  • Highly developed, boasting international educational and industry standards