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General Info – Climate / Currency …etc

Aoteaora (“land of the long white cloud”) is the current Māori name for New Zealand.

New Zealand is an island country located in the south-western Pacific Ocean, near the centre of the water hemisphere. Consisting of 2 main islands North and South. Both marked by volcanoes and glaciation, separated by the Cook Strait; a third, less substantial island, Stewart Island, is located 30 kilometres off the tip of the South Island across Foveaux Strait. Other smaller islands include Waiheke Island, Chatham Island, Great Barrier Island and more, although many are uninhabited. Capital Wellington, on the North Island, is home to Te Papa Tongarewa, the expansive national museum. Wellington’s dramatic Mt. Victoria, along with the South Island’s Fiordland and Southern Lakes, stood in for mythical Middle Earth in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films.

General information

As with many islands in the world, the influence of the ocean curtails any extremes in coastal temperature. The greater temperature ranges are found in the interior of the Canterbury and Southland regions have the closest New Zealand has to continental climates, being generally drier (due in part to föhn winds) and less directly modified by the ocean. These areas can experience summer temperatures in the low 30s °C (high 80s/low 90s °F) and snow and severe frosts in winter, the latter exacerbated by hoar frosts in the river valleys and basins.

Many parts of the country, especially in the upper North Island, have high humidity all year round, which can have the effect of it feeling warmer in summer and cooler in winter than the thermometer indicates.

Annual mean temperature
Mean annual temperatures range from 10 °C (50 °F) in the south to 16 °C (61 °F) in the north. The coldest month is usually July and the warmest month is usually January or February. Generally there are relatively small variations between summer and winter temperatures.

Language: English and Maori

Population:  4.693 million (2016)

Area: 268,021 km2

Water (%): 1.6

Capital: Wellington

Largest city: Auckland

Dialling code: +64

Currency: New Zealand Dollar ($) (NZD)

Prime minister: Jacinda Ardern

Time zone: NZST (UTC+12)

Summer (DST)  NZDT (UTC+13)

Drives on the left

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