New Zealand truly is a paradise for nature and outdoor lovers. Hidden away at the end of the earth, it is a popular destination for those who want to experience the sheer beauty of the forests, mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, fjords and desolate beaches. The varied natural landscapes stretch across the two islands that make up the country: the “North Island” and the “South Island”. In the metropolitan cities and towns you will see a mixture of 19th century Victorian era and modern architecture built on steep hillsides and ocean bays. The cities have many cultural offerings to be explored including art galleries, museums, restaurants, cafes and bars.
Much of New Zealand’s natural beauty remained a secret until the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed here, exposing the impressive mountain ranges and deep fjords for the world to see. Many people visit New Zealand to have their own experience of the mythical “Middle Earth”. New Zealand is also a well known destination for adventure sports lovers, who can have a go at bungee jumping, white water rafting and caving. During the winter months (June to September), the slopes of the South Island are covered in snow for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy.
New Zealand was colonized by the British, but has developed a distinct relaxed and friendly culture. New Zealanders, also known as “Kiwis”, are proud of their strong cultural ties to the indigenous Polynesian Maori minority, which makes up approximately 15 per cent of the population. Some Maori sayings, such as the friendly greeting “kia ora” are used regularly in the New Zealanders’ vocabulary. New Zealanders are well-known internationally for their friendliness and a good sense of humor. Enjoy their company as you practice your English skills whilst doing an English course in New Zealand.