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"Our New Zealand"

("Land of the "Lord of the Rings")

Take the tour -
View the scenery




I often get asked about New Zealand, everything from the standard where is it? (see below) to what side of the road do you drive on (left), what's a banger (sausage) and all the bits in between that you could possibly think of and then some that most wouldn't... like what colour are your fire engines (red), do you have electricity (*cough*), do you have a pet sheep (no, the only sheep I've had has been served on a plate), are you a farmer (no), where did you learn to speak english (LOL!) on and on it goes and while I don't mind at all it's not often that I can find the time to reply to them all.. so it's here that you'll find the answers to some of them then later on I'll add my own perspective on what it's like to live in Auckland and I'll highlight a few of the places, history and culture that I adore the most :-)

First off the very basics

So where in the world are we?


New Zealand, also known as Aotearoa (Land of the Long White Cloud) is in the southern Pacific Ocean, approx 1600kms South-East of our great neighbour (and fierce sporting rivals) Australia. It's comprised of two main islands... North Island and South Island, then there is Stewart Island (the wee island at the bottom of the South Island) and a few other smaller islands scattered around our shore line. Basically got 4 main centers... Auckland, Wellington (capital), Christchurch  and Dunedin..  The "big smoke" is commonly referred to as "The City of Sails" why? well Auckland has the largest number of boats per head of population than any other city in the world... but more about Auckland later :-)

NZ is one of the first places in the world to see the dawn of a new day... which is perhaps why so many people feel compelled to ask me to predict their future, for the next 24 hours at least.. and if you stayed tuned to the TV, newspapers and mags during the build up to the Millennium you may have caught the odd article or two that highlighted [Gisborne NZ] as it's the first "city" in the world to see the sun. (check out our [NZ Links Page] for more info about Gisborne)

For the majority of the year we're 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) which is pretty easy to remember as it's generally the last option you'll find on your GMT time lines... but the confusion for many (including myself!) kicks in during "summer time" as New Zealand has DST (Daylight Saving Time) which starts at 2am the 1st Sunday in October and puts us +13 GMT. DST goes right through until 2am the 3rd Sunday in March at which point we go back to NZST (GMT +12) which is about the time I finally get into the swing of being +13 so you can quite accurately say that for 12 months of the year I have no idea what zone I'm in let alone what time it is anywhere else in the world which is why
[H9K Timer] and I are inseparable. If you want to do a bit more reading up on DST in NZ then you can check the [Time Act 1974] which when broken down means that we're 12 hours ahead or swing by [The Department of Internal Affairs] and check out their article [Daylight Saving]


Summer - December to February
Autumn - March to May
Winter - June to August
Spring - September to November

Currency $1 = 100 cents
Coins: 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2
Notes: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 dollars

Exchange Rates (13 Dec 2004)
1NZ$ will get you US$0.7017
1NZ$ will get you EUR$0.5317
1NZ$ will get you GPB$0.3643

Click here for rates for  today


More Sheep than People?
Yep! We're out numbered and depending on whose statistics you prefer the the average is around 12 sheep for each person. New Zealand has a human head count of around 4 million .. and sheep head count of around 47 million so it's not hard to tell how the all the kiwi/sheep jokes came to be.

New Zealand Flag
The New Zealand flag has a royal blue background, in the top left hand corner you'll find the Union Jack and the four stars to the right of this represent the Southern Cross. More information about the NZ Flag is available at [Ministry of Culture and Heritage - nzflag]

Our National Plant

is the Pohutukawa. A beautiful crimson flower makes it easily identifiable and the trees are simply stunning in bloom.. sadly they are endangered due in part to an introduced pest, the Australian Possum.

For more information you can check out
[Project Crimson] which is a charitable trust that was set up back in 1990 with an aim to protect then endangered Pohutukawa (and Rata) Trees.. amazing results to date with over 200,000 trees being successfully planted.. thanks to the support of companies like [Carter Holt Harvey] 

National Bird

is the Kiwi.. our wee flightless bird.

The"must see" website for all things "kiwi" is the [Kiwi Recovery Program]. It was first launched back in 1991 in an effort to save our wee national icon from extinction and one again, thanks to the help of supporters like [Bank of New Zealand] they can continue with their research, educating the public and projects like Operation Nestegg. At the [Kiwi Recovery Program] website you'll find lots of cool facts about our wee flightless friend, pictures, downloads, postcards and if you dig deep enough you'll be able to hear what they sound like as they have the male and female call of the Great Spotted Kiwi and the North Island Brown Kiwi (Real Audio files).

New Zealand was the first self-governing nation to grant women the right to vote 19 September 1893
[archives.govt.nz - Women's Suffrage Petition] Go girls!



 This page was last updated 20 September 2010
        Site updated & maintained by Reuben Dixon
      İChakdarra Kennels