New Zealand is an archipelago. An archipelago is a nation that is a chain of islands that range from large to small, small like The Bahamas and large ones like Indonesia. This country in particular is pretty large; situated with a wide berth between Australia, by the Tasman Sea, a divide that is a gulf of around 1,400 miles between the two nations – just 1,000 miles less than the entire width of the Mediterranean Sea. The northernmost tip of the country’s North Island extends North West towards the Coral Sea, home to the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and largest coral reef system in the world, dubbed one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World that’s visible from space.
Highway to Everywhere
Although a seemingly narrow strip of land, New Zealand runs 990 miles down the length of North Island and South Island, so not only is there the vast array of landscape to soak up, there is plenty of coastal regions to explore too, 9,300 miles of it in fact. One of South Island’s main cities is Christchurch, the capital Wellington and the largest city in New Zealand, Auckland, are located on North Island. The cities have their own sites worth seeing, Auckland, for example, is home to roughly one third of the nation’s entire population (approx. 1.5 million) and the highest Polynesian population in the world, situated near an extinct volcano and one of the few cities on Earth with two harbours on different bodies of water. Auckland is also ranked the third best city in the world to live.
City to Country
Wellington (named after the victorious Battle of Waterloo General, the Duke of Wellington) is home to the Royal New Zealand Ballet, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the National Archives and the National Library, all hallmarks of the nation’s capital being the Cultural Capital. With addition to the Old Government Building, the largest wooden building in the world, as well as the iconic Beehive building, a visit to the capital (and Earth’s windiest city) is well worth a stop on a road trip holiday when using campervan hire in New Zealand.
South Island is the 12th largest island on the planet and the landmass is well worth an extended exploration, just as much as the world’s largest island that lies nearby (Australia). The main city on South Island is Christchurch, although it has been recently damaged by earthquakes several years ago, it remains a rarely designed city; modelled on a central city square, four corresponding squares and parkland area, following the first city to adopt this design, Philadelphia.
An interesting fact about Christchurch is its high water quality, naturally sourced and one of the purest in the world, this odd little fact is worth a stop over as we all need some refreshment. Then it is out into the wild and if you thought the towns were a treat, nature holds nothing back!