Escape for the Weekend

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New Zealand

What to see in New Zealand? The Taupo and the Hauroko lakes; White Island volcano; underwater beauties of the Three Kings Islands; Fiordland; the Poor Knights Islands.

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New Zealand really is a good distance off. One can say it is situated “at the world's end”! The inhabitants of the island seem to be perfectly indifferent to such troubles as wars and diseases, moreover the New Zealanders know about them only from hearsay. The major part of the country is made up of two islands (North Island and South Island), divided by the Cook Strait. Their western coast is washed by the Tasman Sea, whereas all the other coasts of New Zealand are washed by the Pacific Ocean. Beside two main islands New Zealand consists of about 700 islands of far lesser area, most of which are uninhabited. The largest of them are Stewart Island, the Antipodes, Auckland Island, the Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadec Islands. Because of often earthquakes New Zealand is called “the Quaky isles”. No wonder – there are more than 400 of them every year! People are incredibly open and friendly here, they are sociable and not afraid of getting into a car to a stranger, so you can safely hitchhike without spending a single cent. But you should pay great attention to the driver – the minimum driving age in New Zealand is 15. Breathtaking sceneries shown in the film “The Lord of the rings” will amaze you to the bottom of your heart. No other country in the world can boast of such national parks as New Zealand. By the way, they occupy a third of the territory of the country. The capital of New Zealand is Wellington, but 1,5 of 4,5 million people live in Oakland. The national currency is New Zealand dollar or kiwi dollar (NZD).

The country is situated between the equator and the South Pole, so the underwater world of New Zealand – inimitable in its beauty -- is meant for diving. Crinoids on coral reefs perfectly coexist with nearby bushes of laminaria, and volcanic formations are covered with hard corals. Furthermore, coast waters are incredibly clear and transparent, whilst tropical reefs, rocks and fiords make the underwater landscape so extraordinary that it can be explored and admired endlessly. The largest lake of New Zealand is the Taupo and the deepest one is the Hauroko.

The largest international airports:

Diving in New Zealand. The most popular places:

  • The Three Kings Islands – famous for their wild, surprisingly untouched places. The richest underwater world and tropic currents attract more and more divers every year.
  • The Poor Knights Islands – acknowledged as one of the best places for diving in the world. Eroded remains of volcanic rocks, cliffs, rich underwater world, perfect water transparency for 30 meters (best from May to September), and excellent conditions for taking photos invite to dive here all the year round.
  • White Island – a half-dormant volcano whose underwater world contains huge kingfish, rays, blue maomao fish and large lobsters. Bubbling underwater clefts distinguish this island from the others.
  • The uniqueness of Fiordland consists in a lay of fresh water restricting the growth of seaweeds and allowing deep-sea animals to adapt themselves to shallow water (you can see black corals at a depth of only 5 meters).
  • New Zealand is one of the few places suggesting diving with sharks (in a cage).
  • The Chatham Islands
  • The Snares
  • The Cook Islands