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Rotorua and New Zealand facts

Rotorua

Rotorua is not only world famous for its fishing but offers so much to see and do! From Maori cultural experiences, thermal springs, farm shows, Kiwi (bird) encounters, bush walks to adrenalin attractions like jet boating, kilometers of world class mountain biking tracks, canopy zipline tours, bungy jumping and the Zorb. The city also offers fine dining, fantastic accommodation, and great shopping. Rotorua is a must-see for every visitor to New Zealand, and attracts around 3 million tourists each year. 

The city's therapeutic and thermal spas are regarded among the best in the world. Hard to miss, Rotorua’s geothermal activity surrounds the city with a distinct sulphuric smell. Its various attractions provide access to bubbling mud and gushing geysers amidst stunning lake and forest landscapes. 

Three hours from Auckland, Rotorua is centrally located, there is also an enormous amount of things to see and do within an hours drive from your base! Taupo, Waitomo, Tauranga and Whakatane to name a few. For the golfers, which like fly fishing is another one of those sports that test all your reserves, there are something like 50 courses from world famous Wairakei and Kinloch near Taupo to club courses around Rotorua, Tauranga, Te Puke, Whakatane, Putaruru, Tokoroa and even Ohope.

Kia Ora and welcome to Aotearoa.

This is the clean, green land of lush forests, crystal clear waters, secluded beaches, majestic mountains, awe-inspiring scenery, picturesque little townships and fantastic big cities, fascinating culture and heritage, the stunning backdrop scenery of movies (Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit), outdoor activities and extreme sports plus friendly, helpful people....not to mention exceptional, world-renowned Fly Fishing.

New Zealand consists of two islands, with the North Island being renowned for the unique volcanic plateau at its centre. This 'ring of fire' is home to active volcanoes like Ruapehu, Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, Mount Tarawera, and White Island. The South Island is best known around the world for its natural beauty, boasting no less than ten national parks. For a journey of a lifetime, New Zealand has it all! I could go on about our great country but click the link below to find out more on what New Zealand has to offer on New Zealand.com

New Zealand General Facts History

The current native inhabitants of New Zealand are the Maori. It is estimated that these Polynesians arrived in several migration 'waves' in New Zealand about 1000 years ago. On a voyage of discovery, Dutch navigator Abel Tasman sailed up the West Coast of New Zealand in 1642, but did not stay long after his only attempt at landing on New Zealand's shores was repelled by the Maori. New Zealand was not rediscovered by Europeans until 1769 when the British naval captain, James Cook, and his crew, became the first European to lay claim to New Zealand.

It was not until 1840 that any formal agreement was signed between the Maori people of New Zealand and the European settlers. This agreement, known as the Treaty of Waitangi, is New Zealand's founding document. The signing of the Treaty between over 500 Maori Chiefs and representatives of the British Crown is commemorated annually on February 6 as New Zealand's national day - Waitangi Day.

New Zealand became a self-governing British colony in 1856 and then a Dominion in 1907. It took until 1947 however before New Zealand became fully independent.

Geography and Climate

New Zealand is located in the southern Pacific Ocean, approximately 1,600 kilometres (995 miles) south-east of Australia. New Zealand is comprised of two main islands (the North and South Islands) and several smaller islands of which the combined total land area is 270,534 sq. kms (104,454 sq. mls - approximately 36 times less than the US). It is similar in size to Colorado and somewhere in between the size of Japan and the United Kingdom.

New Zealand’s geography includes spectacular landscapes incorporating the vast mountain chain of the Southern Alps (larger than the French, Austrian and Swiss Alps combined), the volcano region of the North Island, fiords, glaciers, lakes, rainforests and extensive grassy plains.

Highest point: Mount Cook (3,754 m or 12313 ft). 
Deepest lake: Lake Hauroko (462 m 1515 ft). 
Largest lake: Lake Taupo (606 km or 234 miles)
. Longest river: Waikato River (425 km or 264 miles long). 
Largest glacier: Tasman Glacier (29 km or 18 miles long). 
Deepest cave: Nettlebed, Mount Arthur (889 m or 2916 ft). 
Length of coastline: 15,811 km (9824 miles)

New Zealand experiences summer from December – February and winter from June – August. The climate is temperate with little extreme. Any huge variations in temperature can be accounted for by the combination of the mountainous geography and prevailing westerly winds.

Business

Business: Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.00pm

Trading Banks: Monday to Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm

Shopping: Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm. 
Late nights Thursday or Friday to 9.00pm. 
Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm (most shops). 
Sunday 11.00am - 3.00pm (most shops).

Post Office: Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm
. Saturday 9.00am – 12 noon (some only)

Convenience stores: or 'dairies' are generally open 7.00am – 10.00pm seven days a week.

Service stations: or petrol stations are usually open 24 hours.

Taxes & Tipping

GST (Goods and Services Tax) of 15% is applied to the cost of all goods and services and is generally included in all prices.

GST cannot be claimed back from purchases, however it is not included in duty free prices or where the goods are posted by a retailer to an international visitor's home address. GST is not included in international airfares purchased in New Zealand.

Gratuities (tips) are not expected, but if a visitor wishes to leave a tip for outstanding service, it is certainly appreciated. Service charges are not usually added to hotel or restaurant accounts.

Emergency Services

In emergencies, dial 111 for police, fire or ambulance services.

Electricity & Water

New Zealand’s AC electricity supply operates at 230/240 volts (50 hertz), the same as Australia. Most hotels and motels also provide 110 volt, 20 watt, AC sockets for electric razors. An adaptor is necessary to operate all other electrical equipment.

Tap (faucet) water in New Zealand is fresh, treated and safe to drink. City water is both chlorinated and fluoridated. To prevent any problems when travelling in the back-country (tramping, camping etc.), ensure water is boiled or treated before drinking.

Transport & Communication

Air New Zealand is one of the world’s most advanced international airlines. Air New Zealand, Qantas, Jet Star (Qantas subsiduary) and Virgin Blue operate in the domestic commercial air travel industry with numerous smaller regional air transport operators including helicopter and fixed wing. Tranz Rail provide all commercial train transportation throughout the country and also operate the Cook Strait ferry service (Interislander) along with Bluebridge. The approximate cost per day for Car Rental of a mid-sized car is NZ$80-NZ$110, with competitive rates negotiable for longer hires. New Zealanders drive on the left-hand side of the road.

New Zealand has a fully developed communications infrastructure and broadband coverage is available to about 95% of the country although ultra fast broadband is still being rolled out to the smaller cities and towns.

Mobile telephones can be used and are available for hire on arrival in New Zealand, (outlets are available at international airports). Mobile phones from another country need to have an international roam facility covering New Zealand to work in New Zealand. The main operators are Spark, Vodafone and 2 Degrees.

Telephone Codes

New Zealand Country Code: 64

Area Codes:
Northland & Auckland is 09
: Waikato & Bay of Plenty is 07: 
Gisborne; Hawke’s Bay; Taranaki & Wairarapa is 06:
Wellington is 04: 
South Island (all areas) is 03:

Public Holidays

New Year’s Day: 1 January
, New Year’s Public Holiday: 2 January
, Waitangi Day: 6 February or nearest Monday, 
Good Friday:  
Easter Monday:  
ANZAC Day:  
25 April or nearest Monday, Queen’s Birthday June, 
Labour Day: Last weekend Monday of October, 
Christmas Day: 25 December, 
Boxing Day: 26 December

Interesting Facts

For a country of over 4 million people, New Zealand has not done too badly! Here are just a few examples:

New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote (1893).

It was probably a New Zealander, Richard William Pearse who took the world’s first flight -nearly two years before the Wright Brothers in the United States (this however cannot be proved). On 31 March 1902 Pearse managed to fly his home-made aircraft 91 metres in a field near Timaru.

There are more golf courses in New Zealand per capita of population, than any other country in the world (over 400 golf courses for 3.7 million people).

Auckland has the largest number of boats per head of population than any other city in the world.

William Hamilton, a Canterbury farmer, developed and perfected the propellerless jet boat based on the principle of water jet propulsion. Following this, Hamilton went on to invent the hay-lift, an advanced air compressor, an advanced air conditioner, a machine to smooth ice on skating ponds; the water sprinkler and also contributed to the improvements of hydro-power.

A New Zealander, Sir Edmund Hillary, was the first person to climb Mount Everest (with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953).

Baron Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealander, was the first person in the world to split the atom (in 1919). Rutherford also succeeded in transmitting and detecting ‘wireless waves’ a year before Marconi, but left this work to pursue researching radioactivity and the structure of the atom at Trinity College in Cambridge, England. Rutherford was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work.

New Zealand is the first country in the world to see each new day.

Curio Bay in Southland is one of the world’s most extensive and least disturbed examples of a petrified forest, (the forest is approximately 180 million years old).

New Zealand was the first country in the world to have a government department for tourism. In 1901 the Department of Tourist and Health Resorts was created.

Wellington has more cafes and restaurants per capita than New York.

New Zealand is the birthplace of the meringue dessert known as the ‘Pavlova’, named after the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova.

The old Government Building in Wellington is the largest wooden structure in the southern hemisphere (8200 square metres).

The vineyards of Central Otago, New Zealand, are the southern most vineyards in the world (45° South).

Nelson was the first city in the world to formalise the eight-hour working day.

New Zealand won the first ever Rugby World Cup in 1987. The New Zealand Women’s Rugby Team won the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 1998.

Tongariro National Park was the fourth national park to be established in the world and the first in New Zealand, in 1887. (Yellowstone National Park in the United States was the first in 1872.)

The Hector’s Dolphin (the world’s smallest marine dolphin), and the world’s rarest sea lion, the Hooker’s sea lion, are only found in New Zealand waters.

New Zealand is home to the world’s only flightless parrot, the Kakapo, as well as the Kea - the only alpine parrot in the world.

The oldest living genus of reptile is the native New Zealand Tuatara. Tuataras have a life expectancy of 300 years. It is estimated that Tuataras can be traced back 190 million years to the Mesozoic era.

A New Zealander invented the tear back velcro-strip, the pop-lid on a self sealing paint tin, the child-proof pill bottle and the crinkle in your hairpins so that they don’t fall out!

A New Zealand archbishop’s son invented the totaliser machine used for racing and sports betting.

Waikoropupu Springs near Nelson are reputedly the clearest fresh water springs in the world, with an outflow of approximately 2,160 million litres of water every 24 hours.

Frying Pan Lake near Rotorua, is the world’s largest hot water spring reaching a temperature of 200°C at it’s deepest point.