New Zealand is approximately
located four thousand miles on Hawaii’s southwest.
Nestled over two thousand kilometers (over a
thousand miles) in the ocean of the South Pacific,
New Zealand’s closest friend and neighbor is
Australia. New Zealand has two main islands,
creatively known as the South and North Islands.
New Zealand’s total land area is 104,000 square
miles or 270,000 square kilometers. This signifies
that the country could fit into Australia twenty
eight times and fit into Canada or the United States
approximately thirty four times. Nevertheless, New
Zealand is a bit larger than the United Kingdom.
New Zealand is just a 3 and a half hour plane flight from
Eastern Australia and approximately a ten hour flight from
almost all regions on the Pacific Rim, such as Tokyo, Hong
Kong, and Singapore. Flight time from Los Angeles to
Auckland takes just less than thirteen hours and two times
that from London to Auckland.
Over more than three-quarters of then population of
New Zealand reside in the North Island and a
substantial percentage of said figure reside near
the country’s largest city of Auckland.
In New Zealand, distance is not an important factor.
From any area in New Zealand, the coastline is just
a drive of two hours. It would mean ten to twelve
hours of driving to get from one end of the island
to the other, but if you desired to get a real feel
of the country it would take even longer as there
are several exciting and interesting places to visit
during the drive.
Standing over the vast expanse of Lake Taupo’s
(which is the North Island of New Zealand’s center), three
active volcanoes can be seen: Mount Ngauruhoe, Mount Ruapehu,
and Mount Tongariro.
New Zealand is at the Pacific Rim of
Fire’s tip. The Rim of Fire is located in the Pacific Ocean
and forms an arc of volcanoes which are active. This trail
has bee taken by several others over last few centuries.
Among the famous names are those of Eleanor Roosevelt,
George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, and Zane Grey. The beauty
of these vistas draws many to them.
The hallowed Mountains of Tongariro, Ruapehu, and
Ngauruhoe and their circumventing plateau are looked
upon as treasures so precious, that native
Tuwharetoa Maori gave them as gifts to the country
more than a century ago. The ensuing Tongariro
National Park was the world’s first National Park
produced by a gift from an native people.
Since the settlement of the Europeans in New
Zealand, all three of these volcanoes have erupted.
Mount Ngauruhoe in particular has erupted over
seventy times. Mount Ruapehu had eruptions in both
1995 and 1996, spewing rocks, ash and mud high up
into the air.
It induced some agitation, but it is not concern of fiery
fate that most determines the nation’s character.
While the majority volcanic activity is presently
concentrated in the north side, craters of ancient origin
dot the nation all throughout the islands of the
sub-Antarctic, over a thousand kilometers south.