New-Zealand, a magical country

This country at the other end of the world was the backdrop for the film, "The Lord of the Rings". That alone is enough to show that New-Zealand is a magical land. Divided into two islands, North Island and South Island, it is isolated from the rest of the world, and so has developed fauna and flora which are not found anywhere else. A former British colony, the national language is English.
The capital, Wellington, is located on North Island. It contains several museums and tourist infrastructures. The top of mount Victoria, located in the outskirts, offers a simply magnificent view over the city. You can also take an Air France flight to the other principal city, Auckland. A cosmopolitan and lively city, it is surrounded by volcanic hills which give a special character to the area.
New-Zealand is located in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons are the opposite of those in Europe or Asia. The climate shows marked contrast, with the extreme north (the Northland) near the tropics, having high temperatures and hardly any snow. By contrast, in the extreme south (the Fiordland), there are fjords and glaciers. We recommend reserving your Air France between November and April to make the most of a pleasant climate. But don't forget your umbrella, as it rains regularly all year round.

Open-air activities in New-Zealand

New-Zealand's varied landscapes and wild nature will delight outdoor sports lovers. Otago, on South Island, is the perfect spot for travellers looking for excitement. In Queenstown, a city on the banks of Lake Wanaka, you can practice rafting, speed-boating, sky-gliding or parachute jumping. In winter, numerous skiers head for the Remarkables, a range of mountains on the edge of the city whose name is well-deserved.
Hikers will also find what they are looking for. New-Zealand offers nine major walking routes, in particular the Milford Track which links the Te Anau lake to Milford Sound. Whichever region you choose, you will find surprising animals, such as the tuatara, an iguana whose young have three eyes, or the kiwi, symbol of the country. This strange bird about the size of a chicken, with a long thin beak, is unable to fly. The flora is also exceptional with 75% of the species being unique to this country.

Maori culture in New-Zealand

The Maori, the native inhabitants of New-Zealand, settled in the country late, around the XIIIth century. Today, they number about 600 000. Traditionally, the men cover their face and body with impressive tattoos, whereas the women only wear them on the chin. The Auckland Museum describes their traditions, such as dances and canoe races, and displays wickerwork objects, weapons and wooden statuettes. There are also boutiques selling Maori crafts, in particular beautifully curved pendants made from bone, jade and shells. For a complete change of scenery, don't hesitate to check the Air France site and book a flight to New-Zealand.

For more information, and to prepare your journey to New Zealand