Theme Week New Zealand – Christchurch

29 April 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

New Regent Street © Bernard Spragg

New Regent Street © Bernard Spragg

Christchurch (Māori: Ōtautahi is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. Christchurch lies on the South Island’s east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula on Pegasus Bay. The Avon River/Ōtākaro flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park along its banks. The city’s territorial authority population is 389,300 people, and includes a number of smaller urban areas as well as rural areas. The population of the urban area is 377,900 people. Christchurch is the second-largest city by urban area population in New Zealand, after Auckland. It is the major urban area of an emerging sub-region known as Greater Christchurch. Notable smaller urban areas within this sub-region include Rangiora and Kaiapoi in Waimakariri District, north of the Waimakariri River, and Rolleston and Lincoln in Selwyn District to the south.   read more…

Theme Week New Zealand – Hamilton

28 April 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Hamilton centre from Hillcrest © Nzwj/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hamilton centre from Hillcrest © Nzwj/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hamilton (Māori: Kirikiriroa) is an inland city in the North Island of New Zealand. Located on the banks of the Waikato River, it is the seat and most populous city of the Waikato region. With a territorial population of 179,900, it is the country’s fourth most-populous city. Encompassing a land area of about 110 km² (42 sq mi), Hamilton is part of the wider Hamilton Urban Area, which also encompasses the nearby towns of Ngāruawāhia, Te Awamutu and Cambridge. In 2020, Hamilton was awarded the title of most beautiful large city in New Zealand.   read more…

Theme Week New Zealand – Dunedin

27 April 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

Dunedin Railway Station © Antilived/cc-by-sa-3.0

Dunedin Railway Station © Antilived/cc-by-sa-3.0

Dunedin (Māori: Ōtepoti) is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand (after Christchurch), and the principal city of the Otago region. Its name comes from Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. The city has a rich Scottish, Chinese and Māori heritage.   read more…

Theme Week New Zealand – Palmerston North

26 April 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Palmerston North with Tararua Range in the background © Mover85/cc-by-sa-3.0

Palmerston North with Tararua Range in the background © Mover85/cc-by-sa-3.0

Palmerston North (Māori: Te Papa-i-Oea, known colloquially as Palmy) is a city in the North Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Manawatū-Whanganui region. Located in the eastern Manawatu Plains, the city is near the north bank of the Manawatu River, 35 km (22 mi) from the river’s mouth, and 12 km (7 mi) from the end of the Manawatu Gorge, about 140 km (87 mi) north of the capital, Wellington. Palmerston North is the country’s eighth-largest urban area, with an urban population of 81,200 (June 2022). The estimated population of Palmerston North city is 90,400 (June 2022).   read more…

Theme Week New Zealand – Stewart Island

25 April 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Oban and Halfmoon Bay © Khalaan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Oban and Halfmoon Bay © Khalaan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Stewart Island (Māori: Rakiura, lit. ‘glowing skies‘, officially Stewart Island / Rakiura) is New Zealand‘s third-largest island, located 30 kilometres (16 nautical miles) south of the South Island, across the Foveaux Strait. It is a roughly triangular island with a total land area of 1,746 km² (674 sq mi). Its 164-kilometre (102 mi) coastline is deeply creased by Paterson Inlet (east), Port Pegasus (south), and Mason Bay (west). The island is generally hilly (rising to 980 metres or 3,220 feet at Mount Anglem) and densely forested. Flightless birds, including penguins, thrive because there are few introduced predators. Almost all the island is owned by the New Zealand government, and over 80 per cent of the island is set aside as the Rakiura National Park.   read more…

Theme Week New Zealand

24 April 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Bon voyage, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

New Zealand Parliament House in Wellington © Office of the Clerk/cc-by-sa-4.0

New Zealand Parliament House in Wellington © Office of the Clerk/cc-by-sa-4.0

New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island and the South Island—and over 700 smaller islands. It is the sixth-largest island country by area, covering 268,021 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi). New Zealand is about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the islands of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. The country’s varied topography and sharp mountain peaks, including the Southern Alps, owe much to tectonic uplift and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand’s capital city is Wellington, and its most populous city is Auckland.   read more…

Devonport in New Zealand

13 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Devonport and Waitemata Harbour from Mount Victoria © Follash

Devonport and Waitemata Harbour from Mount Victoria © Follash

Devonport is a harbourside suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. It is located on the North Shore, at the southern end of a peninsula that runs southeast from near Lake Pupuke in Takapuna, forming the northern side of the Waitematā Harbour. East of Devonport lies North Head, the northern promontory guarding the mouth of the harbour. The suburb hosts the Devonport Naval Base of the Royal New Zealand Navy, the main facility for the country’s naval vessels, but is best known for its harbourside dining and drinking establishments and its heritage charm. Devonport has been compared to Sausalito, California, US due to its setting and scenery.   read more…

Nelson in New Zealand

20 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Markus Koljonen/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Markus Koljonen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nelson (Māori: Whakatū) is a city on the eastern shores of Tasman Bay / Te Tai-o-Aorere. Nelson is the oldest city in the South Island and the second-oldest settled city in New Zealand – it was established in 1841 and became a city by royal charter in 1858. Nelson City is bordered to the west and south-west by Tasman District Council and to the north-east, east and south-east by Marlborough District Council. The Nelson urban area has a population of 50,800, making it New Zealand’s 15th most populous urban area. Nelson is well known for its thriving local arts and crafts scene; each year, the city hosts events popular with locals and tourists alike, such as the Nelson Arts Festival. The annual Wearable Art Awards began near Nelson and a local museum, World of WearableArt now showcases winning designs alongside a collection of classic cars.   read more…

Fiordland National Park in New Zealand

17 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  5 minutes

Milford Sound © Bernard Spragg. NZ

Milford Sound © Bernard Spragg. NZ

Fiordland National Park occupies the southwest corner of the South Island of New Zealand. It is by far the largest of the 13 national parks in New Zealand, with an area of 12,607 square kilometres (4,868 sq mi), and a major part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site. The park is administered by the Department of Conservation.   read more…

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