New Zealand...Experience its ethereal, glacier-studded peaks, it's unending valleys, and stunning coasts.
New Zealand, which lies off the southeast coast of Australia, across the Tasman Sea, consists of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, and has some of the most spectacular scenery to be found anywhere in the world. From lush, fertile pastures to magnificent mountain ranges that seem to emerge from the sea and remain snow capped even through the height of summer, New Zealand is also the home of the most pristine primeval forests of native conifers and broad leafed trees. There are long stretches of golden sandy beaches and also places where waves batter relentlessly against towering cliffs. The South Island is renowned for its mountain ranges and beautiful fjords, while the North Island has its beautiful Bay of Islands and the boiling mud, hot springs and geysers of Rotorua. Because New Zealand has been isolated from the rest of the world's land mass for some 70 million years, there are some plants and animals that exist here but nowhere else on earth. One notable member of this illustrious and unique group is a small flightless bird with long beak called a kiwi. New Zealanders have taken this funny little bird to their hearts and colloquially refer to themselves as "Kiwis."