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Introduction to New Zealand
Among its incredibly varied landscapes you will find lofty snow-capped mountains, miles of unspoiled coastline, rocky headlands, picturesque lakes, fast flowing rivers, rolling farmlands, steaming geothermal fields and lunar-like volcanic deserts. New Zealand is a geographers’ paradise where your students can explore a host of subject areas such as cold environments, plate tectonics, energy issues, natural hazard management, biodiversity threats, river and coastal environments. And for those moments in between studies, your students can enjoy an array of exciting activities.
When the Maori first set eyes on the islands, about 1000 years ago, they called them Aotearoa – “the land of the long white cloud”. Maori culture and legends are still revered and visitors can join in traditional events, listen to song and dance and learn about the history through innovative attractions such as Te Papa, the national museum. The arrival in the nineteenth century of European whalers, gold miners, farmers and fortune seekers led to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, between the British and the Maori chiefs, and a modern multi-racial nation was founded.