Country of the Week: New Zealand

From the enthralling natural landscapes and some of the world’s best hiking destination to the fascinating Maori culture and culinary scene, New Zealand is truly a place worthy of being discovered and explored. While we know that animals (many of which certain specifies can only be found here) outnumber humans, and that its Maori name means The Land of the Long White Cloud, this country’s facts and trivia are equally important and interesting as well. Here are bits of information that will help you plans your New Zealand adventure.
Other title(s): Aotearoa, Dominion of New Zealand, Land of the Long White Cloud
Continent: Oceania
Capital: Wellington
Most populous city: Auckland
Current political leader: "British Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General: Dame Patsy Reddy Prime Minister: Jacinda Ardern"
Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZ$)
Language(s): English, Maori, New Zealand Sign Language
Major Religion(s): Christian (primarily Catholic)
National Costume: fringed skirts woven from flak, capes and cloaks made from a variety of vegetation, natural fibers, as well as animal skin
Famous landmarks: Milford Sound, Mountain Cook, Waitomo, Fiordland National Park, Hobbiton Movie Set, Sky Tower, Lake Wanaka, Auckland Harbour Bridge, One Tree Hill, Queen Street
National Symbol: Flower: Silver fern; Bird: Kiwi, Coat of arms: Shield with four quarters (upper left with stars symbolizing the southern cross; upper right with a fleece representing the farming industry; lower left with wheat for agricultural representation; and last is tribute to the mining industry through crossed hammers), sea trade is symbolized by the three ships; two supporters (Maori chieftain and a European woman); and St. Edward's crown that symbolize the Queen
Movies filmed in New Zealand: King Kong, Lovely Bones, The Lord of the Rings, Wolverine, The Hobbit, Mauri, The Last Samurai, Vertical Limit, Black Sheep, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Without a Paddle, Mission Impossible 6, Avatar
Famous people: Lorde, Russel Crowe, Peter Jackson, Keith Urban, Lucy Lawless, Taika Waititi
Climate: In New Zealand, its climate is of mild temperatures with a moderate chance of rainfall. Otherwise, it's sunshine and warm weather all around. Due to its position in the Southern Hemisphere, temperatures start to lower the farther south you go. Southern isles can turn as cold as -10 C during the winter.
Popular festivals: Kāwhia Kai Festival, Te Ra o Waitangi, International Kai Festival, Hokitika Wildfoods Festival, Motueka Kai Fest, Matariki, The World of Wearable Arts, Quenstown Winter Festival, Speights Coast to Coast