The South Island was recognized by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1642. British captain James Cook explored the coastline of the country in the 1700s.
New Zealand became fully independent from Britain in 1947.
The country’s culture is the Western culture influenced by its environment and isolation. Immigration from other areas—Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe—has also made a mark, and culture today reflects these many influences.
The crops grown in the country include cereals, pears, lentils, brassicas, forage and vegetables.
The most popular dishes are seafood, fish and chips, tasty pie, roast lamb, barbeque, lollies and Maori hangi.
Common wildlife animals found here include birds, reptiles, frogs, marine mammals, freshwater fish, marine water fish and bats.
Annual events/ celebrations/ festivals
The events conducted in the country include the Anzac Day, Waitangi Day, Hamilton Sevens, Labor Day, Royal Visit of 1953 to 1954, Empire Day, Christmas Day and Rhythm and Alps.
Things to see
Milford Sound/ Piopiotahi is a fiord in the southwest of South Island.
Aoraki/ Mount Cook is the highest mountain in the country with a height of 3,724 m.
Abel Tasman National Park is a reserve situated at the northern side of South Island of New Zealand.
Other must-visit places are Sky Tower, Lake Tekapo and Waitomo Glowworm Caves.
New Zealand along with Mongolia has the highest number of sheep per capita.
It is home to one of the best rugby team in the world.
It is the first country in the world to receive sunlight every day.
The country was the first country in the world to grant women voting rights.
Edmund Hillary a New Zealander was the first in the climb to the peak of Mount Everest.
It lies 2,000 km southeast of Australia and the closest neighbours are New Caledonia, Tonga and Fiji.