New Zealand, South Island - ECO South Africa Sport and Travel

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New Zealand, South Island

New Zealand South Island

New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island) and numerous smaller islands, most notably Stewart Island/Rakiura and the Chatham Islands. The indigenous Māori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa, commonly translated as land of the long white cloud. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau; the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing but in free association); and the Ross Dependency, New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica.

Christchurch is the second largest city in New Zealand and has a thriving business centre, some of the best air and sea links for international trade, world class leisure and sporting facilities, a lively arts and entertainment scene, boutique shopping and easy access to beaches and mountains.  Residents and visitors love the city's vibrant nightlife, award-winning restaurants and cafes, fashion precincts, heritage architecture and of course its gardens and wide open spaces for which the city is internationally renowned.

The sheer physical beauty of dramatic bush-covered hills and valley at the head of a long natural harbour, attracted Maori settlers to the site over four centuries ago.  Then, in 1848, Scottish migrants established a town here, giving it the ancient name of Edinburgh.  Thirteen years later gold was discovered about 120 kilometres inland, in central Otago, and the small settlement of Dunedin become the centre for the nation’s wealth.  Soaring cathedral spires, a magnificent Flemish-style railway station, fine banks and office blocks, a nineteenth-century castle, old university building and a neo-gothic convent are among the city’s architectural treasures.

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