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The Landscape

Taumatawhakata…say what?

One-third of New Zealand’s total land mass is protected by law. This includes 13 national parks, 3 World Heritage Sites and 34 marine reserves. The country is comprised of two main islands: North Island and South Island. Three-quarters of the population live on North Island where the country’s capital sits—Wellington is the southernmost capital city in the world. North Island is also home to the longest town name of any English-speaking country:

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipuka-kapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitnatahu

In case you have trouble pronouncing it, locals also call it Taumata. Isn’t that better?

South Island is 32% bigger than North Island, yet it is home to far fewer people. The rugged landscape of the South Island has made it a popular filming location for movies like Lord of the Rings and visitors can still visit Middle-Earth to this day. Known as Hobbiton, this former movie set remains one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions. Here you’ll find over 44 hobbit holes to admire, though only a few allow visitors to peek inside. 

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