New Zealand is half a world away from Europe but has a very similar climate (with more
hot springs and mainly extinct volcanos). It is very much a green and pleasant land. I
did the usual whistle stop tour of one week on each island and of course, would like to
have seen more.
Aotearoa (often translated as "land of the long white cloud") is the current Maori name
for New Zealand, and is also used in New Zealand English. The Maori people inhabited the
islands from about 1250 with the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman and his crew finding them in
1642. Europeans did not revisit New Zealand until 1769 when British explorer James Cook
mapped almost the entire coastline. New Zealand became a separate colony of the British
Crown in 1841. Now the European and Maori cultures seem to co-exist.