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A – Z Challenge


Z is for Zealandia

Zealandia is a wildlife sanctuary in Wellington—an inland island where endangered native species are kept safe from predators in the hope of increasing dwindling populations. The 225 hectare site includes two dams that used to supply the city of Wellington with water....

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Y is for Yachts

New Zealanders love their boats, and particularly those who live in Auckland, which is also known as the City of Sails. There are several marinas around the city, and we have some excellent boat builders who are based here. They make huge super yachts for wealthy...

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X is for Xmas Tree

Xmas falls during summer for those of us down this end of the world. In late November through December, our native pohutukawa trees bloom. When early missionaries visited New Zealand and saw the trees with their scarlet flowers, they dubbed them New Zealand’s...

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W is for Waiheke Island

Waiheke is one of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf and is a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. Waiheke is a great place to visit during a weekend or for a day trip. You can visit vineyards, check out the different arts and crafts available, go swimming or...

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V is for Volcano

A volcano is a mountain or hill with a crater or vent, which spews out lava, gas and rock fragments from the earth’s crust. Volcanoes can be extinct (will never erupt again), dormant (might erupt again) or active (busy erupting). New Zealand has many volcanoes. In...

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U is for Utu

Utu is a Maori word. If asked, I would have defined utu as revenge for wrong doings. I’m sort of right, but when I double-checked the definition, I discovered it means much more. According the the NZ History site, utu is maintaining the balance and harmony within...

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T is for Taniwha

I was brought up hearing tales from Maori mythology. Everyone in New Zealand knows of Maui who fished our country from the sea. One particular beast from the legends has always fascinated me, and that’s the taniwha. The taniwha (pronounced tan-e-fa) is a Maori...

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S is for Sky Tower

Sky Tower is an Auckland icon, and the tower can be seen from all over the city. Here are a few facts: 1. The tower is a telecommunications and observation tower. 2. At 1076 feet (328 meters) it’s the tallest free-standing building in the Southern Hemisphere. 3. There...

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R is for Rugby

Rugby season is in full swing in New Zealand, and I couldn’t be happier. Some call it our national sport. I call it inspiration since big, burly rugby players make great romance heroes. Our All Blacks are the current world champions. Women play rugby these days, and...

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