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Lake Benmore (created by a massive earth dam, largest man-made lake in NZ)

16th February Update: F2S ceases the free hosting service, so this site joins with Bootstrike.Com at http://bootstrike.com for now. Please note that this website will not be updated anymore. This website was done as part of my school's project.

Rising in parts over three and a half kilometres above the Pacific Ocean, the two major islands that make up New Zealand describe a slender 1600km arc thrust up from the ocean floor by the collision of major tectonic plates and violent volcanic action. This lonely land, surrounded by only a few small islands and situated 2000km from the nearest major landmass, was one of the last to be settled by humans when the Moa-hunters arrived in the ninth century.

Its nearest large neighbour, Australia, lies about 1,600km away. This spectacular land has towering mountain ranges, large forests, rolling grasslands, and long, sandy beaches. On North Island there are several active volcanoes and many hot springs and geysers. Unique species of birds, reptiles, and plants have developed in New Zealand, cut off from the rest of the world by hundreds of miles of sea.

It is believed that the country was first settled between A.D. 1100 and 1400 by a people called the Maoris. They sailed here in large canoes from islands farther north, crossing vast distances of the Pacific Ocean. Europeans first visited New Zealand in 1642 and started to settle in the late 1700s. Between 1840 and 1907, this country was a British colony, and today most of its people are of British discent. To listen to a popular midi song, click here!

New Zealand is now an independent country, although the British monarch remains head of state. It has a high standard of living and a strong tradition of equality. In 1893, it became of first country in the world to give women the vote. A temperature climate and plentiful rainfall make New Zealand a good farming country. Although there is some industry, its economy is largely dependent on agriculture. The meat, wool, and dairy products produced by sheep and cattle raised on New Zealand's green pastures are exported all over the world.

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