RacingThePlanet: New Zealand, the 11th edition of the RacingThePlanet Ultramarathon, will take place on the South Island of New Zealand. The host town, Queenstown, is perhaps one of the world’s foremost adventure capitals.
The South Island, with an area of 58,084 square miles is the largest land mass of New Zealand; it contains about one quarter of the New Zealand population and is the world's 12th-largest island. It is divided along its length by the Southern Alps, the highest peak of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook at 3754 metres (12,316 ft), with the high Kaikoura Ranges to the northeast. There are eighteen peaks of more than 3000 metres (9800 ft) in the South Island. The east side of the island is home to the Canterbury Plains while the West Coast is famous for its rough coastlines such as Fiordland, very high proportion of native bush, and Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. The dramatic landscape of the South Island has made it a popular location for the production of several films, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The host town, Queenstown, New Zealand, sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, set against the dramatic Southern Alps. Renowned for adventure sports, it’s also a base for exploring the region’s vineyards and historic mining towns.
The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the smaller but more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, and to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean. The South Island covers 150,437 square kilometres (58,084 sq mi), making it the world's 12th-largest island. It has a temperate climate.
It has a 32 percent larger landmass than the North Island of New Zealand so is sometimes referred to as the "mainland" of New Zealand, especially by South Island residents, but only 23 percent of New Zealand's 4.8 million inhabitants live there. In the early stages of European settlement of the country, the South Island had the majority of the European population and wealth due to the 1860s gold rushes.
Besides the stunning scenery and wilderness, the South Island is known for its unpredictable weather.
While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10°C (14°F) in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures.
The average New Zealand temperature decreases as you travel south. January and February are the warmest months, and July is the coldest month of the year.
RacingThePlanet: New Zealand takes place at the end of summer (early March). Below are the expected weather conditions for the course area.
A Multi-Cultural Society. New Zealanders (also called Kiwis) are friendly, welcoming and enjoy meeting people from other cultures. The Māori, New Zealand's first settlers, make up around 15% of the population but there are lots of different ethnic communities living in New Zealand.
Māori culture is the culture of the Māori of New Zealand (an Eastern Polynesian people) and forms a distinctive part of New Zealand culture. ... The Māori believed that the gods created and communicated through the master craftsmen. Carving has been a tapu art, subject to the rules and laws of tapu.
The Maori have a rich culture, steeped in tradition and legend. Legend is passed down through the generations by story telling - stories that tell of the creation of the islands of New Zealand and much more.
Maraes, (communal "plaza" areas where the Maori people meet), provide a focus for social, cultural and spiritual life within the Maori community. The Marae includes a wharenui (meeting house) and wharekai (dining room).
Maori people define themselves by their tribe, or iwi. Family is very important within the Maori culture, and encompasses immediate family, in-laws and all those connected by blood ties.
Dance for the Maori people is a very important part of their culture. Kapa haka (Maori performance art), incorporates singing, dancing and facial expressions. Each action within the dance has a meaning, tying it to the words. The traditional Maori war dance, known as the haka, is performed by the All Blacks (our National Rugby Team), before each game.
Around six percent of the population affiliated with non-Christian religions, with Hinduism being the largest at over two percent, while 42 percent of New Zealanders stated they had no religion in the most recent census and 4 percent made no declaration.
This culture was brought by the British settlers who colonized New Zealand in the 19th century. Before 1815, Pakeha is a term used to define white people. It is referred to the people who came from England and settled in the country. Later on, the term is used to define fair-skinned person who was born in New Zealand. It was later on that the term Pakeha was applied to all fair-skinned people in the country. This will include anybody with Anglo-celtic origin such as England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and even Americans. Although somewhat related to the British culture, the Pakeha they have a distinct differences. While the British culture includes higher form equality, the Pakeha culture is a sub-culture that is derived from the Irish, Italian and other European groups and non-ethnic subcultures.
New Zealand has three official languages: New Zealand English, Te Reo Māori (the Māori language), and New Zealand Sign Language. In practice only English is widely used although major efforts have been made in recent years to nurture Te Reo. Numerous other languages are spoken in New Zealand due to its high racial diversity as a country.