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Combat Wintertime Blues With A Vacation To Fiji New Zealand And Australia
What better time of year to cruise and tour the island countries of Fiji and New Zealand along with their neighbor Australia than when the majority of the Northern Hemisphere is thrust into the depths of winter. If you want to escape the cold, snow, and ice, the land down under is the perfect destination in which to thaw out and embrace the sun during the winter months.
Fiji has some of the most stunning beaches in the world. They also feature an ocean filled with soft coral so SCUBA diving and snorkeling are favorite activities, along with kayaking and surfing. Golf courses and shopping opportunities are also abundant on the larger islands.
There are over 300 islands forming the archipelago of Fiji, with over 100 of those inhabited. The islands were formed by volcanic activity many thousands of years ago. The Fiji islands became a British colony in the 19th century and gained independence in 1970. The islands experienced multiple coups over the years, including recent history, and today they are collectively known as the Republic of the Fiji Islands. Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are the largest and most inhabited islands.
Known as a tropical paradise, the Fiji islands maintain a fairly constant temperature which varies slightly from island to island. Fiji is rich in traditional culture that is gradually becoming more multicultural in focus with influences from Tonga, Samoa, Europe and China. The international airport in Nadi receives flights from all over the world, brining in roughly 500,000 tourists annually, which is a major source of revenue for Fiji. Suva is the capital of Fiji, a harbor city located on a peninsula, which features a museum with its many artifacts.
The rich culture of the Maori people, Polynesians who settled New Zealand in the 13th century, is pervasive throughout the island county situated remotely in the Pacific Ocean. The Maori are tribal people that embrace art and dance as part of their heritage. Today, people from various ethnicities make up New Zealand including other Polynesian people, Australians, Asians, and Americans.
Two main islands make up New Zealand along with several smaller islands. The southern island is highly mountainous with snow-covered peaks and deep fiords with their accompanying sheer cliffs, making it a very diverse country in topography and temperature.
The Queen of England is New Zealand's head of state, although upon the advice of New Zealand's Prime Minister, a Governor-General represents the Queen. Auckland is the largest city on New Zealand, followed by Wellington and Christchurch.
New Zealand boasts a great deal of biodiversity, due largely to their isolation from other landmasses. They have a particularly large variation of birds, including the endemic kiwi. There are also many indigenous reptiles, insects, and flora. A cruise is one of the best ways to visit New Zealand, as there is much to see along these long, beautiful, narrow islands.
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