Big and interesting cities of New Zealand

Wellington is the largest urban area and the most populous national capital in Oceania. The major centers of the arts, culture, sports and the film industry. The amazing places in Auckland metropolitan area, Queenstown, Nelson and Hamilton cities.

Рубрика География и экономическая география
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Big and interesting cities of New Zealand


Wellington is the capital of New Zealand, the country's second largest urban area and the most populous national capital in Oceania. It is in the Wellington region at the southern tip of the North Island, near the geographical center of the country.

Like many cities, Wellington's urban area extends well beyond the boundaries of a single local authority. Greater Wellington or the Wellington Region means the entire urban area, plus the rural parts of the cities and the Kapiti Coast, and across the Rimutaka Range to the Wairarapa.

Wellington was named in honor of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and victor at the Battle of Waterloo. The Duke's title comes from the town of Wellington in the English county of Somerset. Wellington is New Zealand's political center, housing Parliament and the head offices of all government ministries and departments.

Wellington's compact city center supports an arts scene, cafe, culture and nightlife much larger than most cities of a similar size. It is a center of New Zealand's film and theatre industry. Te Papa Tongarewa (the Museum of New Zealand), the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the biennial International Festival of the Arts are all sited there.

Wellington has the 12th best quality of living in the world, according to a 2006 study by consulting company Mercer. Of cities with English as the primary language, Wellington ranked fourth.

In 1865 Wellington became the capital of New Zealand, replacing Auckland, where William Hobson had established his capital in 1841. Parliament first sat in Wellington on 7 July 1862, but the city did not become the official capital for some time. In November 1863 the Premier Alfred Domett moved a resolution before Parliament (in Auckland) that "... it has become necessary that the seat of government... should be transferred to some suitable locality in Cook Strait". Apparently there was concern that the southern regions, where the gold fields were located, would form a separate colony. Commissioners from Australia pronounced the opinion that Wellington was suitable because of its harbor and central location. Parliament officially sat in Wellington for the first time on 26 July 1865. The population of Wellington was then 4,900.

Wellington is the seat of New Zealand's highest court, the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The historic former High Court building is to be refurbished for the court's use.

Wellington stands at the south-western tip of the North Island on Cook Strait, the passage that separates the North and South Islands. On a clear day the snowcapped Kaikoura Ranges are visible to the south across the strait. To the north stretch the golden beaches of the Kapiti Coast. On the east the Rimutaka Range divides Wellington from the broad plains of the Wairarapa, a wine region of national acclaim.

Wellington Harbor has three islands: Matiu/Somes Island, Makaro/Ward Island and Mokopuna. Only Matiu/Somes Island is large enough for settlement. It has been used as a quarantine station for people and animals and as an internment camp during the First and Second World Wars. It is now a conservation island, providing refuge for endangered species, much like Kapiti Island further up the coast. There is access during daylight hours by the Dominion Post Ferry.

The population of Wellington, including the outlying areas, is approaching 400,000. In the 2001 census, 18.5 percent of people were under 15, compared with 22.7 percent for New Zealand. About 8.6 percent of people were aged 65 and over, compared with 12.1 percent for New Zealand. 85.6 percent of people in Wellington city said they are of European ethnic origin. Around 4.1 percent are Mвori, with the remainder being of Pacific Islander, Asian or other ethnicity.

Wellington is the arts and culture capital of New Zealand, and is the center of the nation's film industry. Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, and a growing team of creative professionals have managed to turn the eastern suburb of Miramar into one of the world's finest film-making infrastructures. Directors like Jane Campion and Vincent Ward have managed to reach the world's screens with their independent spirit. Emerging Kiwi film-makers, like Taika Waititi, Charlie Bleakley, Costa Botes and Jennifer Bush-Daumec, are extending the Wellington-based lineage and cinematic scope.

Wellington is home to Te Papa Tongarewa (the Museum of New Zealand), The Museum of Wellington City and Sea, The Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Museum, Colonial Cottage, The New Zealand Cricket Museum, The Cable Car Museum, The Reserve Bank Museum, the national opera company, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, City Gallery, Chamber Music New Zealand, Royal New Zealand Ballet, St James' Theatre, Downstage Theatre, Bats Theatre and Arts Foundation of New Zealand.

As a capital city, Wellington is home to diplomatic missions with cultural officers ready to interface with these aspects of the City's life. In the early part of the 21st century, Wellington has confirmed its place as a vibrant center of arts, culture, and creativity in the South Pacific.


The Auckland metropolitan area or Greater Auckland, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with over 1.3 million residents, 31 percent of the country's population. Demographic trends indicate that it will continue to grow faster than the rest of the country. Increasingly cosmopolitan, Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world.

It is a conurbation, made up of Auckland City (excluding the Hauraki Gulf islands), North Shore City, and the urban parts of Waitakere and Manukau cities, along with Papakura District and some nearby urban parts of Rodney and Franklin Districts. In Mвori its name is Tвmaki-makau-rau, or the transliterated version of Auckland, Вkarana.

Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the few cities in the world to have harbors on two separate major bodies of water.

Early Mвori and Europeans

The isthmus was first settled around 1350 and was valued for its rich and fertile land. Many (fortified villages) were created, mainly on the volcanic peaks. Mвori population in the area is estimated at about 20,000 people before the arrival of Europeans. The subsequent introduction of firearms, which began in Northland, upset the balance of power and led to devastating inter-tribal warfare, causing iwi who lacked the new weapons to seek refuge in areas less exposed to coastal raids. As a result, the region had relatively low numbers of Mвori when European settlement of New Zealand began. There is, however, nothing to suggest that this was the result of a deliberate European policy. On 27 January 1832, Joseph Brooks Weller, eldest of the Weller brothers of Otago and Sydney bought land including the sites of the modern cities of Auckland and North Shore and part of Rodney District, for "one large cask of powder" from "Cohi Rangatira".

After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840, the new Governor of New Zealand, William Hobson, chose the area as his new capital, and named it after the George Eden, Earl of Auckland, then Viceroy of India. However, even in 1840 Port Nicholson (later Wellington) was seen as a better choice for an administrative capital because of its proximity to the South Island, which was being settled much more rapidly. At the same time, Auckland was the capital and principal city of the Auckland Province, remaining so until the provincial system was abolished in 1876. Immigration to the new city remained strong, however, even after it lost its status as national capital in 1865.

Growth up to today

Becoming a base against the Mвori King Movement in the early 1860s and continued road building towards the south into the Waikato enabled Pвkehв (European New Zealanders) influence to spread from Auckland. Its population also grew fairly rapidly, from 1,500 in 1841 to 12,423 by 1864. The growth occurred similarly to other mercantile-dominated cities, mainly around the port and with problems of overcrowding and pollution.

Trams and railway lines shaped Auckland's rapid expansion in the early first half of the 20th century, but soon afterward the dominance of the motor vehicle emerged and has not abated since; arterial roads and motorways have become both defining and geographically dividing features of the urban landscape. They also allowed further massive expansion that resulted in the growth of associated urban areas like the North Shore (especially after the construction of the Auckland Harbor Bridge), and Manukau City in the south.

A large percentage of Auckland is still dominated by a very suburban style of building, giving the city a very low population density. Although it has no more than a sixth of the population of London, it sprawls over an area almost as large (over 1,000 km2), making some services like public transport costlier than in other, high-density, cities, but also allowing most Aucklanders to live in similar residential houses as the rest of New Zealand, though the section sizes are much smaller than in most of the rest of the country.


Auckland straddles the volcanoes of the Auckland Volcanic Field. The approximately 50 volcanic vents in the field take the form of cones, lakes, lagoons, islands and depressions, and several have produced extensive lava flows. Most of the cones have been partly or completely quarried away. The individual volcanoes are all considered extinct, although the volcanic field itself is merely dormant.

The most recent and by far the largest volcano, Rangitoto Island, was formed within the last 1000 years, and its eruptions destroyed the Mвori settlements on neighboring Motutapu Island some 700 years ago. Rangitoto's size, its symmetry, its position guarding the entrance to Waitemata Harbor and its visibility from many parts of the Auckland region make it Auckland's most iconic natural feature. Few birds and insects inhabit the island because of the rich acidic soil and the type of flora growing out of the rocky soil.


Auckland has a warm-temperate climate, with warm, humid summers and mild, damp winters. It is the warmest main center of New Zealand and is also one of the sunniest, with an average of 2060 sunshine hours per annum. The average daily maximum temperature is 23.7 °C in February, and 14.5 °C in July, the absolute maximum recorded temperature is 30.5 °C, while the absolute minimum is -2.5. High levels of rainfall occur almost year-round with an average of 1240 mm per year spread over 137 'rain days'. Climatic conditions vary in different parts of the city owing to geography such as hills, land cover and distance from the sea, hence unofficial Auckland temperature records exist, such as a maximum of 32.4 °C in Henderson during February 1998. On 27 July 1939 Auckland received its only recorded snowfall.

The early morning calm on the isthmus during settled weather, before the sea breeze rises, was described as early as 1853: "In all seasons, the beauty of the day is in the early morning. At that time, generally, a solemn stillness holds, and a perfect calm prevails..." Many Aucklanders used this time of day to walk and run in parks.

Auckland is home to many cultures. The majority of inhabitants claim European - predominantly British - descent, but substantial Mвori, Pacific Islander and Asian communities exist as well. Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world and a higher proportion of people of Asian origin than the rest of New Zealand. Ethnic groups from all corners of the world have a presence in Auckland, making it by far the country's most cosmopolitan city.

Positive aspects of Auckland life are its mild climate, plentiful employment and educational opportunities, as well as numerous leisure facilities. Meanwhile, traffic problems (compared to other New Zealand cities), the lack of good public transport, and increasing housing costs have been cited by many Aucklanders as among the strongest negative factors of living there, together with crime. Nonetheless, Auckland currently ranks 5th in a survey of the quality of life of 218 major cities of the world (2008 data, rank unchanged since 2006). In 2006, Auckland placed 23rd on the UBS list of the world's richest cities.

Auckland is popularly known as the "City of Sails" because the harbor is often dotted with hundreds of yachts and has more per capita than any other city in the world, with around 135,000 yachts and launches estimated. Around 60,500 of the country's 149,900 registered yachtsmen also come from the Auckland Region. Viaduct Basin also hosted two America's Cup challenges (2000 Cup and 2003 Cup), and its cafes, restaurants, and clubs add to Auckland's vibrant nightlife. With the sheltered Waitemata Harbour at its doorstep, Auckland sees many nautical events, and there are also a large number of sailing clubs in Auckland, as well as Westhaven Marina, the largest of the Southern Hemisphere.

High Street, Queen Street, Ponsonby Road, and Karangahape Road are also very popular with urban socialites. Newmarket and Parnell are up-market shopping areas, while Otara's and Avondale's famous fleamarkets offer a colourful alternative shopping experience. Newer shopping center-type developments in the Auckland area tend to be outside of the older city centers, with Sylvia Park (Sylvia Park, Auckland City), Botany Town Center (Howick, Manukau City) and Westfield Albany (Albany, North Shore City) being the three largest.

The Auckland Town Hall and Aotea Center host conferences and cultural events such as theatre, kapa haka, and opera. Auckland also boasts a full time professional symphonic ensemble in the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Many national treasures are displayed at the Auckland Art Gallery, such as the work of Colin McCahon., while many other significant cultural artefacts reside at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the National Maritime Museum, or the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). Exotic creatures can be observed at the Auckland Zoo and Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World. Movies and rock concerts (notably, the "Big Day Out") are also well patronized.


Queenstown is a resort town in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island. It is built around an inlet on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin lake shaped like a staggered lightning bolt, and has spectacular views of nearby mountains.

There are various apocryphal accounts of how the town was named, the most popular suggesting that a local gold digger exclaimed that the town was "fit for Queen Victoria". It is now known for its commerce-oriented tourism, especially adventure and ski tourism. It is popular with young international and New Zealand travelers alike.

The town is the largest center in Central Otago, and the third largest in Otago, but for a few administrative purposes (such as primary healthcare) it is administered as part of Southland. According to the 2006 census, the usually resident population of the Queenstown urban area (including Frankton and Kelvin Heights) is 10422, an increase of 22.1 % since 2001.

Its neighboring towns and districts include Arrowtown, Wanaka, Alexandra, and Cromwell. The nearest cities are Dunedin and Invercargill.

The Queenstown-Lakes District has a land area of 8,704.97 kmІ (3,361.01 sq mi) not counting its inland lakes (Lake Hawea, Lake Wakatipu, and Lake Wanaka). It had a 2006 census population of 22,956 usual residents.

A resort town, Queenstown is a center for adventure tourism. Skiing, jet boating, bangy jumping, mountain biking, tramping and fly fishing are all strong promotional themes.

Queenstown is a major center for snow sports in New Zealand, with people from all over the country and many parts of the world travelling to ski at the four main mountain skifields (Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Cone).

In recent years Queenstown's hostels have become a popular destination for young Australian and American tourists. Queenstown provides adventure tourism during the day and a vibrant nightlife scene during the evenings.

Locally, Queenstown has a reputation as one of New Zealand's wine and cuisine centers. Neighboring, historic Arrowtown features excellent restaurants and bars, and Queenstown lies close to the center of a small wine producing region, reputed to be the world's southernmost. Pinot noir produced in this area fetches premium prices.

Queenstown also has a reputation for being the Adventure Capital of the World.

Queenstown Airport has scheduled flights to Auckland, Christchurch and Sydney year-round and Wellington, Melbourne and Brisbane seasonally.

Queenstown and the surrounding area contain many locations used in the filming of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.


· Lake Wakatipu - TSS Earnslaw.

· Adventure Tourism, jetboats, bungy jump, skiing, river surfing, canyon swing, sky diving, mountain biking, paragliding.

· A round of golf at Millbrook Resort - 150-year-old wheat farm, now a luxury resort.

· Cricket (new One Day International venue) and Golf.

· Queenstown Airport at Frankton.

· Skyline Gondola and luge.

· Winter festival.

· Goldmining, Arrowtown, Central Otago history, sheep farming and Walter Peak station.

· Southern Lakes District & Milford Sound/Homer Tunnel.

· Glenorchy & Routeburn track.

Queenstown Airport was upgraded in the 1990s to handle jet aircraft, including international flights from Australia. Due to sustained heavy growth, further terminal expansion was undertaken in 2005 and 2006, with more construction currently ongoing. The airport is serviced by regular domestic services from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Air New Zealand and Qantas also operate regular international services from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, the frequency being much increased over the ski season. Queenstown airport is New Zealand's busiest helicopter base, and is also heavily utilized for tourist 'flightseeing', especially to Milford Sound and Mount Cook, using both fixed and rotary wing aircraft.


Christchurch (Mвori: Фtautahi) is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the country's second-largest urban area. It is midway down the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula which itself, since 2006, lies within the formal limits of Christchurch.

The city was named by the Canterbury Association, which settled the surrounding province of Canterbury. The name of Christchurch was agreed on at the first meeting of the association on 27 March 1848. It was suggested by John Robert Godley, who had attended Christ Church, Oxford. Some early writers called the town Christ Church, but it was recorded as Christchurch in the minutes of the management committee of the association.

The river which flows through the center of the city (its banks now largely forming an urban park) was named Avon at the request of the pioneering Deans brothers to commemorate the Scottish Avon, which rises in the Ayrshire hills near what was their grandfathers' farm and flows into the Clyde.

The usual Mвori name for Christchurch is Фtautahi ("the place of Tautahi"). This was originally the name of a specific site by the Avon River near present-day Kilmore Street and the Christchurch Central Fire Station. The site was a seasonal dwelling of Ngвi Tahu chief Te Potiki Tautahi, whose main home was Port Levy on Banks Peninsula. The Фtautahi name was adopted in the 1930s. Prior to that the Ngвi Tahu generally referred to the Christchurch area as Karaitiana.

Christchurch lies in Canterbury, near the center of the east coast of the South Island, east of the Canterbury Plains. It is located near the southern end of Pegasus Bay, and is bounded to the east by the Pacific Ocean coast and the estuary of the Avon as well as the Heathcote River. To the south and south-east the urban portion of the city is limited by the volcanic slopes of the Port Hills separating it from the Banks Peninsula. As of 2006, the Banks Peninsula was incorporated into the city, in effect tripling the city's land area while adding only about 8,000 people to the city's population. To the north the city is bounded by the braided Waimakariri River. wellington auckland queenstown hamilton

Central City. At the center of the city is Cathedral Square, surrounding the Anglican cathedral, Christ Church. The area around this square and within the four avenues of Christchurch (Bealey Avenue, Fitzgerald Avenue, Moorhouse Avenue and Deans Avenue) is considered the CBD of the city. The central city also has a number of residential areas, including Inner City East, Inner City West, Avon Loop, Moa & Victoria.

Cathedral Square is a popular destination and hosts attractions such as the speakers' corner made famous by the Wizard of New Zealand, Ian Brackenbury Channell, and evangelist, Ray Comfort. The central city includes the pedestrianised Cashel Street as Christchurch's urban mall. At one end of the mall stands the Bridge of Remembrance; at the other end the amphitheater known as the Hack Circle.

The area administered by the Christchurch City Council has a population of 368,900 (June 2008 estimate), making it the second-largest in New Zealand, and the largest city in the South Island. The Christchurch urban area is the second-largest in the country by population, after Auckland.

The large number of public parks and well-developed residential gardens with many trees has given Christchurch the name of The Garden City. Hagley Park and the 30-hectare (75 acre) Christchurch Botanic Gardens, founded in 1863, are in the central city, with Hagley Park being a site for sports such as golf, cricket, netball, and rugby, and for open air concerts by local bands and orchestras.

Visitor attractions are Canterbury Museum, Air Force Museum, International Antarctic Center, Christ Church (the Anglican cathedral), the center of the Church of England settlement was built between 1864 and 1910, the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, consecrated in 1905, is widely considered to be the finest renaissance-style building in Australasia, The Provincial Council Chambers, 1857-1865. Also you can admire the Timeball Station in Lyttelton, the New Brighton pier, punting on the river Avon, Orana Wildlife Park, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve and Southern Encounter Aquarium and Kiwi House.

The Westpac Arena is New Zealand's second largest permanent multipurpose arena, seating between 5000 and 8000, depending on configuration. It is home of the Canterbury Rams basketball team, and Canterbury Tactix netball side. It was the venue for the 1999 World Netball championships and has been host to many concerts in recent years.

The Christchurch Town Hall Auditorium (2500 seats, opened 1972) was the first major auditorium design by architects Warren and Mahoney and acousticians Marshall Day. It is still recognised as a model example of concert-hall design. It has an excellent modern pipe organ.

Christchurch also has a Casino,] and there are also a wide range of live music venues - some short-lived, others with decades of history. Classical music concerts are held at the Music Center, Christchurch, New Zealand.


The city of Nelson is close to the center of New Zealand. It lies at the shore of Tasman Bay, at the northern end of the South Island, and is the administrative center of the Nelson region.

Nelson is a center for arts and crafts, and each year hosts popular events such as the Nelson Arts Festival. The annual Wearable Art Awards began near Nelson and a museum, World of Wearable Art, is now housed close to Airport showcasing winning designs.

Brightwater, near Nelson is the birthplace of Lord Rutherford, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist whose image appears on New Zealand's $100 banknote, the largest denomination in circulation in New Zealand.

Nelson received its name in honor of the Admiral Horatio Nelson who defeated both the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Many of the roads and public areas around the city are named after people and ships associated with that battle and Trafalgar Street is the main shopping axis of the city. Inhabitants of Nelson are referred to as Nelsonians.

Nelson's Mвori name, Whakatы, means "build", "raise", or "establish".

Nelson is surrounded by mountains on three sides with Tasman Bay on the other and the region is the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park, Kahurangi National Park, Lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa in the Nelson Lakes National Park. It is a center for both ecotourism and adventure tourism and has a high reputation among caving enthusiasts due to several prominent cave systems around Takaka Hill and Mounts Owen and Arthur, which hold the largest and deepest explored caverns in the southern hemisphere.

As the major regional center, the city offers many lodgings, restaurants, and unique speciality shopping such as at the Goldsmiths where "The One Ring" in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy was designed.

· Nelson has a vibrant local music and arts scene and is known nationwide for its culturally idiosyncratic craftsmen and women. These include Potters, Glass Blowers (such as Flamedaisy Glass Design and Hцglund Art Glass Studio & Gallery), Fibre Spectrum Handweavers & Fibre Artists' Studio [13] and dozens of Wood carvers using native New Zealand Southern beech and exotic macrocarpa.

· Nelson is a popular visitor destination and year-round attracts both New Zealanders and international tourists.

· The Saturday Nelson Market is well known and you can buy direct from local artists.

· Art organizations include the Suter Gallery and Nelson Arts Festival.

The first rugby match in New Zealand took place at the Botanic Reserve in Nelson on May 14, 1870, between the Nelson Football Club and Nelson College, and an informative commemorative plaque was renovated at the western edge of the grassed area by Nelson City Council in 2006. Festivals.

Music lovers may attend the biennial Nelson School of Music Winter Music Festival, the Adam New Zealand Festival of Chamber Music and the annual Jazz Festival.

The Taste Nelson festival at Founders Park highlights this region's gastronomy, the Festival of Possibilities features well-being and wonderment, while the Suter International Film Festival screens 20 non-Hollywood films in late May to June every year.

The Nelson Kite Festival takes advantage of the reliable sea breezes that blow inland from Tasman Bay across Neale Park each afternoon with kite lovers arriving from around New Zealand and from overseas.

Unlike many towns and cities in New Zealand, Nelson has retained many Victorian buildings in its historic center and a whole street has been designated as having heritage value.


Hamilton (Kirikiriroa in Mвori) is the center of New Zealand's fourth largest urban area, and is the country's seventh largest city. Hamilton is in the Waikato region of the North Island, approximately 130 km (80 mi) south of Auckland. It sits at a major road and rail nexus in the center of the Waikato basin, on both banks of the Waikato River.

Hamilton Gardens is the region's most popular tourist attraction and hosts the Hamilton Gardens Summer Festival each year.

Other local attractions include Hamilton Zoo, the Waikato Museum, the Arts Post art gallery, and the SkyCity casino. Just 20 minutes' drive away is Ngaruawahia, the location of Turangawaewae Marae and the home of Mвori King Tuheitia Paki.

Hamilton has 6 public libraries located throughout the city with the Central Library housing the main reference & heritage collection.

Hamilton City Theaters provides professional venue and event management at three theatrical venues in the city: Founders Theater, Clarence St Theater, and The Meteor theater.

The Hamilton New Zealand Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is located in Temple View, Hamilton. It was opened along with the Church College of New Zealand, a large high school owned by the church, in the late 1950s. Both the college and the temple were built by labor missionaries. Every year, the Temple hosts a large Christmas lighting show which attracts large crowds from all over the country.

Hamilton host a number of annual events that are centered around the Waikato River which flows through the city. These events include The Great Race (rowing), and The Bridge To Bridge Ski Race.

Events usually held in the city:

· January: Parachute music festival.

· February: Hamilton Gardens Summer Festival.

· April: Hamilton 400, V8 Supercars street race.

· April: Balloons over Waikato hot air ballooning festival.

· June: National Agricultural Fieldays.

· August World Rally Championship.

· September: Hamilton Underground Film Festival.

· November: The Great Race (rowing).

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