New Zealand has two main islands – the North and South Islands – and many small islands.
Māori are the tangata whenua ("people of the land") or indigenous people of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and arrived by sea in several "waves" of migration about 1,000 years ago.
Europeans did not rediscover New Zealand until 1769, when the British naval captain James Cook and his crew on the Endeavour laid claim to the territory.
In a landscape spanning white to black sand beaches, mountains, forests, rivers and lakes, and volcanic marvels, New Zealand's scenery leaves nothing to the imagination. Almost one-third of the land has been set aside in national parks, reserves and heritage sites to preserve the country’s ecological heritage.