New Zealand is comprised of two main islands, and several smaller islands. Long geographic isolation, along with its varied terrain, resulted in unique flora and fauna, many tracing back hundreds of millions of years to Gondwana.
Permanent settlement of the islands dates back to only c. 1250 CE, Unfortunately, the fauna of the islands have suffered a very high extinction rate due to the influence of humans.
The landscape of New Zealand is as varied as it is dramatic, with huge mountains on the south island, fjords and volcanoes on the north island, and incredible forests and coastlines. New Zealand consistently ranks near the top in quality-of-life and human-development indexes.