New Zealand: The Country at the Edge of the World 紐西蘭：邊境之域
New Zealand is a country made up of two main islands (North Island and South Island) and many smaller islands. It is located about 2,000 kilometers southeast of Australia. Many people say that it is the most remote country in the world. The capital city of New Zealand is Wellington, although Auckland is its largest city. There are over four million people living in New Zealand. The majority of the population is of European descent, and other significant minority groups include Maori, Asian, and non-Maori Polynesian.
New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses on Earth to be settled by humans. Scientists believe that the Maori first arrived on the islands sometime between AD 1250 and 1300. The Maori people call New Zealand "Aotearoa," which means "land of the long white cloud." Because New Zealand is so far away from most other countries, about 80 percent of its plants and many of its birds and animals are endemic, which means they cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Some of New Zealand's unique native species include the giant weta, an insect that is over 10 cm long, and Maui's dolphins, one of the world's rarest marine dolphins. Sadly, many of New Zealand's distinct birds are now extinct because of the arrival of humans and the mammals that came with them.
New Zealand is very beautiful. It was used as a setting for the three Lord of the Rings movies and has become a popular place for tourists to visit because of these Hollywood blockbusters. If you need a vacation and are looking for a unique place to visit, why not go to New Zealand? You may be surprised at what you find there.
由於紐西蘭離多數國家非常遙遠，所以80%植物和多數鳥類，皆是當地特有，意即在世界其他地方找不到這些植物與鳥類。紐西蘭當地的特殊物種包括「巨沙螽」（giant weta），一種身長超過10 公分的昆蟲，以及全世界最稀有的海豚「毛依（Maui）海豚」。然而，歸因於人類與其攜入的哺乳動物，當地許多特有鳥類正面臨絕種危機。