New Zealand is a group of islands that are located southeast of Australia, surrounded by the Tasman Sea on the west and the South Pacific Ocean in the east. There are two major islands: North Island and South Island plus a few minor scattered islands. The capital of New Zealand is Auckland which is located on the North Island. Their culture was originally Polynesian with strong Moari traditions. The remoteness of the islands have lead to a bio diversity of animals and plant life that are not found on any of the other continents in the world. On the South Island you will find a region named "Te Wahipounamu" which means in Maori "Place of Greenstone". It is a beautiful area of mountains, rivers and lakes that was considered spiritual by the Maori and today encompasses the national parks of Aoraki/Mt Cook, Fiordland, Mt Aspiring and Westland.