Did I tell you how weird that is? We don't have white Christmas back in Texas (USA), but generally the weather is cold, the leaves are mostly gone, and the grass is yellowish-brown. However, while the northern hemisphere is living through a cold winter, the Southern Hemisphere gets a warm summer. In this spring day, I was engulfed by crystal clear blue skies, green grass, and flowers that where in full bloom. Yet, I could clearly see a Santa Claus with a thick red coat and shades! It was funny indeed. Santa even has reindeers and a sled as well... I'm not sure if the sled can go on water though...hehehe.
The Kauri tree is one of the tallest and widest trees on Earth. Its timber has a worldwide reputation as well making it a prime target. Both Maori and Europeans cut down thousands of these trees for their timber. Unlike other species, this tree is a slow grower so a full mature tree may be over one thousand years old. It's a shame that many of the Kauri trees where wiped out from the New Zealand scenery. Today, it is an offence to cut one of them down, even if one of them is on your back yard!
The North of New Zealand is sub-tropical and the South temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest June, July and August. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30ºC and in winter between 10-15ºC. New Zealand on a whole usually has 4 very distinct seasons.
The Waitangi Day Celebrations is New Zealand's recognition of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Most activities are held at Waitangi itself where the signing took place.
Every year in August, the Bay of Islands buzzes with musicians from all over NZ for a Jazz and Blues Festival. Held in Russel, it is the largest such festival in the Southern Hemisphere.