Monday, 31 January 2011

The Land of The Long White Cloud

Yesterday, Lisa aka Shabby Girl said that she had been reading a short article on New Zealand a few days ago, and it said that NZ is called "the land of the long white cloud." and that it said you will get wet!  

Well you won't necessarily get wet.  Most of the North Island and Nelson and Blenheim in the South Island get lots and lots of sunshine and good weather and, in fact, the last year or two has seen serious drought conditions.  However it has to be said that the last few weeks have seen and end to drought in most places!  After all on Australia's Sunshine Coast they have just had flooding affecting an area the size of France and Germany after ten or more years of absolute drought conditions.

New Zealand is known in Maori as Aotearoa. This is now accepted in both languages and appears in the official title of many organisations.  The usual translation of Aotearoa is The Land of the Long White Cloud (from Ao (cloud), tea (white) and roa (long)). However as with many place names the origin cannot be certain and is bound up with Maori mythology.  I had always assumed the simple explanation was answer.  New Zealand is made up of two long relatively narrow islands with a spine of mountain ranges.  Those ranges are often topped with cloud: a long white cloud.

There are two good articles on the name in Wikipedia and The 1966 Encyclopedia of New Zealand .


  1. The article was in a magazine called Highways, and was talking about motorhoming around the island. Judging from your photos, it would be a beautiful trip!

    Have you ever told us how you came to split your year up in NZ? Sorry if I missed it!