2. The Land of the Long White Cloud


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               UNIT 1_LESSON 2_PODCAST 8



‘After a week in Australia Stefano and I flew from Melbourne to Auckland, New Zealand. Once at the airport in Auckland we went to the information desk and asked for some brochures about New Zealand.’

Read the information on the two brochures Stefano and Valeria obtained at the airport and do the activities below. For brochure 1 you will work with vocabulary. For brochure 2 you will have to say if some statements are true or false.


Brochure 1: Geographical and Geological Aspects

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New Zealand is a land of immense and diverse landscape. You’ll see things here that you will not see -in the same country – anywhere else in the world. Within a day or two’s drive you can see spectacular glaciers, picturesque fiords, rugged mountains, vast plains, rolling hillsides, subtropical forest, volcanic plateau, miles of coastline with gorgeous sandy beaches. Much of these landscapes are protected by National Parks with thousands of kilometres of walks and trails opening their beauty to the public.

Straddling two tectonic plates and sitting on the Pacific Rim of Fire has resulted in some spectacular geothermal areas and volcanoes, some of which are still active. Lake Taupo is the result of one of the largest and most destructive volcanic eruptions in the world. Visit Rotorua and you will see this geothermal activity close up with spouting geysers, hot water pools, and bubbling mud pools.

New Zealand has a long 15,000-kilometre coastline which has its own unique diversity. The West Coast is rugged and untamed while the coastal highlights of the East Coast are its gentle sandy beaches and harbours dotted with islands.


Source of text:http://www.newzealand.com/int/landscapes/


Para saber más

A) Read the first paragraph in Brochure 1 and match the terms to the pictures. When you finish read the second and third paragraphs and make a list of geological terms you don’t understand. Find their meaning in any of these websites:

Cambridge Dictionary Online

Oxford Dictionary Online

Geology Dictionary


0. Spectacular glaciers

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en Flickr bajo licencia CC

a. Subtropical forest

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 b. Spectacular Glaciers

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 c. Rugged mountains

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 d. Picturesque fiords

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 e. Vast Plains

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 f. Volcanic plateau


Caso de estudio

Once you have finished matching the pictures and the terms, you can check your answers here.
 Brochure 2: New Zealand Practical Information

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Banking and Currency

Banks are open Monday to Friday (except public holidays) 9.30am to 4.30pm. In some centres there are banks that open Saturdays. The Bank of New Zealand Airport Branch in Auckland is open seven days a week from first flight to last flight.
For currency exchange there are also a number of other options such as bureaux de change and currency exchange machines. Hotels will also change money, but like their counterparts anywhere in the world the rate is not sweet. Trading banks usually offer the best exchange rates.
All major credit cards are widely accepted.
The unit of currency is the NZ dollar divided, like every other dollar, into 100 cents. For current exchange rates go the the Westpac Bank site.

Telephone Services

Telephone calls can be made from call boxes which accept telephone cards. Cards can be purchased from many outlets, which display a “Cardphone cards sold here” sign. But beware of the roadside robbers, Credit Card phone boxes. There is a huge minimum charge applicable. Check out the costs very carefully before you use them. Instructions on using the telephone system can be found in the front of every phone book.
The other option, which is becoming very popular, is to hire a mobile phone for the time here. One of the major cell-phone providers, Vodafone, has counters at Auckland and Christchurch airports where you can hire a phone there and then.
If you have a sim-card type mobile you can buy a card here for about $NZ35. Get them from the Vodafone counter at the airport, or from any of the Dick Smith Electronics chain of stores. A new service provider, 2 Degrees, is offering SIM cards for $5.


NZ highways are, for the most part, of a high standard. Most main roads are sealed and offer no difficulty to overseas motorists even though for long stretches they are two lanes wide, i.e. one in each direction. Many back country roads are, however, gravel surfaced and should be driven with caution. Go whooping around a gravel-surfaced corner and all those little loose pebbles turn into ball-bearings that will spin your car into the wall – or worse, over the edge – so fast you can’t catch the slide in time.


The climate is described technically as “oceanic temperate”, which means that temperatures don’t vary widely from summer to winter. But taken from north to south, Northland is sub-tropical in summer while the deep south is sub-antarctic in winter. Being a long narrow string of islands, the night/day summer/winter differences are not as fierce as in the middle of a continental landmass. Be ready for all kinds of weather at any time of year. The lush greenness you’re coming to see doesn’t grow without a continuous and liberal dosage of water. It rains all year round so always have a raincoat near at hand. In the evenings carry a jacket or sweater. I’ve always reckoned on summer starting on the longest day of the year (Dec 22) and ending about mid-March. Winter, conversely, starts on the shortest day, June 22.
What is the best time to visit? Any time, really. Even in winter – yeah, yeah there’s a bit more rain but there are a lot fewer tourists and prices for accommodation and transport are a lot sharper. If you really want my advice – come here in late March and April. The weather is settled and warm and the crowds have thinned out. Not that there are really “crowds”, even in high season.
Get today’s weather forecasts from the Met Service.

Medical Services

Hospitals and medical professionals are world class. Doctors must meet rigorous international standards before being allowed to practice. Hotels and motels have medical assistance on call. There are public medical clinics widely available. They will charge you $NZ50-65 for a standard consultation.
If you have an accident you are automatically covered by a Government-decreed accident compensation scheme which will pay your medical expenses and compensate you for injuries. It also statute bars you from suing anyone who caused the injury.

Adapted from: http://visitnz.co.nz/


AV – Pregunta Verdadero-Falso

Did Valeria and Stefano understand the brochure? Read the following statements and say if they are true or false according to the text. 0 is an example.
0. Valeria: ‘We need to change some euros into NZ dollars, I think the best idea is to do it once in the hotel, the exchange rates will be the same as in the banks’

Verdadero Falso

1. Stefano: ‘Whenever we call home, I think it’s wiser to use our credit card in order not to carry cash around, it seems there are some pickpockets about’

Verdadero Falso

2. Valeria: ‘I don’t agree with hiring a motorbike, not all the roads are safe in New Zealand’

Verdadero Falso

3. Stefano: ‘Luckily, we brought all sorts of summer clothes we’ll be able to wear, it must be very hot here in July’.

Verdadero Falso

4. Valeria: ‘I believe New Zealand is never really packed with tourists’

Verdadero Falso

5. Stefano: ‘There is only one case in which if we needed medical assistance we would not have to pay’

Verdadero Falso


Working out the meaning of unfamiliar words

When learning a language, it is quite common to have to read texts in which there are words we are not familiar with. Here are some strategies you can use in these cases:

– List the words you don’t know the meaning of

– Decide which words are important in order to understand the text

– Work out the meaning of the words you believe are crucial in order to understand the text

And always remember that you do not need to understand every single word in a text!

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