Far out in the South Pacific Ocean, some 1600 kilometres south-east of Australia, New Zealand is comprised of 2 large islands - North Island and South Island. While North Island boasts a number of large volcanoes, South Island is the more mountainous of the two with the Southern Alps running almost its entire length. The scenery of the South Island is varied and contrasting. Craggy coastlines dotted with sweeping beaches rise up through dense forest and alpine meadows to snow-capped mountains. Amongst the most impressive peaks are Mount Aspiring and Mount Cook (3754m), known by the indigenous Maori people as Aoraki, the 'Cloud Piercer'. The highlights of any tour of New Zealand include visiting the adventure capital of Queenstown, taking a cruise on Milford Sound at Fiordlands, hiking on the Queen Charlotte Track and making the tough North Island day-hike known as the Tongariro Crossing. New Zealand is a sparsely populated territory, with only around 4 million inhabitants, most of whom have British ancestry. Known as 'Kiwis', after the country's flightless national bird, New Zealanders are renowned for their relaxed and friendly outlook on life.