Positioned approximately 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of massive land lots—the North Island and South Island—and almost 600 smaller islands. Whether or not you’re in search of unique wildlife, world-class restaurants, pristine hiking, unmatched cultural experiences, kayaking in dolphin-stuffed waters, hair-elevating adrenaline sports or sandy, tropical beaches, New Zealand brings all of it together in one unforgettable nation.
New Zealand is historically distinctive in that it was one of the final major land masses to be settled by humans. Estimates put the arrival of the primary Māori settlers between 1250 and 1300, and European explorers didn’t arrive till the 1642 voyage of the Dutchman Abel Tasman. The primary assembly between Māori and Europeans resulted within the demise of four of Tasman’s crew members and not less than one injured Māori, and Europeans didn’t return till 1769, when James Cook mapped nearly everything of the nation’s coastline.
By way of the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the realm intensified, and beginning within the early 19th century, Christian missionaries began converting much of the present Māori. By the late nineteenth century, the Māori population was at 40 p.c of its pre-European contact degree, due largely to European-launched diseases.
On July 1, 1841, the Colony of New Zealand was formally fashioned from the Colony of New South Wales, and in 1907, upon request from the New Zealand parliament, New Zealand was proclaimed a dominion within the British Empire. New Zealand fought in both World War I and World War II and suffered via the Great Melancholy as well.
In more current history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori tradition and several movements aimed at selling higher awareness of their traditions.
New Zealand is commonly the story of two groups, Māori and Pākehā (European culture within New Zealand), and cultural achievements aren't any exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are a lot of beautiful examples of carvings and weavings, both of which often have religious and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, landscape paintings and some Māori portraiture have been common.
One of the widely known cultural parts of the Māori individuals is the haka, a posture dance that involves stamping ft, rhythmic cries and overtly exposed tongues. The All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby union crew, has carried out this ritual earlier than matches since 1905.
While there has historically been little international interest in New Zealand’s cultural exports, the film business has seen a recent boon. New Zealand films As soon as Were Warriors, The Piano, Heavenly Creatures and Whale Rider all enjoyed national and worldwide success, and the Peter Jackson–directed Lord of the Rings shot New Zealand into the mainstream spotlight.
On the music entrance, the Takapuna-born artist Lorde has damaged into worldwide acclaim, and the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords enjoys worldwide success as well.
When traveling in New Zealand, maintain a few of the following in thoughts:
New Zealand’s foreign money is the New Zealand dollar. Solely in rare circumstances are you able to pay with US dollars right here, so at all times convert into the native currency. Most retailers settle for major credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. In case you’re going somewhere particularly remote, just make certain to stock up on cash beforehand. When exchanging cash, the worst rates will possible be on the airport and in hotels. Merely withdrawing from an ATM tends Things to do in New Zealand
give you the most favorable rate.
While tipping’s not obligatory in restaurants, it’s still common, especially in touristy areas. A ten % gratuity for notably wonderful service will all the time be appreciated. At hotels, it’s considered a nice gesture to tip anybody carrying your bags or cleaning your room. The following tips are usually a few dollars.
New Zealand’s typically a fairly relaxed, open and friendly nation. Westerners received’t come up against too many strict social customs or taboos. There are, nevertheless, subtle differences between the coexisting European and Māori cultures. Māori, for instance, are more tied to social protocols, tradition and hierarchy.
New Zealand operates on 230/240 volts. All the time check your US gadgets to see if they’re appropriate with a hundred and ten and 220. If not, you’ll need a converter. New Zealand uses - or three-pin plugs which are angled, so an adapter’s crucial as well.
Public bogs are clear, trendy and readily available throughout New Zealand. You may count on sinks, running water and bathroom paper to be provided.
Keep a particular eye out for "Exeloo" toilets. These high-tech restrooms indicate with a light if the stall’s vacant, occupied or closed, they play gentle music over a speaker system, they allow you to lock the door at the push of a button, and the toilet automatically flushes if you wash your palms!
Tap water’s clear and secure to drink throughout New Zealand. If you’re heading out for multiday adventures in the wild, use the identical widespread sense you'd anywhere. Don’t drink from stagnant swimming pools, and bring along your desirered water sterilization method—just to be safe.
Named after the nation’s largest city heart, the Auckland area contains everything from metropolitan bars and eating places to the islands of Hauraki Gulf, the place you’re liable to see whales and dolphins.
Auckland: A lovely metropolis of metropolitan and cultural significance, Auckland is a can’t-miss stop for anybody hitting the North Island. Take in the Sky Tower and beautiful harbor, as well as the multicultural atmosphere. (Beware, though. Auckland has been ranked one of many world’s most expensive cities.)
BAY OF PLENTY REGION
Situated within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, this region’s finest known for its intensive geothermal activity, however it’s also a site of historical and cultural significance to the Māori people.
Rotorua: Whether you’re interested in the geothermal activity, trout fishing or Maori tradition, Rotorua will preserve you spellbound. Don’t miss its array of hot pools and geysers.
HAWKE’S BAY REGION
Nestled along the eastern coast of the North Island, many come for the surroundings however keep for the wine. Hawke’s Bay is thought internationally as the home to many award-successful reds and whites.
Napier: Devastated in a 1931 earthquake, this resilient metropolis rebuilt in its now-famous Art Deco architectural style. Folks flock here year-round for wine festivals and celebrations of their Artwork Deco history and heritage.
Black-sand beaches, revered surfing, natural harbors and pervasive livestock make this North Island region quintessentially Kiwi.