Positioned approximately 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of two large land plenty—the North Island and South Island—and almost 600 smaller islands. Whether you’re seeking unique wildlife, world-class restaurants, pristine hiking, unmatched cultural experiences, kayaking in dolphin-filled waters, hair-elevating adrenaline sports or sandy, tropical beaches, New Zealand brings it all together in one unforgettable nation.
New Zealand is historically distinctive in that it was one of the final main land plenty to be settled by humans. Estimates put the arrival of the first Māori settlers between 1250 and 1300, and European explorers didn’t arrive until the 1642 voyage of the Dutchman Abel Tasman. The first meeting between Māori and Europeans resulted in the dying of four of Tasman’s crew members and at the least one injured Māori, and Europeans didn’t return until 1769, when James Cook mapped almost the entirety of the nation’s coastline.
By way of the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the realm intensified, and beginning Backpacking in New Zealand
the early 19th century, Christian missionaries started changing much of the prevailing Māori. By the late nineteenth century, the Māori population was at forty % of its pre-European contact level, due in large part to European-launched diseases.
On July 1, 1841, the Colony of New Zealand was officially shaped 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 Nice Despair as well.
In more recent history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori culture and several other movements aimed at promoting higher awareness of their traditions.
New Zealand is usually the story of teams, Māori and Pākehā (European tradition within New Zealand), and cultural achievements are no exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are numerous beautiful examples of carvings and weavings, each of which often have spiritual and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, panorama paintings and a few Māori portraiture had been common.
Probably the most widely known cultural elements of the Māori people is the haka, a posture dance that includes stamping feet, rhythmic cries and overtly exposed tongues. The All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby union workforce, has performed this ritual before matches since 1905.
While there has historically been little international interest in New Zealand’s cultural exports, the film industry has seen a current boon. New Zealand films Once Have been Warriors, The Piano, Heavenly Creatures and Whale Rider all enjoyed national and international 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 international success as well.
When touring in New Zealand, maintain among the following in thoughts:
New Zealand’s currency is the New Zealand dollar. Solely in rare circumstances are you able to pay with US dollars right here, so all the time convert into the native currency. Most retailers accept major credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. If you’re going somewhere significantly remote, just make sure that to stock up on cash beforehand. When exchanging money, the worst rates will likely be on the airport and in hotels. Simply withdrawing from an ATM tends to provde the most favorable rate.
While tipping’s not necessary in eating places, it’s still common, particularly in touristy areas. A ten percent gratuity for particularly excellent service will all the time be appreciated. At hotels, it’s considered a pleasant gesture to tip anyone carrying your bags or cleaning your room. These tips are typically a couple of dollars.
New Zealand’s generally a fairly relaxed, open and friendly nation. Westerners received’t come up towards too many strict social customs or taboos. There are, nonetheless, 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. At all times check your US gadgets to see in the event that they’re suitable with one hundred ten and 220. If not, you’ll need a converter. New Zealand makes use of two- or three-pin plugs that are angled, so an adapter’s needed as well.
Public bathrooms are clear, trendy and readily available throughout New Zealand. You can expect sinks, running water and bathroom paper to be provided.
Hold a particular eye out for "Exeloo" toilets. These high-tech restrooms point out with a light if the stall’s vacant, occupied or closed, they play light music over a speaker system, they can help you lock the door at the push of a button, and the bathroom automatically flushes while you wash your fingers!
Tap water’s clean and secure to drink throughout New Zealand. In case you’re heading out for multiday adventures within the wild, use the same widespread sense you would anywhere. Don’t drink from stagnant swimming pools, and produce along your choosered water sterilization technique—just to be safe.
Named after the nation’s largest urban middle, the Auckland area comprises everything from metropolitan bars and eating places to the islands of Hauraki Gulf, where 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 anyone hitting the North Island. Take within the Sky Tower and beautiful harbor, as well because the multicultural atmosphere. (Beware, though. Auckland has been ranked one of the world’s costliest cities.)
BAY OF PLENTY REGION
Situated within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, this region’s finest recognized for its in depth geothermal exercise, nevertheless it’s additionally a site of historical and cultural significance to the Māori people.
Rotorua: Whether you’re interested within the geothermal activity, trout fishing or Maori culture, Rotorua will keep you spellbound. Don’t miss its array of hot pools and geysers.
HAWKE’S BAY REGION
Nestled along the japanese coast of the North Island, many come for the scenery however keep for the wine. Hawke’s Bay is thought internationally as the house to many award-winning reds and whites.
Napier: Devastated in a 1931 earthquake, this resilient city rebuilt in its now-well-known Artwork Deco architectural style. Individuals 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.