Positioned approximately 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of two giant land plenty—the North Island and South Island—and almost 600 smaller islands. Whether you’re in search of distinctive wildlife, world-class eating places, pristine hiking, unmatched cultural experiences, kayaking in dolphin-crammed waters, hair-raising adrenaline sports or sandy, tropical beaches, New Zealand brings it all together in one unforgettable nation.
New Zealand is historically unique in that it was one of many last main land plenty 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 in the dying of 4 of Tasman’s crew members and at least one injured Māori, and Europeans didn’t return until 1769, when James Cook mapped almost the whole lot of the nation’s coastline.
By way of the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the area intensified, and beginning in the early 19th century, Christian missionaries started changing a lot of the existing Māori. By the late 19th century, the Māori population was at forty % of its pre-European contact degree, due largely to European-introduced diseases.
On July 1, 1841, the Colony of New Zealand Travel Zealand was officially 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 each World War I and World War II and suffered through the Great Despair as well.
In more recent history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori culture and a number of other movements aimed at selling greater awareness of their traditions.
New Zealand is usually the story of two teams, Māori and Pākehā (European culture within New Zealand), and cultural achievements are no exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are numerous stunning examples of carvings and weavings, each of which typically have spiritual and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, panorama paintings and a few Māori portraiture were common.
One of the vital widely recognized cultural elements of the Māori individuals is the haka, a posture dance that entails stamping feet, rhythmic cries and openly uncovered tongues. The All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby union workforce, 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 industry has seen a current boon. New Zealand films As soon as Had been Warriors, The Piano, Heavenly Creatures and Whale Rider all loved nationwide and international success, and the Peter Jackson–directed Lord of the Rings shot New Zealand into the mainstream spotlight.
On the music front, the Takapuna-born artist Lorde has damaged into international 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 uncommon circumstances can you pay with US dollars here, so always convert into the local currency. Most retailers accept main credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. For those who’re going someplace particularly remote, just be certain to stock up on money beforehand. When exchanging money, the worst rates will seemingly be on the airport and in hotels. Merely withdrawing from an ATM tends to give you the most favorable rate.
While tipping’s not mandatory in restaurants, it’s still common, especially in touristy areas. A 10 % gratuity for significantly glorious service will always be appreciated. At hotels, it’s considered a pleasant gesture to tip anyone carrying your bags or cleaning your room. The following tips tend to be just a few dollars.
New Zealand’s typically a quite relaxed, open and pleasant 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 example, are more tied to social protocols, tradition and hierarchy.
New Zealand operates on 230/240 volts. Always check your US gadgets to see in the event that they’re suitable with 110 and 220. If not, you’ll need a converter. New Zealand makes use of two- or three-pin plugs which can be angled, so an adapter’s mandatory as well.
Public loos are clean, fashionable and readily available throughout New Zealand. You may anticipate sinks, running water and toilet paper to be provided.
Preserve a special eye out for “Exeloo” toilets. These high-tech restrooms point out with a light if the stall’s vacant, occupied or closed, they play gentle music over a speaker system, they will let you lock the door on the push of a button, and the toilet automatically flushes once you wash your fingers!
Faucet water’s clear and safe to drink all through New Zealand. If you happen to’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 convey alongside your desirered water sterilization methodology—just to be safe.
Named after the nation’s largest urban middle, the Auckland region contains 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 cease 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 best identified for its intensive geothermal exercise, nevertheless it’s additionally a site of historical and cultural significance to the Māori people.
Rotorua: Whether or not you’re interested within the geothermal activity, trout fishing or Maori culture, Rotorua will maintain you spellbound. Don’t miss its array of hot swimming pools and geysers.
HAWKE’S BAY REGION
Nestled alongside the eastern coast of the North Island, many come for the scenery however stay for the wine. Hawke’s Bay is known internationally as the house to many award-successful reds and whites.
Napier: Devastated in a 1931 earthquake, this resilient metropolis rebuilt in its now-well-known Art Deco architectural style. Individuals flock here 12 months-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 area quintessentially Kiwi.