Located roughly 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of two large land masses—the North Island and South Island—and nearly 600 smaller islands. Whether or not you’re seeking unique wildlife, world-class eating places, pristine hiking, unmatched cultural experiences, kayaking in dolphin-filled waters, hair-elevating adrenaline sports or sandy, tropical beaches, New Zealand brings all of it collectively in one unforgettable nation.
New Zealand is historically distinctive in that it was one of many final major 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 until the 1642 voyage of the Dutchman Abel Tasman. The first assembly between Māori and Europeans resulted in the death 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.
Through the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the realm intensified, and starting within the early nineteenth century, Christian missionaries started changing much of the present Māori. By the late nineteenth century, the Māori population was at forty p.c of its pre-European contact degree, due in large part to European-introduced diseases.
On July 1, 1841, the Colony of New 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 both World War I and World War II and suffered through the Nice Melancholy as well.
In more recent history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori tradition and several other movements aimed at promoting 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 not any exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are lots of stunning examples of carvings and weavings, both of which usually have non secular and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, panorama paintings and a few Māori portraiture were common.
One of the most widely recognized cultural components of the Māori individuals is the haka, a posture dance that involves stamping toes, rhythmic cries and brazenly exposed tongues. The All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby union staff, has carried out this ritual earlier than matches since 1905.
While there has historically been little worldwide curiosity in New Zealand’s cultural exports, the film industry has seen a recent boon. New Zealand films As soon as Had been Warriors, The Piano, Heavenly Creatures and Whale Rider all loved 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 broken into worldwide acclaim, and the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords enjoys international success as well.
When traveling in New Zealand, hold among the following in thoughts:
New Zealand’s foreign money is the New Zealand dollar. Solely in uncommon circumstances can you pay with US dollars right here, so always convert into the native currency. Most retailers accept major credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. In case you’re going someplace significantly remote, just make sure that to stock up on money beforehand. When exchanging cash, the worst rates will seemingly be on the airport and in hotels. Merely withdrawing from an ATM tends to provde the most favorable rate.
While tipping’s not mandatory in restaurants, it’s still common, particularly in touristy areas. A ten % gratuity for significantly glorious service will at all times be appreciated. At hotels, it’s considered a nice gesture to tip anybody carrying your bags or cleaning your room. The following tips tend to be a few dollars.
New Zealand’s typically a fairly relaxed, open and pleasant nation. Westerners received’t come up against too many strict social customs or taboos. There are, nonetheless, subtle variations 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. Always check your US objects to see in the event that they’re compatible with a hundred and ten and 220. If not, you’ll need a converter. New Zealand makes use of – or three-pin plugs which can be angled, so an adapter’s needed as well.
Public bathrooms are clean, fashionable 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 mild music over a speaker system, they permit you to lock the door on the push of a button, and the bathroom automatically flushes while you wash your palms!
Faucet water’s clear and secure to drink throughout New Zealand. In case you’re heading out for multiday adventures within the wild, use the identical common sense you’d anywhere. Don’t drink from stagnant pools, and convey along your choosered water sterilization method—just Fun things to do in New Zealand be safe.
Named after the nation’s largest city heart, the Auckland area accommodates 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 wonderful city 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 the world’s most expensive cities.)
BAY OF PLENTY REGION
Situated within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, this region’s best identified for its intensive geothermal activity, but it surely’s also a site of historical and cultural significance to the Māori people.
Rotorua: Whether you’re interested in the geothermal exercise, trout fishing or Maori culture, Rotorua will preserve you spellbound. Don’t miss its array of hot swimming pools and geysers.
HAWKE’S BAY REGION
Nestled alongside the jap coast of the North Island, many come for the scenery however stay for the wine. Hawke’s Bay is understood internationally as the home to many award-winning reds and whites.
Napier: Devastated in a 1931 earthquake, this resilient city rebuilt in its now-famous Artwork Deco architectural style. Folks flock here year-round for wine festivals and celebrations of their Art Deco history and heritage.
Black-sand beaches, revered surfing, natural harbors and pervasive livestock make this North Island region quintessentially Kiwi.