New Zealand Travel Guide

New Zealand Travel Guide

Situated 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 you’re in search of 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 all of it collectively Travel in New Zealand a single unforgettable nation.

New Zealand is historically distinctive in that it was one of many 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 until the 1642 voyage of the Dutchman Abel Tasman. The first meeting between Māori and Europeans resulted within the death of four of Tasman’s crew members and at the very least one injured Māori, and Europeans didn’t return till 1769, when James Cook mapped virtually the whole thing 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 much of the present Māori. By the late nineteenth century, the Māori population was at forty percent of its pre-European contact stage, due in large part to European-introduced diseases.

On July 1, 1841, the Colony of New Zealand was formally formed 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 by the Nice Melancholy as well.

In more current history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori culture and several other movements geared toward promoting larger awareness of their traditions.

New Zealand is commonly the story of groups, Māori and Pākehā (European tradition within New Zealand), and cultural achievements are no exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are lots of stunning examples of carvings and weavings, each of which typically have religious and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, panorama paintings and some Māori portraiture were common.

One of the crucial well known cultural components of the Māori people is the haka, a posture dance that includes stamping feet, rhythmic cries and brazenly 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 curiosity in New Zealand’s cultural exports, the film business 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 worldwide 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 broken into international acclaim, and the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords enjoys worldwide success as well.

When traveling in New Zealand, hold among the following in thoughts:

CURRENCY
New Zealand’s currency is the New Zealand dollar. Only in uncommon circumstances can you pay with US dollars here, so at all times convert into the local currency. Most retailers accept major credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. If you happen to’re going someplace particularly distant, just be sure to stock up on cash beforehand. When exchanging cash, the worst rates will seemingly be at the airport and in hotels. Simply withdrawing from an ATM tends to give you the most favorable rate.

TIPPING
While tipping’s not mandatory in restaurants, it’s nonetheless frequent, particularly in touristy areas. A ten percent gratuity for particularly glorious service will all the time be appreciated. At hotels, it’s considered a pleasant gesture to tip anybody carrying your bags or cleaning your room. These tips are usually a couple of dollars.

PUBLIC BEHAVIOR
New Zealand’s typically a fairly relaxed, open and pleasant nation. Westerners won’t come up in opposition to too many strict social customs or taboos. There are, nevertheless, subtle variations between the coexisting European and Māori cultures. Māori, for example, are more tied to social protocols, tradition and hierarchy.

ELECTRIC CURRENT
New Zealand operates on 230/240 volts. At all times check your US items 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 uses two- or three-pin plugs that are angled, so an adapter’s necessary as well.

PUBLIC BATHROOMS
Public loos are clear, trendy and readily available throughout New Zealand. You may expect sinks, running water and bathroom paper to be provided.

Keep 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 mild music over a speaker system, they assist you to lock the door on the push of a button, and the toilet automatically flushes while you wash your fingers!

DRINKING WATER
Tap water’s clear and safe to drink throughout New Zealand. If you’re heading out for multiday adventures in the wild, use the identical common sense you'd anywhere. Don’t drink from stagnant pools, and produce along your favorred water sterilization method—just to be safe.

AUCKLAND REGION
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 beautiful metropolis of metropolitan and cultural significance, Auckland is a can’t-miss cease for anyone hitting the North Island. Take within the Sky Tower and gorgeous harbor, as well as the multicultural atmosphere. (Beware, though. Auckland has been ranked one of the world’s most costly cities.)

BAY OF PLENTY REGION
Located within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, this region’s greatest recognized for its in depth geothermal exercise, but it surely’s additionally a site of historical and cultural significance to the Māori people.

Rotorua: Whether or not you’re interested in the geothermal activity, trout fishing or Maori tradition, Rotorua will hold you spellbound. Don’t miss its array of hot swimming pools and geysers.

HAWKE’S BAY REGION
Nestled alongside the japanese coast of the North Island, many come for the scenery however keep for the wine. Hawke’s Bay is understood internationally as the house to many award-successful reds and whites.

Napier: Devastated in a 1931 earthquake, this resilient city rebuilt in its now-well-known Art Deco architectural style. People flock right here 12 months-spherical for wine festivals and celebrations of their Art Deco history and heritage.

WAIKATO REGION
Black-sand beaches, revered surfing, natural harbors and pervasive livestock make this North Island area quintessentially Kiwi.