Situated approximately 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of two massive land lots—the North Island and South Island—and nearly 600 smaller islands. Whether or not you’re searching for distinctive 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 in one unforgettable nation.
New Zealand is historically unique in that it was one of the last major land lots to be settled by humans. Estimates put the arrival of the first Māori settlers between 1250 and 1300, and European explorers didn’t arrive till the 1642 voyage of the Dutchman Abel Tasman. The primary meeting between Māori and Europeans resulted within the death of 4 of Tasman’s crew members and at least one injured Māori, and Europeans didn’t return till 1769, when James Cook mapped nearly the whole lot of the nation’s coastline.
By the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the world intensified, and beginning within the early nineteenth century, Christian missionaries started converting much of the prevailing 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 by means of the Great Depression as well.
In more latest history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori tradition and several movements aimed at selling greater awareness of their traditions.
New Zealand is usually the story of teams, Māori and Pākehā (European culture within New Zealand), and cultural achievements aren't any exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are lots of lovely examples of carvings and weavings, each of which often have religious and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, landscape paintings and a few Māori portraiture had been common.
Probably the most widely recognized cultural components of the Māori individuals is the haka, a posture dance that includes stamping feet, rhythmic cries and overtly exposed tongues. The All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby union crew, has performed this ritual before matches since 1905.
While there has historically been little worldwide interest in New Zealand’s cultural exports, the film industry has seen a current boon. New Zealand films Once Had been Warriors, The Piano, Heavenly Creatures and Whale Rider all loved nationwide 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 damaged into worldwide acclaim, and the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords enjoys international success as well.
When traveling in New Zealand, preserve a number of the following in thoughts:
New Zealand’s currency is the New Zealand dollar. Solely in uncommon circumstances are you able to pay with US dollars here, so at all times convert into the local currency. Most retailers settle for major credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. If you happen to’re going someplace notably remote, just make sure that to stock up on cash beforehand. When exchanging cash, the worst rates will probably be at 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 nonetheless frequent, especially in touristy areas. A 10 p.c gratuity for notably glorious service will all the time be appreciated. At hotels, it’s considered a nice gesture to tip anyone carrying your bags or cleaning your room. The following tips tend to be a number of dollars.
New Zealand’s generally a quite relaxed, open and friendly nation. Westerners received’t come up in opposition to too many strict social customs or taboos. There are, however, subtle variations 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 items to see if they’re appropriate with one hundred ten and 220. If not, you’ll need a converter. New Zealand uses - or three-pin plugs which are angled, so an adapter’s essential as well.
Public bathrooms are clean, modern and readily available throughout New Zealand. You can count on sinks, running water and toilet paper Things to do in New Zealand
Preserve a special eye out for "Exeloo" toilets. These high-tech restrooms indicate with a light if the stall’s vacant, occupied or closed, they play light music over a speaker system, they mean you can lock the door on the push of a button, and the toilet automatically flushes when you wash your arms!
Faucet water’s clean and protected to drink throughout New Zealand. Should you’re heading out for multiday adventures in the wild, use the same frequent sense you'll anywhere. Don’t drink from stagnant swimming pools, and convey along your preferred water sterilization technique—just to be safe.
Named after the nation’s largest urban middle, the Auckland region accommodates everything from metropolitan bars and restaurants to the islands of Hauraki Gulf, where you’re liable to see whales and dolphins.
Auckland: A wonderful 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 stunning 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 area’s best recognized for its intensive geothermal exercise, but it’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 maintain you spellbound. Don’t miss its array of scorching swimming 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 house to many award-winning reds and whites.
Napier: Devastated in a 1931 earthquake, this resilient metropolis rebuilt in its now-famous Art Deco architectural style. Individuals flock here yr-spherical for wine festivals and celebrations of their Artwork Deco history and heritage.
Black-sand beaches, revered surfing, pure harbors and pervasive livestock make this North Island area quintessentially Kiwi.