Situated roughly 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of two giant land lots—the North Island and South Island—and nearly 600 smaller islands. Whether or not you’re searching for unique wildlife, world-class eating places, pristine hiking, unmatched cultural experiences, kayaking in dolphin-stuffed waters, hair-raising adrenaline sports or sandy, tropical beaches, New Zealand brings all of it together in a single unforgettable nation.
New Zealand is historically unique in that it was one of many final major land masses 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 primary assembly between Māori and Europeans resulted in the demise of 4 of Tasman’s crew members and a minimum of one injured Māori, and Europeans didn’t return till 1769, when James Cook mapped nearly the entirety of the nation’s coastline.
By means of the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the world intensified, and beginning in the early 19th century, Christian missionaries began changing a lot of the existing Māori. By the late nineteenth century, the Māori population was at 40 percent of its pre-European contact stage, due largely to European-introduced diseases.
On July 1, 1841, the Colony of New Zealand was formally 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 the Great Melancholy as well.
In more recent history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori culture and several other movements aimed toward selling better awareness of their traditions.
New Zealand is usually the story of teams, Māori and Pākehā (European culture within New Zealand), and cultural achievements are not any exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are a lot of beautiful examples of carvings and weavings, both of which typically have non secular and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, landscape paintings and some Māori portraiture had been common.
One of the vital widely known cultural elements of the Māori people is the haka, a posture dance that involves stamping ft, 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 international curiosity 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 national and worldwide 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 international acclaim, and the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords enjoys international success as well.
When touring in New Zealand, hold among the following in mind:
New Zealand’s foreign money is the New Zealand dollar. Only in rare circumstances can you pay with US dollars right here, so always convert into the local currency. Most retailers settle for main credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. For those who’re going somewhere particularly distant, just make certain to stock up on cash beforehand. When exchanging cash, the worst rates will possible be at the airport and in hotels. Simply withdrawing from an ATM tends to provde the most favorable rate.
While tipping’s not mandatory in eating places, it’s still frequent, particularly in touristy areas. A ten percent gratuity for notably 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. The following tips are typically just a few dollars.
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, 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. All the time check your US items to see in the event that they’re suitable with a hundred and ten and 220. If not, you’ll want a converter. New Zealand uses - or three-pin plugs that are angled, so an adapter’s mandatory as well.
Public bathrooms are clear, modern and readily available throughout New Zealand. You'll be able to expect sinks, running water and toilet paper to be provided.
Hold 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 gentle music over a speaker system, they will let you lock the door on the push of a button, and the bathroom automatically flushes while you wash your palms!
Faucet water’s clean and safe to drink throughout New Zealand. If you happen to’re heading out for multiday adventures Backpacking in New Zealand
the wild, use the same frequent sense you would anywhere. Don’t drink from stagnant swimming pools, and convey along your choosered water sterilization technique—just to be safe.
Named after the nation’s largest urban middle, the Auckland region contains everything from metropolitan bars and restaurants to the islands of Hauraki Gulf, where you’re liable to see whales and dolphins.
Auckland: A phenomenal city of metropolitan and cultural significance, Auckland is a can’t-miss stop for anyone hitting the North Island. Take in the Sky Tower and gorgeous harbor, as well as the multicultural atmosphere. (Beware, though. Auckland has been ranked one of many world’s costliest cities.)
BAY OF PLENTY REGION
Situated within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, this region’s greatest recognized for its intensive geothermal activity, but it’s also 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 keep you spellbound. Don’t miss its array of sizzling swimming pools and geysers.
HAWKE’S BAY REGION
Nestled along the japanese coast of the North Island, many come for the surroundings however keep for the wine. Hawke’s Bay is known internationally as the home to many award-profitable reds and whites.
Napier: Devastated in a 1931 earthquake, this resilient metropolis rebuilt in its now-famous Art Deco architectural style. People flock right here year-spherical 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 area quintessentially Kiwi.