New Zealand Travel Guide

Situated approximately 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of two massive land plenty—the North Island and South Island—and practically 600 smaller islands. Whether you’re looking for distinctive wildlife, world-class restaurants, pristine hiking, unmatched cultural experiences, kayaking in dolphin-stuffed waters, hair-raising adrenaline sports or sandy, tropical beaches, New Zealand brings it all together in a single unforgettable nation.

New Zealand is historically unique in that it was one of the last main 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 until the 1642 voyage of the Dutchman Abel Tasman. The primary meeting between Māori and Europeans resulted in the demise of 4 of Tasman’s crew members and no less than one injured Māori, and Europeans didn’t return until 1769, when James Cook mapped virtually the whole lot of the nation’s coastline.

Through the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the area intensified, and beginning within the early nineteenth century, Christian missionaries began converting much of the prevailing Māori. By the late 19th century, the Māori population was at forty % of its pre-European contact stage, due largely to European-launched diseases.

On July 1, 1841, the Colony of New Zealand was officially 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 way of the Great Despair as well.

In more latest history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori culture and several movements aimed at promoting larger awareness of their traditions.

New Zealand is usually the story of groups, Māori and Pākehā (European culture within New Zealand), and cultural achievements are no exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are lots of stunning examples of carvings and weavings, both of which often have non secular and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, panorama paintings and some Māori portraiture have been common.

Some of the widely known cultural elements of the Māori people is the haka, a posture dance that entails stamping feet, rhythmic cries and brazenly exposed tongues. The All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby union group, has performed this ritual earlier than matches since 1905.

While there has historically been little worldwide interest in New Zealand’s cultural exports, the film business has seen a recent boon. New Zealand films As soon as Were 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 international success as well.

When touring in New Zealand, maintain a few of the following in thoughts:

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

TIPPING
While tipping’s not obligatory Backpacking in New Zealand restaurants, it’s nonetheless common, particularly in touristy areas. A ten p.c gratuity for significantly excellent 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 typically a few dollars.

PUBLIC BEHAVIOR
New Zealand’s typically a fairly relaxed, open and friendly nation. Westerners gained’t come up towards too many strict social customs or taboos. There are, however, subtle differences between the coexisting European and Māori cultures. Māori, for instance, are more tied to social protocols, tradition and hierarchy.

ELECTRIC CURRENT
New Zealand operates on 230/240 volts. All the time check your US items to see in the event that they’re appropriate with 110 and 220. If not, you’ll want a converter. New Zealand uses two- or three-pin plugs which can be angled, so an adapter’s mandatory as well.

PUBLIC BATHROOMS
Public loos are clear, fashionable and readily available all through New Zealand. You'll be able to count on sinks, running water and bathroom 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 mild music over a speaker system, they permit you to lock the door on the push of a button, and the bathroom automatically flushes once you wash your fingers!

DRINKING WATER
Tap water’s clean and protected to drink all through New Zealand. Should you’re heading out for multiday adventures in the wild, use the same common sense you'd anywhere. Don’t drink from stagnant pools, and produce alongside your preferred water sterilization method—just to be safe.

AUCKLAND REGION
Named after the nation’s largest city center, 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: An exquisite 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 gorgeous harbor, as well because the multicultural atmosphere. (Beware, though. Auckland has been ranked one of many world’s most costly cities.)

BAY OF PLENTY REGION
Located within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, this region’s finest recognized for its in depth geothermal exercise, 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 exercise, trout fishing or Maori tradition, Rotorua will preserve you spellbound. Don’t miss its array of sizzling pools and geysers.

HAWKE’S BAY REGION
Nestled along the eastern coast of the North Island, many come for the scenery but stay for the wine. Hawke’s Bay is understood internationally as the home to many award-successful reds and whites.

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

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

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