New Zealand Travel Guide

Located approximately 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of giant land masses—the North Island and South Island—and practically 600 smaller islands. Whether or not you’re looking for distinctive 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 together in one unforgettable nation.

New Zealand is historically unique in that it was one of many last main 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 till the 1642 voyage of the Dutchman Abel Tasman. The primary assembly between Māori and Europeans resulted in the dying of 4 of Tasman’s crew members and at least one injured Māori, and Europeans didn’t return until 1769, when James Cook mapped almost the entirety of the nation’s coastline.

Via the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the realm intensified, and starting within the early 19th century, Christian missionaries began converting a lot of the present Māori. By the late 19th century, the Māori inhabitants was at 40 p.c of its pre-European contact stage, due in large part to European-introduced 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 the Great Melancholy as well.

In more latest history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori tradition and several movements aimed toward promoting greater awareness of their traditions.

New Zealand is usually the story of two groups, Māori and Pākehā (European culture within New Zealand), and cultural achievements are no exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are a lot of stunning examples of carvings and weavings, both of which typically have religious and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, landscape paintings and some Māori portraiture have been common.

One of the crucial widely recognized cultural components of the Māori people is the haka, a posture dance that entails stamping ft, rhythmic cries and overtly uncovered tongues. The All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby union group, 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 trade 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 damaged into international acclaim, and the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords enjoys international success as well.

When touring in New Zealand, keep among the following in mind:

CURRENCY
New Zealand’s foreign money is the New Zealand dollar. Only in uncommon circumstances are you able to pay with US dollars right here, so always convert into the native currency. Most retailers accept main credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. For those who’re going someplace notably remote, just ensure that to stock up on money beforehand. When exchanging money, the worst rates will seemingly be at the airport and in hotels. Merely withdrawing from an ATM tends to provde the most favorable rate.

TIPPING
While tipping’s not mandatory in restaurants, it’s nonetheless frequent, especially in touristy areas. A ten percent gratuity for significantly glorious service will always be appreciated. At hotels, it’s considered a nice gesture to tip anyone carrying your bags or cleaning your room. The following pointers are typically a couple of dollars.

PUBLIC BEHAVIOR
New Zealand’s typically a quite relaxed, open and friendly nation. Westerners received’t come up against too many strict social customs or taboos. There are, however, subtle differences 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 appropriate with one hundred ten and 220. If not, you’ll need a converter. New Zealand makes use of two- or three-pin plugs which might be angled, so an adapter’s crucial as well.

PUBLIC BATHROOMS
Public loos are clean, modern and readily available throughout New Zealand. You possibly can anticipate 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 light music over a speaker system, they mean you can lock the door on the push of a button, and the toilet automatically flushes while you wash your palms!

DRINKING WATER
Tap water’s clean and safe to drink all through New Zealand. When you’re heading out for multiday adventures within the wild, use the same frequent sense you would anywhere. Don’t drink from stagnant swimming pools, and bring along your favorred water sterilization method—just to be safe.

AUCKLAND REGION
Named after the nation’s largest urban center, 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 beautiful city of metropolitan and cultural significance, Auckland is a can’t-miss stop for anybody hitting the North Island. Take within the Sky Tower and stunning 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 finest known for its intensive geothermal activity, nevertheless it’s additionally 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 hold you spellbound. Don’t miss its array of sizzling pools and geysers.

HAWKE’S BAY REGION
Nestled alongside the eastern coast of the North Island, many come for the surroundings however stay for the wine. Hawke’s Bay is thought internationally as the home to many award-winning reds and whites.

Napier: Devastated in a 1931 earthquake, this resilient city rebuilt Backpacking in New Zealand its now-well-known Art Deco architectural style. Folks flock 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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