New Zealand Travel Guide

New Zealand Travel Guide

Positioned approximately 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of two giant 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-raising adrenaline sports or sandy, tropical beaches, New Zealand brings it all together in a single unforgettable nation.

New Zealand is historically distinctive in that it was one of the final 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 until the 1642 voyage of the Dutchman Abel Tasman. The primary assembly between Māori and Europeans resulted within the demise of four of Tasman’s crew members and at the very least one injured Māori, and Europeans didn’t return until 1769, when James Cook mapped nearly everything of the nation’s coastline.

By means of the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the area intensified, and starting within the early 19th century, Christian missionaries began changing much of the existing Māori. By the late 19th century, the Māori inhabitants was at forty percent of its pre-European contact level, due in large part 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 way of the Great Despair as well.

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

New Zealand is often the story of groups, Māori and Pākehā (European tradition within New Zealand), and cultural achievements are not any exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are various beautiful examples of carvings and weavings, both of which typically have religious and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, landscape paintings and a few Māori portraiture had been common.

Probably the most widely known cultural elements of the Māori individuals is the haka, a posture dance that involves stamping toes, rhythmic cries and openly uncovered tongues. The All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby union team, 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 industry has seen a latest boon. New Zealand films Once Have been Warriors, The Piano, Heavenly Creatures and Whale Rider all enjoyed nationwide 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 worldwide acclaim, and the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords enjoys international success as well.

When touring in New Zealand, keep a few of the following in mind:

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 native currency. Most retailers settle for major credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. In the event you’re going somewhere notably distant, just make certain to stock up on cash beforehand. When exchanging money, the worst rates will probably be at the airport and in hotels. Merely withdrawing from an ATM tends to provde the most favorable rate.

While tipping’s not mandatory in restaurants, it’s nonetheless widespread, especially in touristy areas. A 10 percent gratuity for significantly glorious service will at all times be appreciated. At hotels, it’s considered a pleasant gesture to tip anyone carrying your bags or cleaning your room. The following tips are usually a number of dollars.

New Zealand’s typically a fairly relaxed, open and pleasant nation. Westerners won’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.

New Zealand operates on 230/240 volts. All the time check your US gadgets to see in the event that they’re compatible with a hundred and ten and 220. If not, you’ll want a converter. New Zealand makes use of - or three-pin plugs that are angled, so an adapter’s necessary as well.

Public bathrooms are clear, modern and readily available all through New Zealand. You'll be able to count on sinks, running water and toilet paper to be provided.

Hold 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 let you lock the door on the push of a button, and the toilet automatically flushes once you wash your fingers!

Faucet water’s clean and protected to drink all through New Zealand. In the event you’re heading out for multiday adventures within the wild, use the same frequent sense you'd anywhere. Don’t drink from stagnant pools, and convey along your wantred water sterilization methodology—just to be safe.

Named after the nation’s largest city heart, 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 ravishing city of metropolitan and cultural significance, Auckland is a can’t-miss cease for anyone hitting the North Island. Take in the Sky Tower and beautiful harbor, as well as the multicultural atmosphere. (Beware, though. Auckland has been ranked one of many world’s costliest cities.)

Situated within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, this area’s best identified for its extensive geothermal activity, but it surely’s also a site of historical and cultural significance Fun things to do in New Zealand the Māori people.

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

Nestled along 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 house 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 yr-round for wine festivals and celebrations of their Art Deco history and heritage.

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