New Zealand Travel Guide

New Zealand Travel Guide

Positioned roughly 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of two large land lots—the North Island and South Island—and nearly 600 smaller islands. Whether you’re looking for distinctive wildlife, world-class eating places, pristine hiking, unmatched cultural experiences, kayaking in dolphin-crammed waters, Travel hair-elevating adrenaline sports or sandy, tropical beaches, New Zealand brings all of it collectively in a single unforgettable nation.

New Zealand is historically distinctive in that it was one of many final main land masses to be settled by humans. Estimates put the arrival of the primary 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 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 virtually everything of the nation’s coastline.

By the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the realm intensified, and beginning within the early nineteenth century, Christian missionaries began changing 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 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 via the Nice Despair as well.

In more recent history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori tradition and several movements aimed toward selling higher awareness of their traditions.

New Zealand is usually the story of two teams, Māori and Pākehā (European tradition within New Zealand), and cultural achievements are no exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are numerous lovely examples of carvings and weavings, each of which often have religious and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, panorama paintings and some Māori portraiture were common.

One of the widely known cultural components of the Māori folks is the haka, a posture dance that includes stamping ft, rhythmic cries and overtly exposed tongues. The All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby union staff, has carried out this ritual before matches since 1905.

While there has historically been little worldwide curiosity in New Zealand’s cultural exports, the film business has seen a latest boon. New Zealand films Once Had been Warriors, The Piano, Heavenly Creatures and Whale Rider all enjoyed national and international 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 damaged into international acclaim, and the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords enjoys worldwide 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 rare circumstances can you pay with US dollars right here, so at all times convert into the native currency. Most retailers settle for major credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. For those who’re going someplace particularly distant, just be certain that 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.

TIPPING
While tipping’s not necessary in restaurants, it’s still common, especially in touristy areas. A ten p.c gratuity for notably glorious service will always be appreciated. At hotels, it’s considered a nice gesture to tip anyone carrying your bags or cleaning your room. These tips are typically a number of dollars.

PUBLIC BEHAVIOR
New Zealand’s typically a quite relaxed, open and pleasant nation. Westerners received’t come up against too many strict social customs or taboos. There are, nevertheless, subtle variations 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. Always 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 vital as well.

PUBLIC BATHROOMS
Public bathrooms are clean, trendy and readily available throughout New Zealand. You can expect sinks, running water and toilet 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 gentle music over a speaker system, they permit you to lock the door on the push of a button, and the toilet automatically flushes once you wash your palms!

DRINKING WATER
Tap water’s clean and protected 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 pools, and bring alongside your preferred water sterilization method—just to be safe.

AUCKLAND REGION
Named after the nation’s largest city middle, the Auckland area contains everything from metropolitan bars and restaurants to the islands of Hauraki Gulf, where you’re liable to see whales and dolphins.

Auckland: A beautiful metropolis of metropolitan and cultural significance, Auckland is a can’t-miss stop 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 the world’s costliest cities.)

BAY OF PLENTY REGION
Situated within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, this area’s greatest identified for its intensive geothermal exercise, but it surely’s additionally a site of historical and cultural significance to the Māori people.

Rotorua: Whether or not you’re interested in the geothermal activity, trout fishing or Maori tradition, Rotorua will preserve 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 but stay for the wine. Hawke’s Bay is understood internationally as the house to many award-winning reds and whites.

Napier: Devastated in a 1931 earthquake, this resilient metropolis rebuilt in its now-well-known Art Deco architectural style. Individuals flock here 12 months-round 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 area quintessentially Kiwi.