Located roughly 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of two giant land masses—the North Island and South Island—and almost 600 smaller islands. Whether you’re searching for distinctive wildlife, world-class eating places, pristine hiking, unmatched cultural experiences, kayaking in dolphin-crammed waters, hair-raising adrenaline sports or sandy, tropical beaches, Travel around New Zealand
Zealand brings all of it together in one unforgettable nation.
New Zealand is historically distinctive in that it was one of the final major land plenty 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 first meeting between Māori and Europeans resulted in the loss of life of four of Tasman’s crew members and a minimum of one injured Māori, and Europeans didn’t return till 1769, when James Cook mapped almost everything of the nation’s coastline.
By the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the world intensified, and starting in the early 19th century, Christian missionaries started converting a lot of the prevailing Māori. By the late nineteenth century, the Māori inhabitants was at 40 p.c of its pre-European contact degree, 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 via the Great Melancholy as well.
In more current history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori culture and several other movements aimed toward promoting higher awareness of their traditions.
New Zealand is commonly the story of two 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 stunning examples of carvings and weavings, each of which typically have religious and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, landscape paintings and some Māori portraiture were common.
One of the most well known cultural components 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 staff, has carried out this ritual earlier than 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 Once Were Warriors, The Piano, Heavenly Creatures and Whale Rider all enjoyed nationwide 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 broken into worldwide acclaim, and the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords enjoys international success as well.
When traveling in New Zealand, preserve some of the following in mind:
New Zealand’s foreign money is the New Zealand dollar. Solely in rare circumstances can you pay with US dollars right here, so all the time convert into the local currency. Most retailers settle for major credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. Should you’re going somewhere particularly remote, just be sure that to stock up on money beforehand. When exchanging cash, the worst rates will likely 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 restaurants, it’s nonetheless widespread, especially in touristy areas. A ten percent gratuity for particularly glorious 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. These tips tend to be a few dollars.
New Zealand’s typically a quite relaxed, open and friendly nation. Westerners received’t come up towards 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. Always check your US objects to see if they’re compatible with one hundred ten and 220. If not, you’ll need a converter. New Zealand uses - or three-pin plugs that are angled, so an adapter’s essential as well.
Public bathrooms are clear, fashionable and readily available all through New Zealand. You'll be able to anticipate sinks, running water and toilet paper to be provided.
Hold 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 gentle 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!
Tap water’s clear and secure to drink throughout New Zealand. If you happen to’re heading out for multiday adventures in the wild, use the identical frequent sense you'd anywhere. Don’t drink from stagnant swimming pools, and produce along your desirered water sterilization methodology—just to be safe.
Named after the nation’s largest urban center, the Auckland region comprises everything from metropolitan bars and restaurants to the islands of Hauraki Gulf, the place you’re liable to see whales and dolphins.
Auckland: A ravishing metropolis of metropolitan and cultural significance, Auckland is a can’t-miss cease for anyone hitting the North Island. Take within the Sky Tower and beautiful harbor, as well as the multicultural atmosphere. (Beware, though. Auckland has been ranked one of many world’s most expensive cities.)
BAY OF PLENTY REGION
Situated within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, this area’s greatest identified for its extensive geothermal exercise, however it’s additionally a site of historical and cultural significance to the Māori people.
Rotorua: Whether you’re interested within the geothermal activity, trout fishing or Maori culture, Rotorua will preserve you spellbound. Don’t miss its array of sizzling pools and geysers.
HAWKE’S BAY REGION
Nestled along the japanese coast of the North Island, many come for the scenery however keep for the wine. Hawke’s Bay is understood internationally as the home to many award-profitable reds and whites.
Napier: Devastated in a 1931 earthquake, this resilient city rebuilt in its now-well-known Artwork Deco architectural style. Individuals flock here 12 months-spherical 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 area quintessentially Kiwi.