New Zealand Travel Guide

New Zealand Travel Guide

Located roughly 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of large land masses—the North Island and South Island—and almost 600 smaller islands. Whether you’re looking for unique wildlife, world-class restaurants, pristine hiking, unmatched cultural experiences, kayaking in dolphin-crammed waters, hair-raising 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 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 death of four of Tasman’s crew members and at the least one injured Māori, and Europeans didn’t return until 1769, when James Cook mapped almost the whole thing of the nation’s coastline.

Via the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the world intensified, and beginning within the early nineteenth century, Christian missionaries began converting a lot of the present Māori. By the late nineteenth century, the Māori inhabitants was at forty percent of its pre-European contact degree, due largely to European-launched diseases.

On July 1, 1841, the Colony of New Zealand was formally shaped 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 latest history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori tradition and several movements aimed at promoting higher awareness of their traditions.

New Zealand is commonly the story of two groups, Māori and Pākehā (European tradition within New Zealand), and cultural achievements aren't any exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are many beautiful examples of carvings and weavings, both of which often have religious and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, panorama paintings and some Māori portraiture had been common.

Some of the widely known cultural parts of the Māori individuals is the haka, a posture dance that involves stamping feet, rhythmic cries and brazenly uncovered 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 industry has seen a current boon. New Zealand films Once Had been Warriors, The Piano, Heavenly Creatures and Whale Rider all loved 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 a number of the following in mind:

CURRENCY
New Zealand’s foreign money is the New Zealand dollar. Only in uncommon circumstances are you able Fun things to do in New Zealand pay with US dollars right here, so all the time convert into the local currency. Most retailers settle for main credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. In case you’re going someplace significantly remote, just ensure to stock up on money beforehand. When exchanging cash, the worst rates will likely be on 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 widespread, particularly in touristy areas. A 10 p.c gratuity for significantly glorious service will always 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 couple of dollars.

PUBLIC BEHAVIOR
New Zealand’s usually a fairly relaxed, open and pleasant nation. Westerners received’t come up in opposition to 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. 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 which might be angled, so an adapter’s needed as well.

PUBLIC BATHROOMS
Public bogs are clean, trendy and readily available throughout New Zealand. You may count on sinks, running water and bathroom 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 light music over a speaker system, they permit you to lock the door at 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. 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 wantred water sterilization technique—just to be safe.

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

Auckland: An attractive 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 beautiful harbor, as well because the multicultural atmosphere. (Beware, though. Auckland has been ranked one of the world’s most costly cities.)

BAY OF PLENTY REGION
Located within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, this area’s finest identified for its in depth geothermal exercise, 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 tradition, Rotorua will hold you spellbound. Don’t miss its array of hot pools and geysers.

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

Napier: Devastated in a 1931 earthquake, this resilient city rebuilt in its now-well-known Artwork Deco architectural style. People 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 area quintessentially Kiwi.

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