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New Zealand Travel Guide

New Zealand Travel Guide

Located approximately 900 miles east of Australia, New Zealand is an island nation comprised of two massive land masses—the North Island and South Island—and practically 600 smaller islands. Whether or not you’re searching 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 it all collectively in a single unforgettable nation.

New Zealand is historically unique in that it was one of many last main 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 until the 1642 voyage of the Dutchman Abel Tasman. The primary 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 virtually the whole thing of the nation’s coastline.

Via the whaling and trading industries, European exploration of the area intensified, and beginning within the early nineteenth century, Christian missionaries started converting much of the existing Māori. By the late 19th century, the Māori population was at 40 p.c of its pre-European contact level, 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 each World War I and World War II and suffered by means of the Nice Melancholy as well.

In more recent history, there’s been a resurgence of Māori culture and several movements aimed at promoting greater awareness of their traditions.

New Zealand is commonly the story of two groups, Māori and Pākehā (European tradition within New Zealand), and cultural achievements are not any exception. Within the Māori tradition, there are lots of lovely examples of carvings and weavings, both of which often have non secular and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, panorama paintings and a few Māori portraiture were common.

One of the well known cultural elements of the Māori folks is the haka, a posture dance that involves stamping ft, rhythmic cries and openly exposed tongues. The All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby union crew, 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. Travel around New Zealand Zealand films As soon as Have been Warriors, The Piano, Heavenly Creatures and Whale Rider all enjoyed 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 broken into international acclaim, and the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords enjoys worldwide success as well.

When touring in New Zealand, preserve among the following in thoughts:

CURRENCY
New Zealand’s currency is the New Zealand dollar. Solely in rare circumstances are you able to pay with US dollars here, so always convert into the native currency. Most retailers settle for major credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. When you’re going somewhere significantly distant, just ensure to stock up on money beforehand. When exchanging cash, the worst rates will possible 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 common, especially in touristy areas. A ten % gratuity for notably excellent service will all the time be appreciated. At hotels, it’s considered a nice gesture to tip anybody carrying your bags or cleaning your room. These tips are usually a few dollars.

PUBLIC BEHAVIOR
New Zealand’s typically a fairly relaxed, open and friendly nation. Westerners won’t come up against too many strict social customs or taboos. There are, however, subtle variations between the coexisting European and Māori cultures. Māori, for instance, 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 suitable with a hundred and ten and 220. If not, you’ll want a converter. New Zealand uses - or three-pin plugs that are angled, so an adapter’s vital as well.

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

Keep a particular 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 allow you to lock the door at the push of a button, and the toilet automatically flushes if you wash your palms!

DRINKING WATER
Tap water’s clean and secure to drink all through New Zealand. In case you’re heading out for multiday adventures within the wild, use the same common sense you would anywhere. Don’t drink from stagnant swimming pools, and produce along your favorred water sterilization method—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, the place 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 anyone hitting the North Island. Take within the Sky Tower and gorgeous 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 known for its intensive geothermal exercise, however it’s also a site of historical and cultural significance to the Māori people.

Rotorua: Whether or not you’re interested within the geothermal exercise, trout fishing or Maori culture, Rotorua will maintain 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 thought internationally as the home 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. Folks flock right here yr-round for wine festivals and celebrations of their Art Deco history and heritage.

WAIKATO REGION
Black-sand beaches, revered surfing, natural harbors and pervasive livestock make this North Island area quintessentially Kiwi.