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

Travel around New Zealand Zealand is historically unique in that it was one of the last main land lots 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 primary meeting between Māori and Europeans resulted within the death of four of Tasman’s crew members and no less than one injured Māori, and Europeans didn’t return till 1769, when James Cook mapped almost 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 nineteenth century, Christian missionaries started changing a lot of the prevailing Māori. By the late 19th century, the Māori population was at forty percent of its pre-European contact stage, due largely to European-launched diseases.

On July 1, 1841, the Colony of New Zealand was officially 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 means of the Nice Melancholy as well.

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

New Zealand is often 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 lots of beautiful examples of carvings and weavings, both of which typically have spiritual and storytelling significance. From the early Pākehā, panorama paintings and a few Māori portraiture had been common.

One of the most widely known cultural components of the Māori people is the haka, a posture dance that involves stamping ft, rhythmic cries and openly exposed 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 interest in New Zealand’s cultural exports, the film business has seen a latest boon. New Zealand films Once Have been Warriors, The Piano, Heavenly Creatures and Whale Rider all loved nationwide 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 damaged into international acclaim, and the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords enjoys worldwide success as well.

When touring in New Zealand, preserve a number of the following in thoughts:

CURRENCY
New Zealand’s currency is the New Zealand dollar. Only in rare circumstances are you able to pay with US dollars here, so all the time convert into the native currency. Most retailers settle for main credit cards, and ATMs are plentiful. If you happen to’re going someplace particularly distant, just be certain that to stock up on cash beforehand. When exchanging money, the worst rates will likely be on the airport and in hotels. Merely withdrawing from an ATM tends to give you the most favorable rate.

TIPPING
While tipping’s not necessary in eating places, it’s still frequent, particularly in touristy areas. A ten percent gratuity for particularly excellent service will at all times be appreciated. At hotels, it’s considered a pleasant gesture to tip anybody carrying your bags or cleaning your room. The following tips are usually just a few dollars.

PUBLIC BEHAVIOR
New Zealand’s usually a fairly relaxed, open and friendly nation. Westerners received’t come up towards too many strict social customs or taboos. There are, however, 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. At all times check your US objects to see in the event that they’re appropriate with one hundred ten and 220. If not, you’ll need a converter. New Zealand uses two- or three-pin plugs which are angled, so an adapter’s needed as well.

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

Hold 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 light music over a speaker system, they permit you to lock the door on the push of a button, and the bathroom automatically flushes when you wash your hands!

DRINKING WATER
Faucet water’s clean and safe to drink all through New Zealand. When 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 bring along your favorred water sterilization technique—just to be safe.

AUCKLAND REGION
Named after the nation’s largest city heart, 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 ravishing city 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 as the multicultural atmosphere. (Beware, though. Auckland has been ranked one of many world’s most expensive cities.)

BAY OF PLENTY REGION
Located within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, this region’s greatest known for its in depth geothermal exercise, however 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 preserve you spellbound. Don’t miss its array of sizzling swimming pools and geysers.

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

Napier: Devastated in a 1931 earthquake, this resilient metropolis rebuilt in its now-famous Artwork Deco architectural style. People flock here 12 months-spherical for wine festivals and celebrations of their Artwork Deco history and heritage.

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