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Kia Ora and Welcome to New Zealand
Kiwi - not just a flightless bird, but the nickname used internationally for people from New Zealand, as well as being a relatively common self-reference. A land consisting of incredible unspoilt natural beauty, New Zealand boasts endless coastlines, with a proud, rich and diverse culture.
From skiing the snow-capped mountains, to bungy jumping, hiking, or enjoying the world renowned wine regions, New Zealand has it all.
New Zealand’s history
New Zealand was settled by Polynesians some 700 years ago, which led to the development of the distinct and rich Maori culture that’s centred on kinship links and land. New Zealand today, is a multicultural nation that is welcoming and friendly to all.
English is the official language of New Zealand, whilst Maori become the joint official language in 1987.
New Zealand also became the first nation in the world to declare sign language as an official language in 2006.
- Jandals = flip flops
- Togs = swimsuit
- Bro = friend or mate
- Sweet as = OK
- Kia Ora = Hello (Maori)
- Hei konei ra - See you later (Maori)
The New Zealand Dollar ($NZD) is the official currency.
Bank notes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 with coin amounts of 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2.
Food and Drink
New Zealand’s cuisine draws inspiration from Europe, Asia and of course Polynesia. This blend of influences focus on fresh and local produce that include seafood, lamb and fruit.
Although it’s considered cliché, a trip to New Zealand is not complete without sampling the local fish and chips. The incredible Mangōnui Fish Shop, located on the far northern tip has tourists and locals queuing out the door for the freshest fish and local specialties on offer.
In addition to great food, New Zealand is well renowned for its wine, with over 700 wineries dotted over 125km of coastline. The Marlborough region, one of New Zealand’s largest wineries, produces arguably the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc.
Local Wine: Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling
Local Foods: Roast lamb and hand crafted cheeses. Try Over the Moon Dairy’s Galactic Gold, winner of multiple best cheese awards.
New Zealand is made up of two main islands, the North and South Islands. With a mountainous landscape, rolling glaciers, subtropical forest and volcanic plains, it’s no wonder film director Peter Jackson chose New Zealand as the location to shoot his fantasy adventure series Lord of the Rings trilogy, as it bore an uncanny resemblance to JRR Tolkien’s fictional and mythical world of Middle-earth.
- Spring: September – November
- Average Temperatures: Min 9, Max 17
- Summer: December – February
- Average Temperatures: Min 12, Max 23
- Autumn: March – May
- Average Temperatures: Min 10, Max 19
- Winter: June – Augus
- Average Temperatures:Min 6, Max 13
Best times to visit:
New Zealand’s fairly constant temperatures (varying maximum temperature of 10°C), makes it the perfect place to visit all-year round.
The spring and summer seasons are best for outdoor activities like kayaking, snorkelling, rafting and hiking. During winter, the mountains are covered in thick snow, perfect for skiing and snow sport enthusiasts.
Key Tourist Hotspots:
New Zealand has an unlimited range of activities and attractions, offering visitors unbeatable adventure and exploration. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping experience, exploring the country’s natural beauty or sampling the latest wine releases – New Zealand has it all.
- Marlborough: New Zealand’s most iconic and premium wine regions are in Marlborough, internationally acclaimed for offering exhilarating flavours in many wine styles.
- Rotorua geothermal zone: A 3 hour's drive from the capital Auckland, Rotorua is New Zealand's main geothermal hot spot. Enjoy a huge variety of geysers, hot springs and Maori cultural attractions that are exquisitely unique to New Zealand.
- Queenstown: This idyllic alpine town sits on the edge of Lake Wakatipu and offers heart-pumping activities, with a focus on adrenaline. Skiing, jet boating, paragliding and bungy jumping are all found here.
- Great Barrier Island: Known affectionately as "the Barrier", this is the 4th largest of New Zealand's Islands and offers a rugged and wild landscape. Located 90 kilometres from Auckland, you can practice your surfing or just explore the many lagoons and inlets that make this island so spectacular.
- The Hertz Rugby Sevens – January (30-31)
- NRL Auckland Nines – February (6-7)
- BMW New Zealand Golf Open – March (10-13)
- American Express Queenstown Winter Festival – June 24 – July 4
- Rhythm and Vines music festival – December (29-31)