New Zealand

New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country is made up of two main landmasses – the North Island and the South Island as well as over 700 smaller islands. It is the sixth-largest island country by area.

Capital City

Wellington

Currency

New Zealand Dollar

Total population:

5.08 million (2020)

Languages spoken:

English, Maori

Cultural dos:

Clean up after yourself at all times (especially in national parks, or in nature, in general) and do not litter.

Cultural don’ts:

Don’t touch another person’s head, unless invited. For Māori, the head is tapu (sacred).

Continent:

Oceania

Top three foods the country is known for:

  • Hangi (meat and vegetables cooked slowly in an underground oven), 
  • New Zealand Lamb
  • Pavlova dessert

Bonus:

  • Manuka honey (famous for its healing properties), 

What the country is known for :

  • Black Caps (National Cricket Team),
  • All Blacks (National Rugby Team),
  • The Haka,
  • Lord of the Rings filming location

More About New Zealand

I moved to New Zealand in 2017 for what was supposed to be a year of overseas experience. But fell in love with the outdoor life-style and the chill vibes of the country and its people, and ended up staying for four years (with hopes to return). This island is what I call a nature lover’s paradise. Packed with breath taking scenery spread across its vast borders with beaches, hot water springs, desert, rivers, hills, mountains, caves, you name it. There is a beautiful natural diversity in the country which makes for lovely exploration of a variety of native birds, flora and fauna. One amazing thing about New Zealand is that it has no predators and therefore generally worry free from a hiking perspective.

People from New Zealand are known as Kiwis. Not sure if this is from the indigenous bird or the fruit. Kiwis are made up of mainly Maoris and Pakeha (white Kiwis). There are over 100 iwi or tribes, each with their unique stories and legacies. Look up the Treaty of Waitangi – this will give you a bit of an insight on New Zealand history and may give you some idea or indication perhaps some of the cultural differences of New Zealand social make-up. The Maori are known for the Haka, a war dance performed in a group before a battle commences. It has been popularised by the All Blacks who perform the Haka at the start of each rugby game. Do not mistake rugby with Australian football with a Kiwi (New Zealander). The Maori culture is highly promoted across the country with a Maori Language week, matariki (Maori New Year) and a karakia (formal maori greeting) by a local iwi leader, at most official meetings/ceremonies. 

People from New Zealand are known as Kiwis. Not sure if this is from the indigenous bird or the fruit. New Zealand is also a massive wine producing country with a variety of wine regions on the north and south of the island. As a recommendation, Otago Pinot Noirs and Malborough whites are some of my favourites. They are also big on their craft beers – I am not a big beer fan so its difficult for me to make any recommendations on this front. If you ever get an invitation to a Kiwi BBQ at the beach, don’t say no. It can be such a fun way to spend the day with people enjoying food, drink, games and nature. Don’t be afraid to take a dip into the water for a swim, but heed any travel advice on this front. 

Places visited

Destination Gallery

NEWS & UPDATES

Travel Blog

Talk about a new restaurant opening

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A guide to fine dining etiquette

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