ENGLISH, māori, new zealand sign langauge
new Zealand dollar (nzD)
New Zealand can be described as a wild country that has a unique environment due to its geographical isolation combined with it’s beautiful combination of cultures. It is a country influenced by Western culture yet it still manages to maintain the essence and the cultural input of the indigenous Māori people. New Zealand is a multi-ethnic country that is home to the Southern Alps, a rugged West Coast, stunning lakes, spectacular beaches, incredible fjords, glaciers, and geysers as well as lots and lots of greenery and rich biodiversity.
We love New Zealand for many reasons including its wildlife, flora, fauna, and impressive access to adventure activities. It is a country filled with happy, outdoorsy people who enjoy positive vibes, good wine, great food, and sports.
WHY WE LOVE
New Zealand is impressive in many ways. Not only is it where Lord of The Rings was filmed… (cool!), it’s also home to a combination of hot springs, spectacular mountain scenery, wineries, whales, mile-long beaches, and waterfall-streaked fjords.
New Zealand is a dream destination for many, including us because apart from having rugged terrain it also has the crystal waters of the Abel Tasman, as well as the incredible expanse of Northland’s Ninety Mile Beach. It even has specular scenery surrounding its cities! Take Queenstown for example, this spectacular location offers breathtaking sights, the comfort of a major city, and enough outdoor adventure to cover a lifetime! Kiwis or New Zealanders love nature so much they have their very own term for multi-day hiking called tramping and the country features some of the most scenic tracks on the planet. New Zealand is also the country of smiles and competition. Where else in the world are you able to find diehard ruby fans that embrace the heat of the moment while doing the Māori warrior dance, ‘haka’?! This sportsmanship is something specific to kiwis and their lust for life. ‘Work hard, play hard’ is a motto that suits life down under.
The country also has lesser known gems like the incredible Stewart island, aka Third island, which is a spectacular city known to be a Mecca for fans of Art Deco, and let’s not forget the national kiwi bird. Not to mention, they make fantastic wine! Come down, sip on some award-winning Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir and see what New Zealand is all about for yourself!
“There is only one word for New Zealand - epic." Bear Grylls
Did you know…?
- The Maori name for New Zealand is ‘Aotearoa’.It means “the land of the long white cloud”.
- Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is the 85 letter Māori name for a hill found in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. It is the longest place name found in any English-speaking country. We suggest you call it Tamata, for short.
- English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language are the nation’s three official languages.
- There are no nuclear power stations in New Zealand.
- In 2006, New Zealand had a female Queen, Governor-General, Prime Minister, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chief Justice, making it the only country in the world to have ever had women simultaneously occupy all the nation’s highest positions.
- Only 5% of NZ's population is human - the rest are animals.
- There are no snakes in New Zealand.
- Those who wish to become New Zealand citizens must first take the Oath of Citizenship which states allegiance to the Queen.
- New Zealand was the first major country to grant women the right to vote, in 1893.
- Many Maori tribes have strong cultural affinities to whales. In Maori cosmology, whales are the descendants of Tangaroa, the god of the oceans. They are considered supernatural and often deemed tapu, or sacred.
NEW ZEALAND TRAVEL GUIDE
When to go
New Zealand is exciting all year round but if you’re interested in parties, festivals, and music we suggest you go during the summer. Keep in mind that the seasons are reversed down under, therefore summer is from December to February. Although summer is an incredible time for outdoor dance and fun that offers a plethora of incredible festivals, it is also the country’s high season (which also means ‘most expensive’). So, if you’re not a fan of warm weather and or crowds and prefer to have all the outdoor space to yourself, we suggest you look into travelling another time. Winter (June-August) is also a popular time to visit NZ, especially for snow enthusiast. If you’re interested in skiing and or snowboarding you should definitely look into visiting the Southern Alps. During this time of year Queenstown is packed with skiing and snowboarding aficionados. The cheapest times, however, are during the transitional aka ‘shoulder season’ which goes from April to May and September to October. These are the slow-paced months. Normally, this season offers quieter towns, lower prices, and although the weather might not be ‘ideal’ for some it certainly offers a ‘vibe’ of its own that is worth discovering.
How to get there/around
Flying to New Zealand from the US is easy and straight forward. You can find direct flights, especially from major cities like Chicago, LA, and San Francisco. If you’re departing from the west coast your average flight time will be about 12 hours. Travelling from Europe is also relatively ‘easy’. Flights to New Zealand from the United Kingdom depart from main cities and most international flights land in Auckland or Christchurch. The biggest ‘setback’ would have to be the length of the flight but that’s nothing a little wine or a nap can’t fix. Domestic services connect both Auckland and Christchurch airports with smaller airports throughout the country. New Zealand provides impeccable public transportation. Intercity buses travel through most places, especially those tourists seem to be interested in. Consider Mana and or Naked Bus. If you’re interested in visiting the South Island, you can take the reliable and fair-priced ferry that departs from Wellington. Renting a car is not a necessity in New Zealand, unless you’d like to visit some seriously secluded locations or just want to embark on a road trip. If you do decide on renting a car it is important that you ask the rental company whether they have any policies or restrictions related to inter-island travels.
What to see & do
There’s a lot to do in New Zealand apart from the obvious activities of eating, drinking, and hiking. A few must-dos include; visiting and sand duning down the Te Paki Sand Dunes, seeing a live rugby game, going zorbing in Rotorua, bungy jumping in Queenstown, swimming with the fascinating breed of Dusky Dolphins, kayaking stunning fjords, going on a kiwi bird quest or whale watching, attending a Maori haka (dance) show, travelling to the West Coast and go hiking on a glacier, and of course visiting the world-renowned Milford or Doubtful Sound!
What to pack
Layers are important make sure you back some, regardless of the season! Make sure to pack a thermal under layer, jacket, and some mid-layers (sweaters, long-sleeved hoodies, etc.) Sturdy walking and or hiking shoes are a must, as is a windproof and or waterproof jacket.
Some travel insights from our experts about new Zealand
- Kiwis are famous for their hospitality and happy-go-lucky way of being, they are friendly and outgoing, also somewhat private. Although it might seem effortless to start a conversation with a New Zealander, it is important to remember that some topics are best left untouched. Avoid discussing someone’s weight, especially if they are over or under weight, avoid asking if the person is married and or has any children (unless they bring it up first) and try not to get too personal. It’s perfectly okay to ask people about their weekend plans, or about the kinds of sports and or outdoor activities they enjoy.
- New Zealand not only has a lot of open space and land but it also happens to be one of the least densely populated nations, therefore people are accustomed to having their own personal space. Don’t stand too close to people, walk on the left side of the footpath, smile back at anyone who smiles at you. If you’re a smoker make sure to always go outside and lookout for signs that warn if you are currently in a ‘no smoking’ area. Also, make sure to ask those around you if they mind that you smoke, it’s the polite thing to do. Follow these simple tips and not only will you be fine, but we believe you will be able to fit right in!
- Do: Take your shoes off before entering a Māori meeting house. When in doubt, or unless stated otherwise you should also remove your shoes before entering someone’s home.
- Do: Keep about an arm-length distance between you and a person you are having a conversation with.
- Do: Check your baggage to make sure you’re not carrying any natural items such as fresh fruit. Chances are, if NZ Customs finds it on you, you will get fined. We’re serious, New Zealand is very strict about their biosecurity. Read up on what is and is not allowed into New Zealand here.
- Do: Pay extra close attention to the road. This applies to all people but especially to those who aren’t accustomed to driving on the left-hand side of the road. New Zealand roads are often narrow and winding. Not to mention they often have very few safety barriers.
- Do: Get to know the locals by engaging in conversations.
Don’t: Sit or place any hats or bags on tables where food is normally served. It is also best you refrain from sitting directly on cushions or pillows, you can however use them to prop up your back. These are customary Māori practices.
Don’t: Eat your meal before a blessing from one of your hosts has been said.
Don’t: Tip unless the service is outstanding. Tipping is not a common practice in NZ, and to do it for any industry outside of hospitality is unheard of.
Don’t: Speak poorly about rugby. Rugby is more than just the national sport, it is a cultural phenomenon that Kiwis take very seriously. Don’t knock the sport, even if it’s not your favourite, chances are you’ll end up offending people.
Don’t: Make too much noise. Many New Zealand cities have a law against making loud noises, even in your own home. It is also illegal to use your car horn after 10.30pm and before 7.30am.
Cuisine delights (3 best dishes)
There’s no way we can discuss New Zealand’s cuisine without mentioning the very famous Pavlova cake.
Pavlova is a beloved dessert throughout most of Oceania. This meringue-based treat named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova has a crisp crust and soft, light filling. This dessert is usually topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream and is a favourite during family gatherings. Pavlova’s typical toppings consists of kiwifruit, passion fruit, and strawberries.
Hāngi is an exceptionally important aspect of New Zealand cuisine as it is considered to be one of the country’s most recognized forms of cooking. Hāngi is a method that uses heated rocks buried in a pit oven to cook food. This method is still used throughout NZ, especially during special occasions. To lay or “put down a hāngi” one must dig a pit in the ground, heat and place stones inside, then place baskets of food over the stones before covering everything up. This traditional preparation must be left alone for hours before the food is uncovered and ready to serve. A customary hāngi dish consists of meat or fish and root vegetables (like kumera). Leave it to the New Zealanders to find a way to introduce soil into cooking!
Now, that’s what we call, earthy eating! Meat pies are iconic in New Zealand. This savoury soft pastry has a crusty exterior and is usually filled with minced beef. Meat pies are to New Zealand what Pizza is to New York, it’s more than a food, it’s a symbol. Pies are served with a big dollop of tomato sauce, which is NZ’s version of ketchup, and can be consumed at any time of the day. Pies are appropriate for all occasions and can be found in most places that range from restaurants to local New Zealand gas stations. Note: Try the typical New Zealand mutton/lamb with mint sauce. New Zealand is famous for its 6:1 sheep-to-person ratio as well as for its exportation of the animal meat. Many Kiwis claim they have the best lamb in the world, and you know what we think…there’s only one way to find out!
CHATTING CORNER – SURVIVAL GUIDE - Maori Language
Tourist using local greetings is highly encouraged but like in any other country. Maori greetings are no different and will (most often than not) elicit a positive response from both Maori and Pakeha (European) New Zealanders.
- Hello — Kia ora
- Hello everyone — Kia ora tatou
- Greetings to you (said to one person) — Tena koe
- Greeting to you all — Tena koutou
- Welcome — Haere mai
- Welcome — Nau mai
- How’s it going? — Kei te pehea koe?
- Good — Kei te pai
- Really good — Tino pai
- Farewell — Haere ra
- Until I see you again (Bye) — Ka kite ano
- See you later — Hei konei ra
NEW ZEALAND SLANG
- Grog — Alcohol
- Hard Case — A tough but likeable person, an eccentric person
- Hook Up — Meet up or join in
- Hoon — A noisy person, a lout
- Jandals — Rubber sandals or thongs (called flip flops in Britain)
- Munted — To be broken or distorted
- Smoko — Coffee or Tea Break
- Snowed Under — Usually has too much work or responsibility
- Sweet As —Term used to express approval, happiness, or great
- Wop Wops — Remote or Rural District, the countryside
WHY BOOK WITH
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