New Zealand’s awesome landscapes, lush forests, amazing wildlife and pleasant climate make it a haven for many outdoor activities, and a great place to unwind. New Zealand society is diverse, sophisticated, and multicultural, and the honesty, friendliness, and openness of Kiwis will impress you. And the great advantage of New Zealand is that all of its diverse physical, cultural, and artistic landscapes are so close to each other!
While New Zealand is a relatively young country, with a rich and fascinating history, reflecting both the Maori and European heritage. Amazing Maori historic sites and taonga (treasures), some dating back almost a thousand years, are a contrast to many beautiful colonial buildings. A walk around any New Zealand city today shows what a culturally diverse and fascinating country it has become.
New Zealanders have a unique and dynamic culture, with European, Maori, Pacific and Asian influences. It’s a culture that celebrates the many different lifestyles they live, and the stories they have to tell.
New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people have a unique and fascinating language and culture, which plays a major role in New Zealand life. Though a diverse and multicultural people, there are many qualities, including friendliness, individuality, invention and self-reliance that you’ll find in most New Zealanders. It’s their national character!
New Zealand's spectacularly beautiful landscape includes vast mountain chains, steaming volcanoes, sweeping coastlines, deeply indented fiords and lush rainforests.
Comparable in size and/or shape to Great Britain, Colorado or Japan, New Zealand has a population of only 4 million - making it one of the world's least crowded countries. It is a haven for those seeking peace, rejuvenation and relaxation as well as a playground for thrill seekers and adventurers. A temperate climate with relatively small seasonal variation makes it an ideal year-round holiday destination.
English is the common and everyday language of New Zealand. New Zealand is a multi-cultural society and you may hear many other languages spoken, including Maori, which is also an official language of New Zealand.
New Zealand has four distinct seasons. The north of New Zealand is subtropical and the south temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest June, July and August.
In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30°C and in winter between 10-15°C. While these temperatures are the norm, the weather in New Zealand can change unexpectedly as cold fronts or tropical cyclones quickly blow in. Because of this, you should be prepared for sudden changes in weather and temperature, particularly if you’re going hiking or doing other outdoor activities.
New Zealand's unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). Coins have values of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2; notes have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. And the good news is that you get more for your US dollar - for $1 USD you'll get around $1.40 NZD!
There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand. However, every person who carries more than NZ$10,000 in cash in or out of New Zealand is required to complete a Border Cash Report.
Motel Bar, a New York-styled 50's Jazz club located in the heart of Wellington, offers delicious cocktails amidst chic ambiance.
The Southlander Bottom Bus takes travelers to the bottom of South Island, visiting the world's most southerly city.
Food enthusiasts should try the Tuesday test kitchen at SidArt located in Auckland, where chefs continue to expand an already experimental menu.
Everything is made from ice at the Minus 5 Ice Bar in Queenstown, the perfect family spot.
Auckland heritage walks provide an insight into the hidden past of this vibrant and colorful city.
Diveworks Dolphin and Seal Encounters allow travelers the opportunity to swim with these incredible creatures.
Flying Fox Helihike tours lift travelers to the remote upper glacier, allowing them firsthand glimpses at Fox Glacier’s changing face.
Visitors aboard a Glacier Explorer along Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake can reach out and touch the icebergs as they pass.
The world-renowned Glowworm Caves of Waitomo offer spectacular guided tours of the caves, the luminescent worms’ habitat.
Visitors to the Hot Water Beach near Tairua can dig their own spa pool when hot water bubbles up through the sand.
The International Antarctic Center allows visitors firsthand encounters with the continent’s conditions and exotic wildlife.
Bungee jump at Kawarau Bridge, the birthplace of the extreme sport.
Skiing the 4 resorts of Queenstown provides visitors a variety of courses, as well as spectacular views of inimitable mountain scenery.
A jet boat ride on the Shotover River will get a visitor’s adrenaline pumping, featuring several 360-degree spins as well as high-speed canyon runs.
The Whakarewarewa Thermal valley features 65 geysers and 500 pools best explored with a guided tour.