The diverse culture of New Zealand is steeped in the history and culture of the indigenous Maori. Legend has it that, more than 1000 years ago, the Maori came to New Zealand from Hawaiki, their ancestrial home, in open boats similar to the traditional crafts that some still use.
Two main islands and several small islands off the southwest coast of Australia is the isolated island country of New Zealand. Across the Tasman Sea lies Australia and Tonga and Fiji are to the north. New Zealand occupies an area of 268670 square kilometers. The area is a bit less landmass than is occupied by Japan and slightly more than the UK. New Zealand has substantial marine resources and is the fifth largest EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) on the Earth. This means New Zealand can lay claim to more than over four million square kilometers, more than fifteen times its landmass, for their exclusive “exploration and use of marine resources”.
New Zealand’s temperate climate means that temperatures seldom go higher than 30°C (86°F) or drop lower 0°C (32°F). Wet, cold, and mountainous; South Island is the largest of the two islands and the Southern Alps, running length wise through the island, divides the east side of the island from the west side. In contrast, North Island is dry, continental and pocked by volcanoes. An active volcano, Mount Ruapehu, is the highest mountain on North Island at 9,176 feet. The popularity of the island landscape soared in popularity after the Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot there.
New Zealand has total population of over four million people with the Maori making up the largest minority. Other significant minority populations are composed of Asians and Polynesians (non-Maori), most visibly in urban areas. Although Elizabeth II is a figurehead, she holds the title of the Queen of New Zealand. The office of New Zealand’s Prime Minister holds the true political power in the elected Parliament.
The government has been remodeling the economy ever since 1984 so that it is more of an industrialized free market and far less dependent on the British market. In order for that model to work, there must be significant agricultural exports. Leading in this area are meat/dairy/forest products, vegetables and fruit, wool, and fish.
Many other cultures have had a significant influence on the culture in New Zealand. The heaviest influences come from the Irish, British and Maori. Polynesians gravitated to this landmass in 1000AD and established the indigenous population of Maori. Scottish settlers have had an impact on the culture of New Zealand, to the extent that New Zealand now has more bagpipe bands than Scotland does.
The Kiwi is the national bird of the country and has been adopted as a nickname for New Zealanders. It is also often used as an adjective when referring to their culture.
New Zealand has many facets to be explored and relished. Book your visit now!
Rotorua, noted for its geothermal activity, is one of the “must see” vacation destination in New Zealand. The thrill of walking in a volcano, the calm of strolling leisurely beside the lake, the exhilaration of rafting a waterfalls, the adventure of exploring the buried village, or the serenity of bathing in the therapeutic natural basin between the mica formations known as the Red and White Terraces is only further enhanced by staying at Peppers on the Point on the outskirts of Rotorua.
“Peppers on the Point”, a premier retreat, unexpectedly comes into view as you travel up the quiet Kawaha Point Road. As you gaze on the panoramic view, the beauty of the estate takes your breath away. Staying at Peppers is an experience not to be denied! On one hand, it is within walking distance of Rotorua and, on the other hand, it is away from the nose-wrinkling odor of sulphur.
Taking full advantage of a spectacular view of Lake Rotorua, Peppers is perched on a point of land that gives most of the suites a stunning lake view. Nine exquisite suites are located in the two story main building and are tastefully furnished. Cottage suites, just a few steps from the main building, boast decks, hot tubs and an incredible view of the lake.
In a country where cuisine is not highly noted, the restaurant at Peppers serves up superb food. The restaurant is not only widely acknowledged as excellent but the wine cellar houses some of the finest wines.
There is so much to do that you can fill your days with as much, or as little, activity as you choose. If you desire the calm contemplation of fishing, the retreat’s private beach is just the place to partake in fly-fishing. If getting pampered is more your style, Peppers offers a spa where you can enjoy hot stone treatments, body wraps, and relaxing massages, as well as several other delightful spa treatments. Tennis and water sports are available to burn off some energy or you can go walk to view the Rotorua geysers.
The 1930’s mansion is steeped in history and set on 2.8 hectares of pastoral land giving you the feeling of staying in a home rather than a hotel. If you want your vacation in New Zealand to be unforgettable, spend some time staying at Peppers on the Point.
New Zealand has some of the most unique vacation experiences that can be found anywhere. Nature has been extremely generous to this island country. Time may be the only factor that prevents you from taking in all the sights and activities available. You can spend months in New Zealand and never do the same thing twice so researching and planning out your trip is of paramount importance if you want to get everything possible out of the time that you are able to spend in this wonderful country.
Vacationing in New Zealand usually requires that you travel a great distance from home so you will have to make sure that you do the things that you most want to do. New Zealand boasts pristine nature; unspoiled volcanoes and glaciers; wild coastline; unique wildlife; majestic mountains; and much, much more.
Incredibly Special Activities
One incredible activity offered in New Zealand is cave tubing through the spectacular Ruakuri Caves. It starts innocently enough, an inflated inner tube serving as a flotation device. As you ride roaring rapids, get swept through impossibly tight crevices, and plunge down waterfalls; while a massive number of glowworms produce the eerie light that bathes the cave’s limestone walls; the adrenaline pumps through your body. The same trip can be made in inflatable rafts. Both types of cave rafting is know as black water rafting and is unique to New Zealand.
Those that secretly yearn to be a racecar driver can live out their fantasy. New Zealand’s Kiwi Car Rally, an extremely popular racing event, is designed to allow beginners to get licensed and compete in this adventure. In order to compete you must get trained and licensed but, once you are, you get to participate in the Rally. Adventure companies supply everything you need to compete, except the navigator. For the cost of your fee, you get to participate in a one, two or seven day road rally; a week’s training; all safety gear; race jackets; accommodations; meals and gas, as well as the use of a professional competition-ready racecar which you can sponsor if you want.
What else to do
If you are visiting New Zealand for less than a month, you may be better off to concentrate on exploring either North or South Island or a specific region. The best regions to visit are North Island’s Ruapehu, Taupo, and Rotorua and South Island’s Nelson/Marlborough area, Fiordland, and Otago.
Planning your trip
Many people spend three weeks in New Zealand. Check the official websites of any cities and towns that you are going to visit so that you can plan a trip that is not too busy. You don’t want to be exhausted.
You will want to take casual clothing for the most part. If you intend to go hiking, take warm clothing and buy a rain poncho there. If you are going to go camping, you will need to take a sleeping bag that is good for three seasons. All of your camping gear must be clean. Because there will be inspections to ensure that hazards aren’t introduced to this isolated country.