Quick Glance At New Zealand
Travel Cost : ★★★★☆
4.7 million with 48% Christianity and 41% without religion.
Maori is the national language. However, English is the main language and spoken by 96% of the population.
New Zealand Dollar. 1 US Dollar is approximately 1.37 New Zealand Dollar.
Type I socket. Standard voltage in New Zealand is 230V, standard frequency is 50Hz.
Public buses are very convenient in New Zealand. Some travelers buy or rent a vehicle if they are doing long-term traveling. Owning a vehicle also provides access to remote locations and attractions.
A budget dorm bed in backpackers hostel ranges between $20 to $25 with a BBH or YHA Card. Without BBH Card, add another $4 for each night. BBH Card is highly recommended for backpackers as it saves a lot of money in the long run.
Public holidays are big news to New Zealanders, you can literally feel the atmosphere in the streets. There are usually some events accompanying the big days. Each region also has their own Anniversary Day celebrating with various events like agricultural show and horse-jumping. Here are the brief rundowns of the festivals celebrated in New Zealand.
January - New Year's Day
February - Waitangi Day (Anniversary of singing of Treaty of Waitangi)
First Saturday in February (in even-numbered years) - Rippon Open Air Festival, Wanaka
First Saturday in February - Martinborough Fair, Martinborough
Second Saturday in February - Wine Marlborough Festival, Blenheim
Mid-February to early March - Wellington Fringe Festival
Mid-February to mid-March - Burst: The Festival of Flowers, Christchurch
Late February to late March (in even-numbered years) - New Zealand International Arts Festival, Wellington
Second Saturday in March - Pasifika Festival, Auckland & Wildfoods Festival, Hokitika
Mid-March - Ellerslie International Flower Show, Christchurch
Late March to late April - Good Friday and Easter Sunday
Easter Week - Royal Easter Show, Auckland & Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow (in even-numbered years) & National Jazz Festival, Tauranga
25 April - ANZAC Day (marks the starts of the Gallipoli conflict in the First World War. For New Zealanders, it remains a solemn day, rich in tradition and ritual).
Mid-April to late April - Arrowtown Autumn Festival
Middle weekend in June - Fieldays, the southern hemisphere's largest agricultural show, Hamilton
Mid-June to late June - Matariki (Maori New Year Festival)
Late June to early July - Queenstown Winter Festival
Early August (in odd-numbered years) - Taranaki International Festival of the Arts
Late September to early October - Alexandra Blossom Festival
Fourth Monday in October - Labour Day
31 October - Halloween
25 December - Christmas Day
Food in New Zealand
New Zealanders share an international flavor. Most of the cuisines can be found in every corners of developed nations. With more than 14,000 kilometers of coastline, seafood is easily available in New Zealand. Crayfishes served in Kaikoura had long been a favorite among locals and travelers altogether. Enjoying fish and chips along the golden sandy beaches is one of the best thing to do in New Zealand. Feel free to book yourself a Maori cultural tour and grant yourself an opportunity to taste the traditional Maori cuisines.
Things to Do
Despite this country being so sparsely-populated, New Zealand is a very well-developed nation. Packed of natural resources and wonders, New Zealand has a lot of nature attractions for travelers.
Waitomo Glowworms Cave - Immerse yourself in a cave occupied by glowworms. Inside the dark cave, glowworms occupied the wall, therefore giving out calm blue twinkles. Book with a tour and you will find yourself enjoying the galaxy-like cave on a boat.
Tongariro National Park - Do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing Trail which gets you to Emerald Lake and boiling mud pools. This national park holds three active volcanoes: Tongariro, Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom in The Lord of The Rings trilogy) and Ruapehu.
Milford Sound - This untouched artwork by mother earth will never fail to impress you in any way. Whatever you expect, it will be fulfilled. Imagine huge steep mountains with waterfalls plunging downward, imagine lush green trees at the foothill with snow capped mountain tip, imagine being surrounded by kilometers-high mountains while cruising in a boat. You find them all here in Milford Sound, the place that amazes me the most. All-time.
Wanaka - A touristy town by Lake Wanaka located near to several ski field. This town can be overwhelmed by tourists from all over the planet wanting to taste the New Zealand white powders. Summit Roys Peak to enjoy a 360° panoramic view surrounded by snowy peaks, watching over the lake underneath. Makes you feel like you're on top of the world.
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