- 2122 New Zealand
- When to go
- Traveler Advice
48HourVisit.comPlanning a short visit? Check out 48HourVisit.com, your online guide for short stays and weekend getaways.
New Zealand is perhaps most known as the magical setting of the land called “Middle-earth,” thanks to the hit movie trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Some 2.2 million foreign visitors head to the country every year, drawn to its craggy coastlines, snow-covered mountains, volcanic hot springs and winding rivers. The downside, however, is that the horde of tourists threatens to reverse its laid-back demeanor and pristine environment.
In 1768, the British explorer James Cook put the country under the British crown. It is largely made up two islands: North and South, which are separated only by the 23-kilometer wide Cook Strait. Many refer to it as one of the most recently-settled landmasses in the world, as well as one of the most prosperous.
Land of the Long White Cloud
The ancient people who first lived in New Zealand had a different name for the land. The called it “Aotearoa” which roughly means “land of the long white cloud.” Travelers, though, like to call it the “Paradise of the Pacific,” which in this case is extremely apt. The country always figures in the list of best destinations by travel guides, especially because of its natural beauty and its famed eco-tourism.
But more so than anything, New Zealand is a haven for the certified adrenaline junkies. Its craggy cliffs at Nevis, Taupo and Mangaweka invite a breathtaking dive. Its rapids, on the other hand, are meant for some serious white-water rafting, especially at Mohaka, Kaituna, and Whanganui River. Some of the best surfing breaks in the world can be caught at sites like Raglan, while leisurely boat rides are available at the Bay of Islands and the famous Milford Sound.
Embracing the Indigenous
New Zealand is also known for its traditions and culture that have survived to this day, even with the advent of the modern age. Some 2,000 years ago, settlers from Eastern Polynesia arrived at the land's shores - and over the centuries became a distinct tribe now known as the Maori. Unlike in other countries, however, their culture lives in the mainstream, particularly because it recognizes and celebrates its indigenous roots.
A significant percentage of New Zealand's population still speaks the Maori language, and is the largest minority in the country. Some of their festivals and traditions are still observed today. The Maori culture is perhaps best experienced in Rotorua (largest Maori settlement in the country), where one can live among the tribes and be one of them - even for a while.
New Zealand Landmarks:
New Zealand Traveler Advice
Ta Marija Restaurant
In «Ta 'Marija», located in the center of the village Mosta you’ll be amazed by the welcoming atmosphere created thanks to the traditional setting of talented entertainers and warm ones. Every Wednesday and Friday after the Auto Reviews and Auto Shows that are shown in the TV, customers are invited to sing accompanied by mandolin and guitar, traditional and popular songs ... Read full Blog post
Ati-atihan in Kalibo Aklan
Ati-atihand origins ccan be traced to 1210 when refugees from Borneo would smear their faces with soot in affectionalte immitation of the Filipino natives The island of Panay in the Visayas is where this particular detail of Philipine history took place sometime ih the late 12th or early 13th century. For centuries hence, it has been commemoratged in one specific place - in Kalibo, the capital ... Read full Blog post
An Aerial fiesta in Clark Pampanga
Its a party in the sky as multi colored hot air balloons piloted ny different pilots from various partso of the world participated in this annual gathering. As early as 5am, the 2,500 hectare aviation complex at Clar Economic Zone in Pampanga was already crammedi with excitement. Clusters of hot air balloon participants busily prepare their own balloons for liftoff as they need to take advantage of ... Read full Blog post