Things That Might Surprise First Time Visitors to New Zealand
Besides being astonishingly beautiful,New Zealand is a land full of surprises, culture, and more. Some things you may already know, but don’t feel bad if you don’t. Here are some things that just might surprise you when you visit New Zealand — and you just might want to visit New Zealand you haven’t planned a trip there yet!
1 New Zealand is not the Same as Australia
Yes, some people think they are the same, or similar but they are actually very different. The North Island has ties much closer to Polynesia, and The South Island may seem like you are visiting Scotland. The landscape is like Ireland, due to the rain, or even Canada. People roll their r’s here too.
2 The Largest Polynesian Population in The World is in Auckland
New Zealand has about 4 million people and 260,000 identify as Polynesian; most live in Auckland. Polynesians are those of Cook Island, Tuvalu, Tongan, and Samoan descent.
3 Rugby – It is NOT just a Sport Here
Rugby is a big way for Kiwis to come together, feel national pride and boy are they good at it! Rugby is an important part of the country’s national identity. The ‘All Blacks’ are the name of the National Rugby team and if you visit any café on a Monday morning after a loss, the mood is downright depressing. They hate the Wallabies, The National Australian Rugby team, with a passion.
4 There isn’t much that can kill you here
You can go hiking and feel safe that there are no lethal spiders, snakes and no crocodiles to encounter if you wade in the waters.
5 You can get 4 Seasons in 1 DAY! Summers are short
New Zealand has a mild climate and plenty of rainfall – Summer doesn’t officially arrive in the South Island until at least Christmas. You will need to pack a jersey (jumper) even in January, along with your jandals (thongs/flip flops). Avoid beach resort areas in winter, it’s pretty cold.
6 Napier has the most Art Deco buildings in the world, next to South Beach in Miami
After a massive earthquake that levelled the city in 1931, the entire city was rebuilt. Napier has an impressive collection of art deco buildings and was nominated to become a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is the biggest concentration in the Southern Hemisphere of buildings in the styles of the 1930s.
7 Kiwis Love, Love their Tip Top Ice Cream
Kiwis claim Tip Top ice cream is the best in the southern hemisphere. They’re also partial to chocolate-coated marshmallow fish and pineapple lumps. You can usually buy these treats at the local ice cream shop.
8 The Coffee is Fantastic!
You can get great coffee in New Zealand. Kiwis are just as obsessed with coffee as we are. Apparently, this is where instant coffee was invented, and they also claim to have devised the world’s first flat white (Australia argues it did).
9 Kiwis are so very friendly
Don’t be surprised if they stop just to chat, help with directions, and tell you about their family. They also want to know why you’re visiting New Zealand, where you’re going and how long you’re staying. Strangers will might even feed lunch to your child playing with their kids on the beach.
10 Fifteen percent of New Zealand’s population are Maori
Maori is an official language of New Zealand. The indigenous Māori people a huge part of society and government. Māori customs play a big part in the lives of many modern Māori in New Zealand and are a big part of Kiwi culture.
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