Located in the South Pacific Ocean, New Zealand might look small on a world map, but it’s as diverse as several continents rolled into one.
Essential New Zealand
A selection of recommended experiences to complete your New Zealand holiday
- Experience quality dining and world-class wines in Auckland and Wellington
- Explore glacial valleys and alpine lakes on the West Coast
- Encounter volcanic and geothermal landscapes in Rotorua and Ruapehu
- Venture through untouched alpine valleys on one of New Zealand’s Great Walks
- Discover your sense of adventure by bungy jumping or skydiving
- Encounter whales, dolphins, rare birds and unique wildlife
Sports and naturePopular sports Cricket Main article: Cricket in New Zealand Cricket is the national summer sport in New Zealand, which is one of ten countries competing in Test match cricket. The provincial competition is not nearly as widely followed as the case with rugby, but international matches are watched with interest by a large proportion of the population. This parallels the global situation in cricket, whereby the international game is more widely followed than the domestic game in all major cricketing countries. Historically, the national cricket team has not been as successful as the national rugby team. New Zealand played its first test in 1930 but had to wait until 1956 to win its first test. The national team began to have more success in the 1970s and 1980s. New Zealand's most famous cricketer, the fast bowler Richard Hadlee who was the first bowler to take 400 wickets in test cricket, played in this era. Although traditionally New Zealand have had one of the strongest sides, winning the 2000 edition of the ICC Champions Trophy and reaching the 2009 final, they have never progressed past the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup where they ended up six times, the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games and the semi-finals of the 2007 ICC World Twenty20. However New Zealand's Women's Team, the White Ferns have reached the Final of their World Cup four times, winning the 2000 edition of the tournament. Horseracing and equestrian Main article: Horse racing in New Zealand The various cup days in the major cities attract large crowds, the biggest race being the group 1 Auckland Cup. New Zealand has been the breeding ground for some world famous horses such as Phar Lap and many Melbourne Cup winners. Thouroughbred racing is the most prevalent type of horse racing in New Zealand although there is still a strong following among the standardbred (harness racing) community or "trotters" and "pacers" as they are sometimes known. Equestrian sportsmen, sportswomen and horses make their mark in the world, with Mark Todd being chosen international "Horseman of the Century", and many juniors at pony club level. Mark Todd won a Gold Medal at the 1984 Olympic Games, and again at the 1988 Games. He won Bronze at the 2012 London games. A Bronze Medal was also won in the Teams Event at the 1988 Games. Further medals were won at the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Games. Netball Main article: Netball in New Zealand Netball is the most popular women's sport, both in terms of participation and public interest in New Zealand. As in many netball-playing countries, netball is considered primarily a women's sport, with men's netball largely ancillary to women's competition. The sport maintains a high profile in New Zealand, due in large part to its national team, the Silver Ferns, which with Australia, has remained at the forefront of world netball for several decades. In 2008, netball in New Zealand became a semi-professional sport with the introduction of the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship. The sport is administered by Netball New Zealand, which registered 125,500 players in 2006.
NightlifeNew Zealand has a vibrant and varied nightlife, with a range of nightlife activities to suit everyone. Nightlife in New Zealand includes bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants and gentlemen's bars. Select Nightlife in New Zealand by clicking on the map, using the region links or browse by the view all listings option.
Culture and historyThe culture of New Zealand is largely inherited from British and European custom, interwoven with Maori and Polynesian tradition. An isolated Pacific Island nation, New Zealand was comparatively recently settled by humans. Initially Māori only, then bicultural with colonial and rural values, now New Zealand is a cosmopolitan culture that reflects its changing demographics, is conscious of the natural environment, and is an educated, developed Western society. Māori culture has predominated for most of New Zealand's history of human habitation. Māori voyagers reached the islands of New Zealand some time before 1300, though exact dates are uncertain. Over the ensuing centuries of Māori expansion and settlement, Māori culture diverged from its Polynesian roots. Māori established separate tribes, built fortified villages (Pā), hunted and fished, traded commodities, developed agriculture, arts and weaponry, and kept a detailed oral history. Regular European contact began approximately 200 years ago, and British immigration proceeded rapidly during the nineteenth century.
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