Part of New Zealand’s charm comes from the isolation it enjoys as an island. Auckland, which is the most populated city of New Zealand, has two harbors in two different bodies of water. Avondale and Otara flea markets provide you with a colorful shopping experience, while Sylvia Park and Botany Town Centre provide you with shopping malls outside of the city.
Wellington, which has a population of 386,000 residents is the third most populated city in New Zealand, and is the capital. Wellington is located on the southwestern tip of the North Island right between Cook Strait and Rimutaka Range.
One of the best ways to see all that Wellington has to offer is to take a tour with Wild About wellington. The Wellington Zoo is small when compared to other zoos, but has so much to offer inside. Inside the zoo, you must stop into the Archibald Centre, which overlooks Monkey Island.
Te Papa Tongarewa is the Museum of New Zealand and a great place to go if you want to learn about the history and culture of New Zealand as a whole.
Food and Culture
New Zealand’s culture can be attributed to its unique ecology and geography, along with its demographics and history. The Maori and Pakeha are the two main cultures that influence the daily lives of the people of New Zealand.
The Maori culture comes from their Polynesian roots, while the Pakeha culture comes from England. The Maori are native to New Zealand, but were greatly influenced by the colonists that soon settled in New Zealand.
The local cuisine has a British base, but has some Mediterranean and Pacific Rim influences. To get a true taste of New Zealand the Maori hangi is something that you must experience because of its smoky flavor. Your trip will not be complete if you don’t try some of New Zealand’s Fish and chips, which is served in paper so you can eat it on the go.
As an island, New Zealand is isolated so animals do not have the ability to migrate. The only way that animals can get to the island is to be brought in by people, which is now prohibited by the government. However, as an island New Zealand has some rather unique wildlife to offer visitors.
The Kiwi, which is a brown flightless bird, is native to New Zealand and happens to be the national animal. The bird like many other birds in New Zealand lost its ability to fly because they didn’t have to fly away from any predators. Your best chance at seeing one of these rare birds is to visit the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve.
Being surrounded on all sides by water, it makes perfect sense that most of New Zealand’s wildlife are aquatic animals. Along the coast of New Zealand, you can find New Zealand fur seals and dolphins.
Fur seal colonies are most commonly found on Tonga Island and Gillespies Beach in the South Island and at Cape Palliser and Castlepoint in the North Island. New Zealand is also home to some unique species of penguin, including the korora. The korora is the smallest penguin in the world and can be seen at Akaroa Harbour and The Marlborough Sound.
Being an island majority of New Zealand is located close to the coast, the temperatures are going to be mild. New Zealand gets a decent amount of rainfall throughout the year, which makes it possible for the people of New Zealand to make their living off the land, but there is also plenty of sunshine, over 2000 hours of sun in a year.
Even with the mild temperatures while visiting New Zealand you need to be prepared for any kind of weather because it is not uncommon to experience all four seasons in one day. Cold fronts and tropical cyclones often blow in unexpectedly and if you are outside enjoying the sun, you can be caught unawares.