A rich and diverse land, where heritage and traditions are strong and a welcoming face is never far away. Expressing the beauty of New Zealand through words does not begin to truly describe the numinous power of this land and its people.
Who are the Maori?
Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, a culture of tradition and a land of natural wilderness. The story of the Maori is one of intrigue and legends, their respect for nature is an integral part of their spirituality and tribal values. Many of the tales pay homage to the power and strength of nature, none more so than the story of Paikea the Whale Rider. The legend tells the story of Paikea who in search of a new life, journeyed across the waters on the back of the whale Tohorā. The story symbolises the spiritual bond between man and the natural world and how harmony between the two is possible when you respect rather than exploit nature. Kaikoura, where this tale is set, is one of the few places in the world where you can truly experience the grandeur of the Sperm Whale.
A force to be reckoned with, the New Zealand All Blacks are not only known for being a formidable force on the rugby pitch but also of Haka that they perform. To see the Haka in all its glory is a real spectacle and although it’s now most commonly associated to the national rugby team; the origins of the Haka are much more humble. The Haka can be used to welcome guests, celebrate success and for ceremonial purposes. Dating back 200 years, the origin of the Ka Mata Haka dance stems from a warrior chief called Raupahara who escaped capture by a rival tribe. In celebration of his escape he chanted “ka mate, ka mate, ka ora, ka ora” which literally translates to “I die, I die, I live, I live.” This chant formed the basis for the Haka, which has become a unique form of national expression.
New Zealand is made up of the North Island and South Island. The two islands are very distinctive. The north tends to be flatter with geothermal pools whereas the south has undulating mountains and lush valleys. The capital Wellington and the city of Auckland are located in the north island. The adventure city of Queenstown is situated in the south. Perfect for a road trip, you can cross between the islands by flight or rather by ferry.
Explore on land, hiking and trekking or take to the waters kayaking or sailing around small inlets and islands. Wherever you are, you’ll be able to witness New Zealand’s abundant bird and marine life. From visiting Dusky Dolphins and Giant Sperm Whale off the coast of Kaikoura, to an interactive experience with the endangered national Kiwi Bird and seeing the Yellow-Eyed Penguins.
Visit New Zealand
Maori culture is ingrained into life in New Zealand and is one that holds the unison between man and nature in the highest regard. With spectacular views that leave you breathless at every turn, New Zealand is a country not to be missed.