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People and Culture

The connection between the people and the land - it's a rich part of the New Zealand experience.

I fell in love with New Zealand. Not just the land - the beauty of the land is obviously very seductive - but there's something about the dynamic spirit of the people.

James Cameron World-renowned filmmaker

New Zealand has a rich cultural history, and one that is widely grounded in storytelling and folklore. Hear histories, myths and tribal legends first-hand, and take part in a tradition that stretches back to Polynesia, long before the first European settlers arrived in New Zealand. Listen to beautiful spoken word, poetry and Waiata (song) throughout your journey and discover the powerful connection between the people, the land and those that came before them.

Live like the Locals

I think one of the things that’s really part of the rich experience of New Zealand is the indigenous culture and how it’s still a big part of life here for all of New Zealanders.

James Cameron World-renowned filmmaker
Rotorua

Rotorua

Highlights

  • Tamaki Maori Village
  • Te Puia - living Maori Culture Centre
  • Whakarewarewa Thermal Village

Proximity

  • By plane: 45 mins from Auckland and Wellington
  • By car: 2.5 hr from Auckland

New Zealand's friendly and down to earth people will be one of the things you treasure most about your visit here. Guided by the principle of ‘Manaakitanga’ – hospitality, experience genuine warmth and kindness from the locals, strike up conversations along your journey and forge new friendships. 

Let us show you our lands

Lake Taupo
Mine Bay, Lake Taupo

By Tourism New Zealand

Master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell carved Ngatoroirangi, his first ever rock carving.

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

Highlights

  • Maori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay
  • Wairākei Terraces

Proximity

  • By plane: 1 hr from Auckland

For the same reason that many visitors come to New Zealand, kiwis have developed an enthusiasm for the outdoors and consider themselves people of the land. This is no surprise, considering: 

  • New Zealand has 14,000km of coastline – making it the 10th longest coastline in the world.
  • No part of the country is more than 128km (79miles) from the sea.
Christchurch - Canterbury
Dolphin spotting in Kaikoura, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Sara Orme

Kaikoura is famous for its abundant marinelife.

Christchurch - Canterbury

Christchurch - Canterbury

Highlights

  • Whale watching and marine encounters
  • Discover seal and bird colonies
  • Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway

Proximity

  • By car: 2 hour 25 mins from Christchurch

Spending time by the sea and respecting the local wildlife is a huge part of kiwi culture. Make the most of the spectacular landscapes and let the locals share with you the tales of their lands. Learn more about the people of New Zealand.

Top Cultural Experiences in New Zealand

Where to Next?

New Zealand Hiking Experience →

New Zealand Alpine Experience →

Plan your New Zealand Holiday →