New Zealand's Maori culture emerged from Polynesian migrations that began around 700 years ago.
Our European history began about 500 years later. Today, our place names, art, architecture and stories reflect New Zealand's combined multi-cultural roots - who we are, where we came from and how we’ve shaped our society.
While heritage sites and cultural experiences can be found throughout the country, some places have special significance. In Waitangi you can learn about the treaty that changed the course of New Zealand history forever. Central Otago still displays relics of the gold rush, when thousands of people flocked to the region in search of riches. And in Napier you’ll see a wealth of fabulous Art Deco architecture, which only materialised because the city was almost entirely destroyed by a huge earthquake in 1931.
There are stories to discover wherever you travel, even in the tiniest towns. Let your curiosity give you the confidence to ask questions about pa sites, buildings, monuments and statues - we’re friendly people and there’s always time for a chat.