For this week's Travel Tuesday we will visit New Zealand. The island nation of New Zealand is tucked at the bottom of the south Pacific near Australia. While it has many cultural ties to its neighbor, New Zealand's has its own flair. This was the home of famous mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, who along with sherpa Tenzing Norgay first reached the summit of Mount Everest. New Zealand is also home to a thriving film industry that displays its rich biodiversity and makes it an appealing place to visit.
There are many things travelers and curious folk can learn about New Zealand by reading through the country profile in Global Road Warrior. Listed below are 5 more quick facts to get you started.
Customs Entry (Personal): "Expect strict biosecurity regulations in New Zealand. Most foodstuffs are illegal to import into the country and will incur strict penalties if discovered."
Spoken Languages: "By law, the official languages of New Zealand are Māori and New Zealand Sign Language. However, nearly 90 percent of citizens speak New Zealand English, which serves as a de facto official language. Approximately three percent of the population speaks Māori, also called Te Reo, the indigenous language of the islands."
Sports: "New Zealanders are a sport-loving people. Climate, environment, and affordable facilities make it possible for them to pursue a variety of sports activities. Rugby union is the national favorite and for many locals, a mark of their national identity. Nearly 130,000 people are registered golfers, and half the population has a paid membership to a sports club. With 15 percent of New Zealanders owning a boat, water sports like kayaking, rafting, canoeing, surfing, and sailing are regular pastimes for many. Skiing is a regular winter sport while favorites for the summer are soccer, cricket, lawn bowling, tennis, and track and field."
Electrical: "Electricity is supplied in New Zealand at 230 volts AC, 50 Hertz (Hz). Electric plugs in New Zealand are the “Type I” Australian AS/NZS-3112 type. The plug has two flat metal pins in the shape of a “V” with a third flat grounding pin in the center."
Gift Giving: "The concept of reciprocal gift giving is ingrained in New Zealand's Maori society, both as a means of building relationships and showing respect. With the arrival of British, Irish, and Dutch settlers, new attitudes toward gift giving came to predominate. However, the Maori still preserve some of their unique gift-giving traditions.
New Zealanders of European descent enjoy giving and receiving gifts for many occasions but dislike preferential treatment and look upon extravagant gifts as an attempt to impress. Small and understated presents which leave the recipient under no obligation are preferred. For a society concerned with relationships, the thought behind the gift is vastly more important than the gift itself."
Music Lovers: Visit our Freegal music service to explore more music options from New Zealand music artists, including Bic Runga, Dave Dobbyn, Tim Finn, and others.
Recipe Corner: For an example New Zealand recipe, try hokey pokey.
Toffee is a favorite candy, and homemade toffee, called Hokey Pokey, is a common treat in New Zealand. Golden syrup, sometimes called "light treacle," is a necessary flavoring.
Recipe Serving: Serves 6
5 tbsp (75 ml) sugar
2 tbsp (30 ml) golden syrup
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
Butter a jelly roll pan and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and golden syrup.
Cautiously bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
When mixture starts to bubble, reduce heat to its lowest setting and boil 4 minutes, monitoring carefully.
Remove from heat. Immediately add baking soda and pour onto prepared sheet.
Break into irregular pieces. Serve immediately or store in air-tight jars.