Rose Bear Don’t Walk is a student at Yale University and an ISA Featured Photo Blogger. Rose is currently studying abroad with ISA in Hamilton, New Zealand.
1. The Culture:
The indigenous people of New Zealand, the Maori, have a huge presence in the country. Their rich culture emanates from all areas of the North Island; in artwork, place names, and various cultural events held throughout the year! The Maori are very culturally progressive and there is no shortage of opportunities to observe their unique culture; there is a Maori television network, amazing performance groups, and Maraes (beautiful cultural meeting houses) that people can visit. The Maori culture is definitely an integral part of New Zealand life.
2. The Scenery:
New Zealand is famous for being the filming grounds of the Lord of the Rings series but the country offers so much more than one can see from the big screen. From towering snow-capped mountains, to bright green hillsides, to glacial valleys; New Zealand provides a stunning backdrop for all sorts of adventures. The natural beauty of the country is endless! However, do visit the filming areas because many of them are New Zealand landscape icons!
3. The Hospitality:
The Maori people place great emphasis on generosity and Kiwi’s (what New Zealanders call themselves) are so welcoming! There are many friendly faces in New Zealand; Kiwis are not afraid to strike up a conversation and are very helpful if you need something. If you ever visit a Maori marae you are in good hands, they will take great care of you.
4. The Variety:
One moment you’re snowboarding on an active volcano, the next you’re surfing on the coast. New Zealand is one of the few places on earth where you can find numerous different geographies in such a small space. Because of its size, it’s easy to get around and fulfill whatever whim you might have whether it’s tramping (hiking), kayaking, skiing or beach-lounging. The temperate climate is also a bonus, there’s no snowfall in the winter and New Zealand gets loads of sunshine all year round!
5. The Environment:
New Zealand has some of the cleanest air quality in the world and is home to many endemic species (including the kiwi bird). Thus, many New Zealanders have a strong sense of guardianship for the environment and pride themselves on maintaining New Zealand’s native wildlife. A large portion of New Zealand’s land is protected by national parks, meaning there are many areas of pristine wildlife and nature. If you enjoy a green lifestyle or are looking to help make a greener world, New Zealand has many opportunities to go green and live more eco-consciously.
Want to read more posts on New Zealand? Check out 4 Reasons to Spend a Semester Abroad in New Zealand.
New Zealand is one of my top five places to visit. It appears to be one of the most beautiful place in the world.