New Zealand’s national sport is rugby. However, New Zealanders also participate in a full range of other sporting activities – often with considerable success at international level. Sports hold a high profile in our education system and patterns established in early life tend to continue well into adulthood. Most adults actively participate in at least one team or individual sport, and veterans’ teams catering for players 40 years and older are a standard feature of the sporting scene. As with all aspects of New Zealand’s social life, a key feature of this and other sporting activities is their accessibility. Almost 15% of New Zealand families own their own boat, and the number of golf courses per capita is the highest in the world. By international standards, club costs are very low and membership is generally open.
Wilderness and Sea
Getting away from the crowds is never a problem, and the freedom and safety ‘Kiwi’s’ enjoy in their outdoor pursuits is one of the distinct advantages of life here. Even those living in the major centres are often within less than a 20-minute drive of open and unspoiled countryside. As a result, many New Zealanders spend their weekends and holidays in the outdoors. Even on weekdays, a walk on a lonely beach alone with the sea and surf is an option available to most urban residents.
Fishing is New Zealand’s most popular sport, with 23% of New Zealanders fishing regularly. New Zealand is reputed to have the best trout fishing in the world. There are no private waters and the licence fee is modest. Fishing regulations are strictly observed and trout fishermen are noted for their sporting ethic.
There is no licence fee for sea fishing, but strict regulations apply to fishing methods, maximum catches, fishing seasons and prohibited areas. Specific rules also apply to gathering shellfish. It is forbidden to sell or trade your catch. Breaking the fishing regulations, including those governing the collection of wild shellfish, is totally unacceptable and can result in heavy fines and even imprisonment.
Highlights for new Migrants
New Zealand has many wilderness areas, including National Parks in Fiordland, Mt Cook, Tongariro and elsewhere that attract tourists from around the world. Exploring these wilderness reserves is a great way to get a feel for the dramatic scenic contrasts and unique outdoor opportunities New Zealand offers.
Make sure you have a good look through our site for a wealth of information regarding tourism New Zealand, this site has it all to help anyone interested in learning and seeing more of the beautiful country that is New Zealand.
New Zealand has a thriving cultural life, with a unique mix of European, Maori, Polynesian and, increasingly, other traditions.
Some of New Zealand’s orchestras and dance companies are internationally regarded – of particular note are the New Zealand Symphony and Auckland Philharmonic Orchestras, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Black Grace Dance Company. There are also numerous lesser-known professional theatre, dance and opera companies. Theatre is strong in the main centres, particularly Wellington and Christchurch, and offers a stimulating mix of local and overseas productions. The local film industry is vibrant, its famous exports include the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Once Were Warriors and The Piano. Overseas artists and exhibitions also tour regularly.
Sever centres hold international arts festivals featuring a wide range of local and international artists. The most well known is probably the International Festival of Arts which is held in Wellington every two years and attracts a stellar cast of international artists and performers.
Maori cultural traditions receive strong support from both the Maori community and the general public. There has in recent years been a dramatic revisal in all Maori art forms, from carving and weaving to traditional dance. Kapa Haka – a range of performing arts that includes haka, waiata and poi dancing, enjoys enormous cross-cultural support. Regional and national competitions in these performing arts are a dominant feature of contemporary cultural life.
Wine and Food
New Zealand has world-class wines and a distinctive Pacific Rim cuisine that combines Asian and European influences, using the best local produce. High quality wine and food are not just the preserve of the wealthy but are available to everyone. This is partly a reflection of New Zealand’s lack of formal class system, and the fact that the cost of eating out is low by international standards. Most New Zealanders eat out regularly and the restaurant trade has boomed in recent years.