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Aren Bergstrom Head of Content & Communications 2 months ago

Rediscover Manaakitanga on a Trip to New Zealand in 2022 & Beyond

  • Milford Sound

It’s time to rediscover the wonders of travel and the revitalizing pleasures of meeting new people and experiencing new things in new parts of the world. It’s time to rediscover manaakitanga on a trip to New Zealand.

Manaakitanga is the Maori tradition of “hospitality, respect, generosity, and kindness.” The most literal English translation is “the power of the word,” which refers to how Maori hosts would welcome guests with elaborate words and acts of hospitality. Manaakitanga has been the defining principle for hospitality throughout New Zealand’s history, predating European settlement and going back to the earliest records of Maori history. 

Today, in the wake of the pandemic and in light of New Zealand reopening to international visitors, it remains the animating principle of this famously beautiful nation. You can learn more about how the spirit of manaakitanga animates New Zealand by reading our story from a few years back. But if you head to New Zealand this year or in the future, you will experience manaakitanga for yourself. You can find more information about our vacation packages to New Zealand by exploring our website.

Why should you visit New Zealand in 2022 and beyond?

New Zealand’s Welcoming People

New Zealand hongi

New Zealand is famous for its beautiful natural landscape, but it’s the people that make the country special. New Zealanders, or “Kiwis” as they’re affectionately known, are famously hospitable. They are moved by manaakitanga and a deep love of their nation and the natural world to welcome visitors with open arms, provided they receive respect in return. Thus, when you visit New Zealand, you’re going to experience the nation’s warm embrace.

You’ll also have the chance to experience the nation’s cultural diversity. The Maori are the traditional caretakers of the land and have been living on the islands for at least 700 years. There are so many places to encounter Maori traditions in New Zealand, though perhaps few better than Rotorua, the hot spring town on the North Island that is also home to the nation’s highest percentage of Maori residents. You can head to Whakarewarewa, the Living Maori Village, for a full-day cultural immersion. At Whakarewarewa, you’ll meet the Tuhourangi Ngati Wahiao people and learn about the history of the Maori. You can watch a haka performance, feast on a hangi dinner, and, of course, take advantage of the many natural hot springs on site.

A Beautiful Landscape

Aoraki/Mt. Cook

You didn’t think we’d actually forget about the landscape, did you? It’s impossible to mention New Zealand without talking about how drop-dead gorgeous the natural landscape is. It’s Middle-earth, but for real. It’s Pandora, but on our planet. It’s magic. A simple Instagram photo or TikTok video of New Zealand’s snow-capped mountains, rolling plains, or rocky shorelines is enough to make a person red with envy. Luckily, you can once again visit this nation and experience all its natural wonders for yourself, so there’s no point in feeling jealous.

New Zealand is arguably the most naturally beautiful nation on the planet. A short overview of its natural wonders: the fjord of Milford Sound, which is crowned by Mitre Peak standing tall over the clear waters and golden grasses; Aoraki/Mount Cook, a picturesque snow-capped mountain; Franz Josef Glacier, one of the largest and most accessible glaciers in the Southern Hemisphere; the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, a subterranean cavern system with an underground river, illuminated by bioluminescent worms that look like the night sky on the cave ceiling; Cathedral Cove, with its white-sand beaches, rocky islands, and famous rock arch, which is one of the most famous natural “windows” on the planet; the Bay of Islands, a temperate region with over 140 subtropical islands along a picturesque coastlines—should we continue? New Zealand is so beautiful, it may not even seem real from a distance. But it is real and it’s once again time to see just how real for yourself.

World-Class Food & Wine

Waiheke Island vineyards

The population of New Zealand is just a little over five million people. That’s not a ton of people, especially when compared to some of the largest nations, but size doesn’t mean everything when it comes to cultural impact. For instance, New Zealand has an outsized impact on the world of food and drink. It’s a great place to eat and is home to some of the best wine regions in the world. As an island nation with over 14,000km of coastline, New Zealand is best known for fresh seafood. You’ll find good seafood all over the nation, from crayfish in Kaikoura to mussels in Marlborough to king salmon at Mount Cook. The lamb is arguably the best in the world. The fish and chips are always satisfying, as is the fresh fruit, even if kiwi isn’t actually native to New Zealand (it originally comes from China). 

As for drink, New Zealand is best known for wine. The mild weather, sunny days, and cool nights are perfect for grape growing, so it’s no wonder the country has proven such a popular wine spot, with around 700 wineries throughout the country. Marlborough boasts the most famous Sauvignon blanc in the world, while Nelson produces Sauvignon blanc as well as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Central Otago has arguably the best Pinot Noir, while Hawke’s Bay, the oldest wine region in the country, is better known for Bordeaux-style reds, such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Wairarapa in the country’s north focuses mainly on Pinot Noir. No matter where you go in New Zealand, you’ll find the wine plentiful and about as good as you can dream of.

How can you visit New Zealand in 2022 and beyond?

Auckland sunset

There are a variety of ways to visit New Zealand later this year or in the coming years. You can book a private-guided experience, join a small group tour, or book a car and explore on a self-drive vacation, with accommodations and tours pre-booked for convenience. It’s never too early to start planning a trip to New Zealand, so get in touch with a Goway Destination Specialist or your trusted travel agent to get the ball rolling and lock in availability and the best deals.

Nature Lovers Essential New Zealand is a 15-day journey across the nation. Travellers will experience its diverse natural landscape and many of its most beloved landmarks on a trip from Auckland to Queenstown, visiting the Coromandel Peninsula, Rotorua, Nelson, and Milford Sound along the way. Signature New Zealand takes travellers on a 13-day private-guided trip through the most popular destinations, including Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, and Queenstown. Complete New Zealand offers a more compressed schedule over 10 days, while taking in natural highlights from Auckland to Queenstown, including the Waitomo Caves, Abel Tasman Park, and Franz Josef Glacier. New Zealand Reflections shortens the itinerary even further for those travellers who are short on time. This 7-day journey takes in Auckland, Rotorua, and Queenstown, and includes an essential visit to Milford Sound.

It’s time to rediscover the beauty of travel and feel the embrace of the wider world. It’s time to experience manaakitanga and see New Zealand.

This article is written in partnership with New Zealand Tourism.

New Zealand tourism logo

8 Jun 2022, 2:37 p.m.

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