Featured Stories
New Zealand Trip Tips: Driving on NZ Roads New Zealand Adventures for the Wildlife Lover The Big Event: Pasifika Festival 2014
 

New Zealand Trip Tips: Driving on NZ Roads

Excited for a get-away weekend at New Zealand? I’m sure you already packed all your essentials and planned your destinations. But before you start your adventure, are you aware that New Zealand has a few road rules that are quite different from most countries? Here are a few reminders about how driving works in New […]

New Zealand Adventures for the Wildlife Lover

If you’re searching for new, exotic wildlife experiences, New Zealand has a lot to offer to you. New Zealand is one of the best attractions in the world for wildlife enthusiasts, offering unforgettable sights of whales, dolphins, penguins, and more. Whale Watching Witness the magnificence of whales in Kaikoura, a town in the South Islands […]

The Big Event: Pasifika Festival 2014

Mark your calendars! Just days away now the Pacific Islands are coming together again to celebrate its colorful cultural heritage – all in one city! On March 8, villages in Western Springs Park, Auckland, New Zealand will transform into 11 ethnic Pacific Island villages. The annual Pasifika Festival is a celebration of the diverse culture […]

New Zealand Trip Tips: Driving on NZ Roads

NZ RoadsExcited for a get-away weekend at New Zealand? I’m sure you already packed all your essentials and planned your destinations. But before you start your adventure, are you aware that New Zealand has a few road rules that are quite different from most countries?

Here are a few reminders about how driving works in New Zealand:

Reminder 1: Bring Your Driver’s License

You should not forget to bring your unexpired driver’s license issued by your home country OR an International Driving Permit (IDP). Every motorist in New Zealand is required to bring their driver’s license every time they drive. In case your license is not written fully in English, you should get it fully translated to English by an approved translating agency.

Reminder 2: They Drive on the Left Side of the Road

As early as now try to orient yourself on how to drive on the left side of the road. Obviously, failure to stick with this rule will cause you terrible inconveniences!

Reminder 3: Mobile Use While Driving is Illegal

Due to high cases of mobile use related traffic accidents, the use of mobile phones and other telecommunications devices while driving was made illegal in 2009. You may not call, text, compose an email, view a video, or do any activities that takes your attention off driving. Violation will cost you $80 NZD, 20 demerit points, and eventually even your life.

Reminder 4: Road Signs and Traffic Lights

There are various road signs, traffic lights, and “give-way” rules on NZ roads that you should carefully study. At first you may find them a bit confusing, but practice makes perfect. For example, traffic signals combine traffic lights and traffic arrows to signify which lane turning to what direction should stop or go.

Reminder 5: Safety Belts for EVERY Passenger

Every car passenger should wear protective seat belts whether they are in the front or back seats. Children under age seven should be secured by an approved child restraint. This should be observed at all times. If seat belts are not available, eight to fourteen-year old children should ride in the back seat. Violating these policies may result to being fined.

Posted in News0 Comments

New Zealand Adventures for the Wildlife Lover

nzIf you’re searching for new, exotic wildlife experiences, New Zealand has a lot to offer to you. New Zealand is one of the best attractions in the world for wildlife enthusiasts, offering unforgettable sights of whales, dolphins, penguins, and more.

Whale Watching

Witness the magnificence of whales in Kaikoura, a town in the South Islands of New Zealand. Whatever time of the year you visit, you’re sure to see sperm whales and dolphins here. You can also spot killer whales or orca from December to March. Humpback whales are seen in June and July.

Large marine mammals are attracted to the abundant food sources near Kaikoura. Kaikoura is a coastal town that benefits from a rich supply of crayfish. In fact, Kaikoura literally means “meal of crayfish”. This abundance of marine life is caused by upwelling currents that surface organisms from the depths of Hikurangi Trench.

Spotting of Adorable Penguin Species

New Zealand boasts of three penguin species: the hoiho, korora, and tawaki. The hoiho or yellow-eyed penguin is an endangered penguin species found in the Otago Peninsula, south of Dunedin. Primary threats to these penguins are habitat loss and introduced predators. But worry not; it is currently being conserved at Penguin Place, a reserve in Dunedin, Catlins.

The korora or little blue penguin is the world’s smallest penguins that can be seen usually at night. You can spot them in the Marlborough Sounds, Oamaru, Stewart Island, and Akaroa Harbour.

One of the world’s rarest birds is the tawaki or the Fiordland Crested Penguin. It is also endangered due to threats like fisheries bycatch, oil spill, and habitat disturbance. Unlike most penguins, these species choose to nest in rainforests. Living in Stewart Island, Fiordland and South Westland, you can find tawaki waddling across the sands of Haast and Lake Moeraki towards their rainforest nests.

Spying over Parrot Kea

Guard your coins and shiny whatnots; the intelligent kea has a major thing for them. The world’s only alpine parrot is known for its habit of meddling with humans’ stuff like coins, foods, clothing, and even car window seals. It is not called “the clown of the mountains” for no reason. Head to Arthurs Pass, Fiordland, and Mt. Cook National Park for an up-close encounter with this fascinating bird.

 

Posted in News0 Comments

The Big Event: Pasifika Festival 2014

pasifikafestival2014442Mark your calendars! Just days away now the Pacific Islands are coming together again to celebrate its colorful cultural heritage – all in one city! On March 8, villages in Western Springs Park, Auckland, New Zealand will transform into 11 ethnic Pacific Island villages.

The annual Pasifika Festival is a celebration of the diverse culture of ten Pacific Islands: Aotearoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nuie, Samoa, Tahiti, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu. But this year’s celebration is a double treat as Hawaii joins the Festival family for the very first time!

Main Sights

If you haven’t been to Pasifika Festival, this is your chance. Every year more than 200,000 people flock in Auckland City to see top ethnic ritual performers and taste island cuisines you will absolutely relish.

The upcoming Festival will bring you 1000 stunning performers on each village’s stage, 200 stands selling crafts and souvenirs, and more than 150 mouth-watering island food dishes.

You can also participate in live demonstrations and workshops of traditional tattooing, garland-making, drumming, and other ethnic islands arts and crafts. Witness the expertise of stone carvers from Fiji, mat weavers, and dancers from Samoa and the Cook Islands.

You can experience the culture of each Pacific village without leaving the city! Enjoy all these without a single ticket fee. Where else will you get that kind of treat for your adventure itch?

The experience won’t be complete without seeing the religious practices of the islands the next day, March 9. There will be an interreligious church service in the morning where you can see the faith and family values of the Pacific Islanders. You can spend the rest of the day admiring the colors, tastes, and sounds of the islands.

A Bit of Trivia

As contemporary history holds it, the Festival started to become an annual event in 1993. However, it really traces its roots back in 1980s. The very first festival of such kind was organized by then Wellington City Councilor Tala Cleverley. It started in 1982 and went on until the early 1990s. From its ashes arose Pasifika Festival as we know it today.

Take Away

Experiencing the richness of the cultural heritage of Pacific Islands is an experience you will surely never forget. Join us in our celebration and create memories to last a lifetime!

Posted in News0 Comments