New Zealand is the youngest country on earth - the last major landmass to be discovered. It has a rich and fascinating history, reflecting both Maori and European heritage. Amazing Maori historic sites and taonga (treasures), some dating back almost a thousand years, are a contrast to many beautiful colonial buildings. A walk around any New Zealand city today shows what a culturally diverse and fascinating country it has become.
Only three hours by plane from the east coast of Australia, all Grand Pacific Tours start in the major gateway cities of Auckland or Christchurch. New Zealand and Australia obviously share a close affinity with each other, having a similar culture, government system, similar culinary tastes and share the same language. Whether it be through adversity or on the sporting field the history of Australia and New Zealand are closely entwined.
While most travellers are enticed to New Zealand by its natural splendours, the country offers a broad spectrum of both countryside and cities, from the sub-tropical North to the sub-Antarctic South. New Zealand is blessed with many wonderful natural attractions from pristine beaches, deep-water sounds and fiords, towering mountains, geothermal springs and forests. It is a country that is proud of its place in the modern world, but equally proud of its deep cultural ties to the Maori who first discovered this land, naming it Aotearoa "the land of the long white cloud".
Treaty of Waitangi
An 1840 treaty between Maori and the British Crown is New Zealandís founding document. Today, the Treaty of Waitangi has a major impact on all New Zealanders. For more information visit Tourism New Zealand.
The Youngest Country
Only a thousand years ago, Maori became the first people to migrate to New Zealand. Since then, people have come from around the world to settle there.
Bravely voyaging across the Pacific from their ancestral homeland hundreds of years ago, Maori made New Zealand their home, becoming the tangata whenua ó people of the land.
Though a Dutchman was the first European to sight the land, it was the British who colonised New Zealand, leaving an indelible mark on the country and its people.