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New Zealand ABC

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All Blacks

The All Blacks are New Zealand's national rugby union team of and you'll experience the enthusiasm of their fans and notice their logo with the Silver Fern in numerous places around New Zealand. The All Blacks introduce their games performing a traditional haka – a Māori war dance which looks indeed very awe-inspiring. In New Zealand, rugby is as popular as soccer is in Europe. In 1987, the All Blacks won the World Cup. As you can guess, they play in black – New Zealand's most loved colour. Read more about the All Blacks here and see the Adidas Commercial Haka on YouTube.


Bungee Jumping

Bungee jumping is an the extreme sport. People jump from tall structures such as cranes, buildings or bridges – protected by a rubber band. Proven by some film material from the 1950s, Bungee jumping originated in Vanuatu in the South Pacific, where the indigenous people threw themselves from a tower 30 m high, protectetd only by vines tied to their ankles as a test of courage. Inspired by this, four members of the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club threw themselves off the 76 metres high Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol in 1979 with only a rubber band to stop them. In the 1980s, AJ Hacket from New Zealand developed super-stretchy elastic bungee cord and demonstrated it's possibilities by throwing himself off the Eiffel Tower in 1987 – and this is how Bungee jumping became popular. Today especially, New Zealand offers a wide range of possibilities for this kind of adrenaline rush. One of them is the Sky Jump off the observation deck of the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere, the Sky Tower in Auckland. Jumpstart by leaping 192 metres the jumpers can reach a speed of 60 km per hour (40 mph) in a total of 20 seconds.

Buzzy Bee

Popular child's toy and an icon for New Zealand children over generations. When the wooden bee is pulled, the wings turn round and make a clicking noise.

Buzzy Bee © Mischa McLachlan



Cyber Cafe

Internet cafe. The rates are very variable and depend on where you are. In the cities you pay about NZ$3 per hour, on campgrounds and in smaller villages up to NZ$8.





A kind of corner store where one can buy nearly everything (except alcohol).

DOC – Department of Conservation

The Department of Conservation – commonly known by its acronym DOC – is the central government organisation responsible for conserving the natural and historic heritage of New Zealand. DOC takes care of the maintenance of national forest and maritime parks and runs many campsites. These places mostly offer less comfort but are very close to nature, in scenic settings. The huts at the tramping tracks are also maintained by DOC. If you're planning an overnight stay you should register at the nearest DOC office.






Common New Zealand English for jade. The Māori call this very hard stone Pounamu – the Stone of the Gods. Greenstone carvings and jewellery are manufactured in traditional Māori designs. There are different symbols with different meanings, worn around the neck not only by Māori but also by other New Zealanders. Greenstone items are very popular souvenirs.




Traditional Māori dance with shouted accompaniment and performed in a group. Haka is popularly thought of solely as a war dance, because the All Blacks introduce their games with a war haka. But haka have also other purposes such as amusement or as a welcome to special guests. The war haka was originally performed by warriors before a battle, showing their power and strength in order to intimidate their enemies.

Haka Links
Ka Mate
Watch the Haka (Flash)
Adidas Commercial Haka on YouTube


When there's a scent of honey in the bush and the tree trunks are a black colour, almost like coal, that's honeydew. The little insects who produce it live in the tree trunks. You can see tiny transparent drops, each hanging at something like a hair from the tree trunks. Nectar-eating birds love honeydew and are all around.



The Visitor Information Centres are called i-SITEs. There are 80 i-Sites throughout the country where you're given friendly, patient advice and information about everything you should know – or want to know-about the region and what to do and to see there.
All the i-SITEs




Thongs, flip flops :-)




The Kauri tree is a kind of conifer, endemic to New Zealand and one of the biggest trees in the world. Only the mammut tree grows taller. Kauri grow in the subtropical northern part of the North Island. The place to see the most impressive kauri trees is the Waipoua Kauri Forest. The oldest kauri in New Zealand is Te Matua Ngahere. The Father of the Forest is estimated to be about 2000 years old. The tallest surviving kauri tree is Tane Mahuta – the God of the Forest – with a height of 51.2 m. Unfortunately, kauri wood is one of the world’s great timbers and had to serve the settlers social climb up in the 19th century. There were about 1 million ha of kauri forest in New Zealand before the felling started, which has left only 9000 ha. Kauri are now strictly protected.


There are 2 kinds of kiwi in New Zealand:

Kiwi © Mischa McLachlan


means iconic symbols of New Zealand. The kiwi bird, the kiwifruit, the popular children's toy Buzzy Bee, the Silver Fern, rugby, the colour black, the Paua shell, bungee jumping, sheep, jandals and the Pohutukawa tree are just some of them.








Paua is a kind of Abalone found only in New Zealand. The great shells, well camouflaged on the upper side, grow up to 18 cm in length. Their inside is shining, an iridescent swirl of deep blues, greens and purples with silvery white. The muscular meat is considered a delicacy. The shells are commonly used in jewellery and for the eyes in Māori carvings. They are often also as ashtrays. Paua are protected: the daily limit per diver and the minimum shell length are strictly regularised. Transporting unprocessed abalone shells out of New Zealand is illegal.


The wonderful and evergreen Pohutukawa tree flowers bright red in December and is also known as New Zealand's Christmas tree. It grows to a height of about 15 m and is mainly endemic to the coastline on the North Island.


A New Zealand fern species, more popularly known as the Silver Fern.





New Zealand is the world's most enthusiastic Rugby nation. The successfull national team – the All Blacks – are a legend. In 1987, the All Blacks won the World Cup. Rugby players wear less protective clothing than American Football players.




Sheep are New Zealand's most important breeding animals, outnumbering the human population 12 to 1. There are countless sheep jokes aimed at New Zealanders, especially by their Australian neighbours. One goes like this: «There are 50 million sheep in New Zealand and 4 million of them think they are people.» Ironically, Australia has the largest sheep industry in the world and New Zealand comes only in at 2nd place.

Silver Fern

A New Zealand fern species, also known as Ponga with leaves of dark green on the upper side, shimmering silver underneath. The Silver Fern is the national emblem of New Zealand and is also used in logos of numerous New Zealand companies. It's most popular usage is by New Zealand's national rugby team the All Blacks.