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Māori – New Zealand's Indigenous Culture: Religion & Mana

Welcome to the next part of our cultural series, looking at the indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, the Māori. In the first post, we already had a look at the history of the Māori and learned about how they arrived and lived in New Zealand. In this post, we will take a deeper look at something that was briefly touched on in the first post; the foundations of Māori Culture.

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The History of the Māori

There are plenty of great reasons to visit New Zealand; stunning scenery, delicious food and a huge selection of thrilling adventure activities. Yet there is another great reason to visit NZ; the opportunity to learn more about the Māori culture. The Māori people were New Zealand’s first inhabitants and are an important part of our national identity. When you visit New Zealand you will notice that we do not shy away from our heritage; it is a part of our lives. The Māori language, Te Reo Māori, is one of three official languages in NZ (along with English and Sign Language) and Māori phrases are used by the locals in normal day-to-day discussions. Its influence can be seen (and heard!) in more than just our language; Māori symbols, names, ceremonies and more are a regular occurance in New Zealand. To help you get to know more about this important aspect of NZ culture and identity, we will be exploring the Māori history and culture in a series of blog posts. Our first post will give a brief overview of Māori history in New Zealand. The discovery of Aotearoa: Where did the Māori come from? It is still hotly debated when exactly the first […]

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Christmas Events in Christchurch, NZ (Part 2)

December is only a few days away, and Christmas is alive and kicking in Christchurch, New Zealand! In the Southern Hemisphere Christmas is in summer and there are lots of outdoor events taking advantage of the great weather. If you are looking for some events happening in early December, be sure to look at part 1 which outlines events in Dec 1-2, coming up very soon! Looking ahead to later in the month, this blog post will give a shout out to Christmas events happening between the 7th and the 9th of December! December 7th: Christmas Bazaar When: 10am – 7pm Where: 112 Roker Street Cost: FREE! Running between December 7th to December 9th, come along to this great Christmas craft bazaar. There will be handmade crafts and artwork galoree. You can come along and simply admire the handiwork, or you can stock up and purchase some unique Christmas gifts. While you will find Christmas-themed crafts & handmade goodies, it is not exclusively Christmas themed. International travellers will be interested in the New Zealand-inspired artwork which will be on display. December 8: Christmas on Latimer When: 11am – 9pm Where: Latimer Sqaure Cost: FREE! A huge event in Christchurch, and […]

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Christmas Events in December for Christchurch, New Zealand (Part 1)

The Christmas season is upon us, and while it isn’t a white Christmas in New Zealand, we still like to celebrate it in style. Instead of cookies and warm milk, we have sausage sizzles and big concerts in parks! Haka Tours’ main office is located in Christchurch, and we’re getting into the festive season. If you are stopping by Christchurch and would like to celebrate xmas, then there are tonnes of great events going on for you to check out. Here are some of my favourite upcoming activities: December 1: Kaiapoi Carnival Hours: 9am – 3pm Where: Murphy Park, Kaiapoi Cost: FREE! Every year, Kaiapoi has an annual carnival to celebrate the festive season and to support their community. For Christmas shoppers, there will be plenty of stalls featuring a wide range of craft items to purchase. There will be a lot of food stalls, and there are bound to be some NZ-inspired food stalls such as stalls that sell whitebait patties! There will also be music, amusement rides and much more. December 1: Kaiapoi Christmas Parade Time: 1pm (highly recommend getting there half an hour earlier!) Where: Departs from the ARL Storage at Hilton Street Cost: FREE! Kaiapoi gets […]

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Authentic NZ Experience – See the REAL New Zealand!

Living in New Zealand and work in the middle of a backpackers lodge means I get to meet a lot of travelers, all wide-eyed and eager to see New Zealand. Like all places though, it is easy to fall into the tourism traps; if you pick up the guidebook or just hop on a big bus, you’re going to end up hitting the same places as everyone else. And because the locals at those place expect travelers, they tend to become commercialised and loose their local flavour. So our blog post today is going to take you through some ways to meet the locals, have an authentic NZ experience and get to see the REAL New Zealand! Wait – what about places like Queenstown?! I don’t mean to say that you should avoid popular areas in NZ – not at all! In fact, I would recommend that you make those a must-do. New Zealand’s “tourist traps” are a lot more laid-back and lack a lot of commercialisation compared to other places in the world – especially during weekdays. And unlike a lot of places internationally, our hot-spots are hot-spots for a reason. Amazing sights and amazing activities have made these […]

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5 Great Things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand Round 2

We recently posted an article on 5 great things to do while you’re stopping by Christchurch. We decided that the article wasn’t enough, and that we had more tips to share! Not only is our office located in Christchurch, but everyone in the Haka Tours/Haka Lodge office are native-Christchurch residents. Here are some tips from us on what to do while stopping by here: Christchurch Antartic Center When people think of New Zealand they often think of as a tropical island. They have one thing right – we are certainly an island, but we aren’t all tropical! The top part of the North Island is tropical, but the South Island is not. The South Island is very close to Antartica, and so it can get chilly here in the winter (but don’t worry – our climate is mild. Being an island means our weather is kept in check by the sea, so Christchurch doesn’t get too cold). Christchurch is a key airport for flights to Antartica, and it is part of our heritage. The Antartic Center celebrates this. The snow room is a big favourite! It can be expensive so keep an eye out for special deals. New Brighton Beach […]

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Top 5 Activities to do in Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch is the biggest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and it is the second biggest overall. Christchurch is very special to us here at Haka Tours. Not only does every South Island tour group come through Christchurch, but our main office is located here! Our office is located in our hostel, Haka Lodge. We feel that this makes us uniquely qualified to talk about Christchurch, and make some great recommendations on what to do while you are here. So here are our top 5 activities to do in Christchurch! 1. The Port Hills Christchurch has a interesting feel to it. The city is incredibly flat, and it is surrounded by the stunning port hills. When the settlers first arrived, they had to make the journey across the port hills to uncover Christchurch. Do you know what they found? Swampland! Understandably, they were too impressed. However, they worked the soil and turned it into the great city we have today. The port hills gives a fantastic view of this, and it is very quick to reach. To get to the top from the city CBD, it would take about half an hour. My recommendation is to go up […]

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