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Interesting Traditions Only New Zealanders Know

Though being an outsider, do you still want to learn about New Zealand culture? Then, read about these interesting traditions only New Zealanders know and you will be a part of the country.



Though it’s not an official tradition, this is the thing that the locals frankly understand and adore.

Shortly, Kiwiana are cultural heritage monuments that gave a hand in creating the Kiwi originality and the local form of life.

For example, this contains the Edmonds Cookbook and the traditional paua shells,  the pavlova, Buzzy Bee toy, and Maori carvings. For your information, the Edmonds Cookbook is about recipes that help New Zealanders to cook their classic meals for many generations.

Powhiri – Interesting Traditions New Zealanders Know


This is the locals’ welcome guest ceremony. Particularly, when you enter their Maori house, tribe, or a gathering place you have to join this traditional ritual.

People call that powhiri. Actually, a powhiri often starts with three soldiers contesting the guests to see if they are arriving at their domain in peace. Meanwhile,  a kaikaranga, the female caller in English, guides the guest toward them. Followed by presentations, traditional songs, and speeches. And the powhiri will end with the aforesaid hongi.

A chocolate carnival on the world’s most vertical street


In Dunedin, Baldwin Street is outstanding for being the world’s abruptest road. What foreigners may not know is that this is the primary venue for the city’s yearly Cadbury Chocolate Carnival. 

We know the festival starts when we see the oversized Jaffa balls stroll down this vertical stretch of road. This is one of the most charming festivities to kick off the holiday.  to amuse the crowds, they also have symbolic Crunchie Train and choc-filled activities.

Gumboot Day – Interesting Traditions New Zealanders Know


For those who are big fans of chewing gum, you must visit Taihape at least once in your lifetime. Taihape is a small town located on the North Island. People here pride the town as the gumboot capital worldwide. 

Starting in 1985, the community created Gumboot Day and has celebrated it until now. This is a family event that consists of the town’s renowned gumboot throwing game. 

The symbolic celebration is hosted on the Tuesday after Easter. And its greatest dream each year is to make world history for the most extended gumboot throw.

The haka


Haka is a classic Maori battle dance. Maybe people who are interested in rugby know this unique dance.

 In history, the pre-battle war cries and dances were executed to provoke fear, and declare the power of Maori soldiers. Nowadays, you can witness a haka performance when you go to a marae. Another way to see this activity is to take part in certain Maori festivals and ceremonies.

The hongi – Interesting Traditions New Zealanders Know


Don’t be mistaken! Hangi is a classic dish, meanwhile, the hongi is a private and habitual salutation. It only takes place for particular events. 

To express the greeting, people press their noses and foreheads on each other. This represents the passing of life’s breath from one to another. A hongi is a typical pattern when greeting guests onto Maori lands. And other traditional practices as well.

A hangi


Now, let’s get to the typical Maori cooking technique. A hangi is prepared belowground. The locals will use heated stones that are sowed in an oven hole. Then, they put the food on top of the rocks. If you notice, you will see they always cook the meat first. 

During the three hours of the cooking process, they will cover other ingredients with flax carpets or hessian sacks. The meal is also just for special occasions. However, you may have a chance to try it when you join in Maori meetings across the country.

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Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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