Arts, Sports & Entertainment
One of the best things about life in New Zealand is the number of different things you can do in your free time.
We have a wide range of environments and climate, from sunny surf beaches, to remarkable skifields, from rich gardens to thick untamed bush (a NZ cross between forest and jungle), and from small seaside shops to cities stacked with restaurants & clubs.
Being a relatively new society and a long way away from larger cultural and artistic centres has helped give New Zealand space to develop its own style.
Kiwis seem to like to do things their own unique way, which may explain some of our successful citizens, such as artists Len Lye, Ralph Hotere, Colin McCahon, Katherine Mansfield, and James K. Baxter.
It may well have helped motivate NZ to become a successful sporting nation greatly out of proportion with its population size.
Whether you prefer the silent contemplation of inspired prose or painting, the excitement of high level competitive sport, or the buzz of city living at night, there is a city, club or online connection somewhere in New Zealand likely to provide it.
Arts, culture, festivals and entertainment
New Zealand has a thriving cultural life, with a unique mix of European, Maori, Polynesian, Asian and, increasingly, other traditions. Orchestra recitals, dance and theatre performances means there’s plenty to see, especially in the main centres.
Our film industry is world famous, having brought to the screen such modern day classics as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Whale Rider, Once Were Warriors and King Kong.
Overseas artists and exhibitions tour regularly.
Several centres hold International Arts Festivals featuring a wide range of local and international artists. The most wellknown is probably the International Festival of the Arts which is held in Wellington every two years.
Maori cultural traditions receive strong support. There has been a real revival in recent years in all the Maori art forms, from carving and weaving to traditional dance. Kapa Haka – a range of performing arts that includes haka, waiata, and poi dancing – enjoys enormous cross-cultural support.
The great outdoors
Rugby union and league, football, netball, cricket, horse riding, biking, swimming, fishing, tramping (hiking in some countries), walking, rowing, kayaking, rafting, skiing, hunting, diving, climbing, gliding, surfing, golf, frisbee, running, orienteering, bowls, petanque, sailing, windsurfing, water–skiing, wakeboarding, and fly–fishing are all common activities in New Zealand society.