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Six Historical Sites to Visit in New Zealand

New Zealand is among the most popular destinations in the world for immigrants – and there are similar numbers of people contemplating a switch to New Zealand as there are people moving to Australia from the UK. Like its neighbour, New Zealand boasts a wealth of interesting history – which, while it might not be the sole motivator behind a move, will provide visitors and immigrants alike with a means of learning about the country and its history.

With that in mind, let’s briefly run through some of the historical sites on offer in New Zealand.

Auckland Museum

This War Memorial museum is the first Museum to be built in New Zealand, and it remains among the best. Its focus lies specifically with New Zealand the people who’ve lived here over the centuries, and the country’s place in the Pacific. It’s home to one of the top three heritage libraries in the country, as well as a collection of artefacts from Maori culture and an extensive art collection. If you’re looking for a glimpse into the history of the country, then there are few better places to secure one.

Otuatauna Stonefields

These fields offer evidence of how the very first settlers in New Zealand adapted to life on the island, thousands of years ago. New Zealand offered shorter growing seasons and lower temperatures than those which can be found in the Pacific islands from which these early settlers came – and so salvaging a few key crops was key to survival. These Polynesian settlers constructed walled gardens in order to protect their crops from the harsh environment, and effectively extend the growing season. You can still see evidence of their work with a visit to this sit, where you’ll find the ruins of houses, cooking shelters and garden walls from thousands of years before European settlers ever arrived in New Zealand – and you’ll also find more recent constructions, left here by those European settlers in the 19th century.

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Cook Landing Site

Naturally, one of the most significant events ever to occur in New Zealand is the first landing here by Captain James Cook. For better or worse, the new arrivals from across the planet had an enormous transformative effect on the island and its peoples, and this monument marks where the Europeans first encountered the Maori tribes people. Then a lieutenant, Cook led his men to this meeting place, where they killed nine Maori. Nowadays, the shoreline is drastically different, meaning that it’s difficult to capture the true sense of the encounter with a visit here. What’s more, the site of the obelisk is around fifty metres from where we now know the meeting to have taken place – but the site is still worth a visit for those interested in the influence settlers from Britain had on this part of the world.

First Church of Otago

This spectacular church can be found in Moray Place, right in the centre of Dunedin. It’s among the most visually impressive churches in the entire country. It’s a building that prominently displays the European influence, replicating many of the features found on the Normal Cathedrals of England. When it was first constructed, the church was the tallest on the south island until Christ Church Cathedral was erected – and it’s a building that’s still well worth a visit.

Pencarrow Head Lighthouse

This lighthouse can be found at around 420 feet above the sea below its point in the Wellington Region. First build from cast iron shipped from England, it held the distinction of housing the first and only female lighthouse keeper in the country. It was decommissioned in 1935, to be replaced by the Baring Head Lighthouse.It’s now registered as a Category I Historical Place.

The Rotorua Museum

The Rotorua museum can be found in the Bay of Plenty, on New Zealand’s North Island. It’s incredibly well-stocked with things to see and do, boasting guided tours, a viewing platform and a bath house. IT’s repeatedly voted the most beautiful building in the entire country, and it’s easy to see why – with its striking black-and-white exterior, it reliably makes an impression.

It’s recently been the victim of an earthquake, which struck in November last year, causing significant damage. The plan is to re-open the museum following an investigation, which should last until April 2017 at the very least. If you’re currently looking for New Zealand Visas for UK Citizens, however, then you’re likely to be around when the grand re-opening does occur – and when it does, you should consider a visit obligatory.


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