Cultural Immersion and Heritage Sites

Cultural Immersion and Heritage Sites New Zealand

Studying abroad provides an incredible opportunity to broaden your horizons and experience new cultures first-hand. New Zealand offers this amazing opportunity, home to an abundance of rich cultural offerings.

Experience the culture and heritage sites of this charming country through cultural immersion. Kiwis, as the locals are known, love welcoming guests and sharing their rich culture.

Maori Culture

Rotorua offers one of the best opportunities to learn more about Maori culture through traditional art forms like carving, weaving, kapa haka (group performance) and whaikorero (oratory). Maori practitioners carry these arts forward while simultaneously retracing techniques handed down from their tipuna while also developing their own new forms.

As part of your experience in New Zealand, you may also be invited into the home of a Maori family for a cultural performance or traditional hangi meal. While visiting such homes, be mindful that certain things considered sacred by Maori culture, including burial grounds and natural water sources such as rivers, lakes or seas.

Mana (pronounced ma-nah-nah) is a key concept in Maori culture, representing power, prestige and authority. Earning it requires leadership skills, land ownership or associating with influential people as well as having wealth or resources. Respect for mana drives hierarchical relationships between Maori.

Some Pakeha have had difficulty adapting to Maori culture, yet its younger generation remains committed to maintaining and sharing it. One evidence is the success of several Maori politicians from the late nineteenth century such as James Carroll, Apirana Ngata, and Te Rangi Hiroa who were adept at Pakeha politics such as negotiating treaties with the British government.


Greenstone (pronounced grnstn) in New Zealand refers to a group of unique minerals used by early cultures for crafting stone objects such as pendants and statuettes from them. Maori tribes known them as pounamu; these stones can be found all throughout New Zealand’s landscape as gifts from Mother Earth which should only be shared among those you wish to honor.

Heritage sites are sites with historical or cultural significance that connect us to our past, providing insight into the values that have shaped New Zealand today. They may include buildings as well as entire landscapes spanning multiple centuries – these can range from individual structures up to entire communities.

Kerikeri Basin Historic Precinct offers an unparalleled combination of Maori and Missionary contact period places and structures, such as Kororipo Pa, Kororipo Whirlpool, Mission House/Stone Store at Kerikeri Mission Station, as well as archaeological sites.

Tongariro National Park was the first property ever to be recognized with both natural and cultural World Heritage status in 1993. While most New Zealanders may know of Tongariro for its magnificent beauty, Maori revere it for spiritual reasons as well. Thus the inclusion of cultural World Heritage status reflects that fact that Tongariro’s mountains are considered holy.


New Zealand is a country renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. Home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites — Tongariro National Park in the North Island, Te Wahipounamu in South West New Zealand and New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands in the South — tourists come from around the globe to witness these natural wonders. Beyond stunning landscapes there are also plenty of exciting and challenging sports activities available here that provide visitors with unforgettable experiences.

New Zealand horse racing is a longstanding tradition and draws thousands of spectators each year to its tracks to watch galloping horses gallop around in sulky-clad saddles, beating their hooves against the dirt as they gallop past them on racedays. Dating back to 1860, horse racing can be found all over New Zealand’s racetracks.

New Zealand makes sport an integral part of its culture, with most national teams competing in rugby or netball. New Zealanders pride themselves on their sporting heritage – many top athletes hailing from Maori descent have achieved greatness on the sporting scene here – with sporting events often featuring performances of the haka to pay tribute to its indigenous population’s culture.

New Zealand has also become an extremely popular snowboarding destination, boasting many of the top ten snowboarders worldwide such as Mitch Brown and Jacob Koia from New Zealand. New Zealanders are passionate sports fans with a strong community spirit when it comes to sports; whether at a local rugby match or hockey game you’ll see crowds of cheering New Zealanders come together in support of their teams and celebrate victory together.


New Zealand has been honored by being honored as home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, testifying to its unique combination of nature’s beauty with indigenous culture and history. Notable examples are Waitangi Treaty Grounds historic precinct, Auckland volcanic fields and Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve.

New Zealand is well known for its film industry, with directors like Jane Campion and Peter Jackson earning international acclaim. Additionally, its vibrant arts infrastructure is supported by government grants, tax concessions, theatre/music grants/permits/support for modern dance/ballet performances/opera/literature; writers in particular are working towards building up an indigenous literary tradition within New Zealand while being heavily influenced by English writers such as T.S. Eliot and W.H. Davies.

Experience another culture by visiting a marae (meeting house). These sacred and communal spaces serve as hubs of various tribes around New Zealand, so attending a powhiri, greeting visitors with a hongi greeting or watching a kapa haka performance can enhance your visit to a marae.

Join Carpe Diem Education’s South Pacific Semester in Australia, Fiji and New Zealand for an incredible cultural learning experience! Your dedicated advisor will ensure that this semester-long study abroad program includes educational activities and guided experiences to provide the optimal experience possible.