australia & new zealand - Widgety

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For many years after Tasman's explorations, New Zealand and its seemingly aggressive inhabitants lay untouched, while Australia was often only visited by accident. The true first charting of Australia and New Zealand was completed a century after Tasman's exploits by Captain James Cook. He was the first to attempt to ...

DESTINATION GUIDES

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND The coasts of Australia & New Zealand are well renowned for their stunning scenery and fantastic weather and therefore it makes sense that they should be a hugely popular cruise destination. While limited for some UK consumers by the length of time required the travel to the region, the growing Oceanic cruise market has seen a number of lines look to base ships there, including Royal Caribbean’s new Ovation of the Seas, as well as lines such as P&O Australia solely devoted to serving the local cruise industry. Cruises here can be on larger ships, with most major cities offering a seaport and therefore being accessible to bigger vessels, while fantastic expedition cruising at the Great Barrier Reef and the stunning Kimberley Coast is also on offer to the more intrepid cruiser. Oceania is a particularly popular world cruise destination and is often used as the start or finish point for a leg of such a voyage. With the distance required to travel there a cruise to or from Australia and New Zealand can offer a relaxing alternative to flying both ways and also offers a wealth of pre or post voyage stays for consumers who are willing to go the distance and explore this incredible area of the world.

History

Our knowledge of Australia & New Zealand’s history is limited until European contact in the 16th Century. From around 50,000 years ago we know that Australia was inhabited by an indigenous population originally from Africa whose ancestors survive to this day as Aboriginal Australians, while despite their proximity New Zealand has completely different roots having been settled by Polynesian tribes which have since formed the genetic & cultural ancestry of the Maori people. For many years these two peoples dominated their homelands and the surrounding seas. The Maoris in particular where divided by different tribes

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Key Ports

across the islands of New Zealand and built large fortified settlements to defend their land, which became increasingly important with the advent of agriculture and growing food for sustenance. The first Europeans arrived in the area from the mid-1500s, although mostly from the Pacific and therefore while much of the Philippines and the Pacific Islands were discovered ‘Terra Australis’ and New Zealand lay undiscovered. Abel Tasman was the first to discover the existence of the region (including the island that bears his name south of Australia) but his expedition was limited in its discovery of the area as they were forced away by Maoris protecting their lands and his charting was limited at best.

Key Attractions

For many years after Tasman’s explorations, New Zealand and its seemingly aggressive inhabitants lay untouched, while Australia was often only visited by accident. The true first charting of Australia and New Zealand was completed a century after Tasman’s exploits by Captain James Cook. He was the first to attempt to accurately map out New Zealand, including the Cook Strait that separates the North and South Island – the first knowledge that this was not one piece of land. He then moved on and briefly charted the Eastern coast of Australia, the first European to do so, discovering in doing so the Aboriginal people and the Great Barrier Reef. Cook returned to the Pacific twice in further search of details about the mysterious Terra Australis, nearly becoming the first to discover Antarctica searching for it, and returned to England recommending colonisation of the area around Botany Bay, now in Sydney.

Sydney, Australia Melbourne, Australia Auckland, New Zealand Brisbane, Australia Fremantle, Australia Wellington, New Zealand Dunedin, New Zealand Cairns, Australia

Sydney Harbour & Opera House Sydney Albert Park F1 Circuit Melbourne Great Barrier Reef NE. Australia Kimberley Coast N. Australia Sky Tower Auckland Otago Peninsula Dunedin Wellington Cable Car Wellington

Best Times to Go

Peak Season: Cruises in Oceania run year round, but departures in October to April are particularly popular.

Shoulder Season: Year round

cruises mean there isn’t necessarily a specific shoulder season, although June to August, the Oceanic winter, is a lower season.

Key Information Languages: English is the

standard language across the region, while Maori is also official in New Zealand

Currencies: Australian Dollar -

AUD ($) & New Zealand Dollar – NZD ($)

Visa Required:

British Citizens are required to have a visa to travel to Australia, however this can be applied for online and there is no cost or application fee to attain it.

So it was that 200 years after its discovery the British became the first Europeans to attempt to settle the area, setting up a penal colony. Reaction from the indigenous populations was mixed – some Aborigines are known to have assisted with charting Australia’s coasts and even sailing to England to meet the monarchy, while others fiercely resisted colonisation. While the British governors had been instructed to retain good relations with the local population (uncharacteristic with their usual spirit of colonisation) they brought with them a wave of European diseases and it was this that destroyed much of the Aboriginal population. Over time, especially with the advent of the Gold Rush and increased Western civilization, the colonisers became the majority of the population and the indigenous population began to fall. Similar scenes occurred in New Zealand as, despite early attempts to recognise the Maori culture, colonisation took over and the numbers of Maori fell. However, unlike in Australia, these numbers have since recovered and Maori culture is a key part of the nation today.

Cuisine

Historically Australia and New Zealand’s cuisine was based around the unique species of plant and animal found here. In Australia, the concept of ‘bush tucker’ involved using some of these native creatures and plants, including Kangaroo, Wallaby and emu, as well as grubs, moths and lizards. These were commonly roasted on an open camp fire and this culture of barbequing has become synonymous with modern Australia food culture. As a Westernised nation, fast food and culturally diverse cuisine is easy to find and exceptionally popular and therefore, while there are some signature foodstuffs there is not a unique Australian style of cuisine. In New Zealand, food culture has also been significantly Westernised and much of the cuisine of Maori’s pre colonisation was based around fauna that has since become extinct. Maori staples in the modern day are a mix of old and new – for example, the popular boil-up stew combined new Western food stuffs with the classic dumplings and kumara sweet potato native to the islands. Rewena, a sourdough potato bread, also remains popular as a Maori addition to the cuisine of the country. It is a concern that many Maori have taken the worst eating characteristics of the West and the unhealthy fast food that has been brought to the nation.

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