New Zealand's Waitangi Day: how to celebrate the Kiwi way

Tourism New Zealand's guide on how to celebrate Waitangi Day from anywhere in the world

More From travel
20 articles
6 of the best backpacking routes around America
6 of the best backpacking routes around America
29 of the best snacks everyone eats abroad
29 of the best snacks everyone eats abroad
5 of the best places in the world to swim with turtles
5 of the best places in the world to swim with...
GIF

Today might be just an ordinary Saturday here in the UK, but over in New Zealand all kinds of celebrations are taking place for Waitangi Day.

Waitangi Day commemorates the signing of NZ's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, in 1840 and is a public holiday (slash party) for the whole country. 

Festivities include Maori cultural performances, parades, picnics and live entertainment and everyone taking part in the traditional haka at one point or another.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

So why not turn this boring weekend into a great one, by celebrating Waitangi along with our Kiwi friends? 

Here's Tourism New Zealand's guide to getting involved wherever you are. 

LORD OF THE RINGS AND THE HOBBIT MARATHON

More From travel
20 articles
6 of the best backpacking routes around America
6 of the best backpacking routes around America
29 of the best snacks everyone eats abroad
29 of the best snacks everyone eats abroad
5 of the best places in the world to swim with turtles
5 of the best places in the world to swim with...
Everything you need to pack before going on Trek America
Everything you need to pack before going on...
10 tips on how to get the most out of travelling and still look stylish
10 tips on how to get the most out of travelling...

One in nine Brits go to New Zealand purely because they're Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fanatics. Visit Middle Earth virtually by spending the day indulging in all six Lord of the Rings films. You could even turn your lounge into a Hobbit hole (and make sure you stock up on snacks). 

ADRENALINE DAY

An adrenaline junkies dream, it's almost impossible to go to New Zealand without jumping out of a plane, being upside down in a zorb or dashing down a river in a Shotover Jet. You can still get your kicks in the UK though - Surrey is home to the UK's largest and most exciting zorbing park, for example, while Skydive Hibaldstow boasts one of the UK's highest skydives at 15,000 ft.

A KIWI PICNIC

Food and wine – two of the best things about New Zealand. Set the scene by creating a kiwi fueled (indoor!) picnic including NZ lamb and a glass of New Zealand's Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Don't forget the hokey pokey ice cream and pineapple lumps for pudding. 

NEW ZEALAND'S ROYALTY – LORDE

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Whatever the day entails, make sure the mood is set with tunes from New Zealand's iconic pop star Lorde. Listen to her latest album Pure Heroine while daydreaming about the land of the long white cloud and generally having a blissed out Saturday. 

LET'S GO TO THE BEACH, BEACH

Most Popular

While you wouldn't think of New Zealand as a traditional beach destination, the country's dramatic views and tranquil offerings are second to none. Favourites include Hot Water Beach at Coromandel Peninsula and Awaroa Beach at Abel Tasman National Park. Grab your sandals and head to Brighton to replicate a kiwi beach day (OK yeah it's stones rather than sand and the middle of winter but STILL) or alternatively, cover your bathroom floor with sand and paddle in the bath. Yeah that last one was a joke. 

HAVE A GO AT A HAKA

What better way to celebrate Waitangi Day than with the traditional Maori dance, the haka? Join in with the official celebrations being held at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the Bay of Islands in Northland, New Zealand by having a go at the five chants and actions below to get you started.

Ringa pakia! (Slap the hands against the thighs)

Uma tiraha! (Puff out the chest)

Turi whatia! (Bend the knees)

Hope whai ake! (Let the hip follow)

Waewae takahia kia kino! (Stamp the feet as hard as you can)

If you're still unsure, follow the All Blacks in the video here (just maybe let any downstairs neighbours know what you're doing beforehand) 

RUGBY FEVER

For more than 140 years, rugby has played a major role in New Zealand culture. Grab your closest mates, find the closest park and sharpen up your scrum skills. Alternatively, google photos of hot rugby players. 

Whaddya reckon - will you be giving any of these a go? 

What do you think?