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NZ firsts: First Nation to see the Sun

Ever wondered where in the world is the first place to see the sun rise? Well, wonder no longer! North of Gisborne, New Zealand, around the coast to Opotiki and inland to Te Urewera National Park, The East Cape has the honour of witnessing the world’s first sunrise during New Zealand’s summer and spring months. […]

NZ Firsts: First Jet Boat

Jet boating came into being through the inventive genius of New Zealand CWF (Bill) Hamilton, who was looking for a means of boating on the swift, shallow rivers of the South Island high country where he farmed. Bill Hamilton developed the concept of the jet boat when he ruled out as impractical the use of […]

NZ Firsts: First powered flight

Karora, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons But wait, wasn’t that the Wright brothers (USA)? They made the first documented flight. However, 8 months earlier Richard Pearse made a flight with a homemade aircraft. But the camera-shy Pearse didn’t want to record it with officials. Popular history has it that the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk […]

NZ Firsts: First to climb Mt Everest

New Zealander, Sir Edmund Hillary, was the first to reach the summit of Mt Everest – the highest mountain in the world. His face marks the NZ$5 note. Sir Edmund Hillary was the self-proclaimed ‘ordinary’ Kiwi who achieved the extraordinary by conquering Mount Everest. Hillary and his guide, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, reached the summit of […]

NZ Firsts: First Bungy Jump

Bungy has always been a life-changing experience. It began with a small group of people in Vanuatu. They fearlessly threw themselves from huge towers for centuries with merely a few vines around their feet. They called it ‘land-diving’, and legend says that it started when a mistreated wife threw herself from a tall tree, saving […]

NZ Firsts: first country in the world to give woman the vote

Women’s suffrage in New Zealand was an important political issue in the late nineteenth century. In early colonial New Zealand, as in European societies, women were excluded from any involvement in politics. Public opinion began to change in the latter half of the nineteenth century, however, and after years of effort by women’s suffrage campaigners, […]

Rarotonga – Taking our Paua Shell Jewellery to the world

Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands, a nation of 15 islands in the central South Pacific. Volcanic peaks, ridges and rainforest dominate its interior. A 32km, round-the-island road links the beaches, coastal lagoon and reefs that make scuba diving and snorkelling popular. The Cross-Island Track is a rugged hiking trail that passes 650m […]

Italy – Taking our Paua Shell Jewellery to the world

Italy, a European country with a long Mediterranean coastline, has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine. Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s “David” and Brunelleschi’s Duomo; Venice, the city of canals; […]