• Solomon Islands!

    Solomon Islands: Looking up at palm trees. Go Now!

    Solomon Islands
    This Melanesian country is best known for its many islands and beaches... and this natural landscape (pictured) is why most people go. Don't miss out on the unique Melanesian culture and foods though! Begin Your Journey!

  • Tonga!

    Tonga: Coastline. Go Now!

    The heart of Polynesian culture is rooted in Tonga, but most visitors just come for the natural beauty. Explore Tonga!

  • Vanuatu!

    Vanuatu: Jetty into the ocean. Go Now!

    Picturesque serenity is a good way to describe Vanuatu, but the culture offers much more, including the inspiration for bungee jumping, which remains a rite of passage for young men. Explore Vanuatu!

  • Palau!

    Palau: "70 Islands!" Go Now!

    Few people have even heard of this small Micronesian country, but those who have often return with stories of beauty unmatched elsewhere, such as view of the "70 Islands" (pictured). Go Now!

  • Explore the: Federated States of Micronesia!

    Federated States of Micronesia: Overlooking some islands. Go Now!

    Federated States of Micronesia
    This diverse country stretches for thousands of miles and has the diversity to prove it, including the people from Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap among others. Begin Your Journey!

  • Samoa!

    Samoa: A traditional home. Go Now!

    Among the most famous of the South Pacific's many countries, Samoa sits in the heart of Polynesia and has a culture to match. Begin Your Journey!

Architecture of New Zealand

New Zealand's earliest architecture arrived with the Polynesian Maori who settled the islands about 1,000 years ago. These people primarily built with wood and constructed little more than housing. Due to the material, few structures remain in this style and those that do are modern reconstructions.

With the arrival of the British and other Europeans, more permanent structures were built in New Zealand. Most of the buildings that were built were constructed in the same styles popular in Britain at the time. This included Georgian and Victorian buildings as well as numerous revival styles from the late 1700s to about 1900.

Many of the early settlements, including Auckland and Wellington were built in these styles. The Georgian style developed from the Baroque style popular in Europe in the 1600-1700s, but was also heavily influenced by Neo-Classicism. This style could easily be used for the design of numerous buildings from civic buildings to homes, so was widely used in New Zealand. Victorian buildings came a little later, beginning in about 1840, but are more represented by the time period of their construction rather than their design elements, although a few defining features did develop.

One notable shift from the original British styles came in building materials. In New Zealand many of the buildings were built with local stones and in the city of Christchurch, and in many of the surrounding towns, cream-colored Otago stones and black basalt rocks are very common. Buildings constructed with these stones can be found in Christchurch including the city's cathedral, Christ's College, and the Arts Centre, in the city of Dunedin including the Railway Station, Know Church, and the Garrison Hall, and of course the town of Otago itself.

In the 1930s Art Deco arrived from abroad and made a slight impact on New Zealand. After a massive earthquake in 1931, the city of Napier was rebuilt in the Art Deco style and is considered one of the best examples of the style anywhere in the world.

Like so many countries, New Zealand has adopted modernism and post-modernism, most commonly in the cities of Auckland and to a lesser degree, Wellington. These cities are home to sky scrapers and other modern constructions.

This page was last updated: February, 2013