Reasons to Visit
This small nation has established a name for fabulous wineries, many internationally acclaimed. Whilst most will point connoisseurs to the Marlborough region for the finest vintages, Hawkes Bay and Martinborough should not be ignored. A trip here would not be complete without trying the local 'fush 'n' chups' or traditional Maori fare either.
For a small country, New Zealand incorporates landscapes as diverse as they come. Mountains, volcanoes, beaches, lakes, fiords, valleys and caves - to the everyday traveller these remarkable sights are other-worldly. Both the North and South islands share many common features, but are also wonderfully contrasting.
It's not necessary to throw yourself off a suspended platform in order to fully experience New Zealand. Alternative options include air safaris over White Island, heli-hiking the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers and wilderness cruises in Milford and Doubful Sounds.
New Zealanders are proud of their Maori roots. Maori song, dance and mythology are prevalent, towns are adorned with carvings and rooms are dressed in flax weavings. Most physical locations also have Maori names with literal translations such as Waimakariri River (Cold water river).
The 'outdoors' perception of New Zealanders is not something consciously cultivated; with such a plentitude of mountains, beaches, fiords lakes and forests on their doorstep it is simply a way of life.
New Zealand has wonderful roads - scenic, safe and, especially on the South Island, largely empty. They even drive on the left and some of the most scenic routes are waymarked. There are car hire stations at all of New Zealand's airports.
There are so many excellent hikes - or 'tramps' as the locals call them - in New Zealand that it is sometimes difficult to know which one to select. We feature several of the country's 'great walks' which can easily be incorportated into any itinerary.
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New Zealand & the South Pacific
Known as the ‘winter-less north’, Northland has a lot to offer, including the historical Bay of Islands and the cosmopolitan city of Auckland.
Stretching out like a patchwork quilt, the Canterbury Plains cradle the South Island’s largest city, Christchurch. Discover the diversity of the region by visiting Waipara, Hanmer Springs, Kaikoura and Mount Cook National Park.
Whether it is bird watching on Stewart Island, traversing through the wild wetlands of the south, monitoring marine life on the Otago Peninsula or indulging in the local fare served in Dunedin’s fine restaurants, this region presents a host of contrasting experiences.
Stretching out into the Pacific both to the north and to the east, the sprawling Coromandel and Pacific Coast is where Aucklanders flock to enjoy the sun, surf and sand, and to relax into the region’s laidback lifestyle.
The Marlborough region, sitting at the topmost point of the South Island, is the home to fine wines, quality hikes, and a network of navigable water-ways. The Marlborough Sounds, reaching out into...
Clear air, crystal waters, imposing peaks and ancient forests: these are the elements that make up the majority of the scenery in the Southern Lakes.
Covering Rotorua, Taupo and Tongariro National Park, the Thermal Plateau is both geologically
fascinating and culturally exciting.
Home to New Zealand’s capital city and the rolling vineyards of the Wairarapa, the region of Wellington and Wairarapa is a delight.
With surreal rock formations at Punakaiki, creeping glaciers at Fox and Franz Josef and the immaculate reflection of Mount Cook on the crystal waters of Lake Matheson, the West Coast leaves a firm imprint on any traveller’s mind.
Known for its black sand, wide beaches and annual festivals, the most defining feature of the Western North Island is Mount Taranaki.
Further reading:Tours in New ZealandWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout New ZealandCountry Guides
Other countries in Australasia:AustraliaFrench PolynesiaSamoaThe Cook IslandsFiji
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