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
Auckland is likely to be your gateway to New Zealand, and is certainly worth a couple of days to experience the cosmopolitan mix of the Polynesian world’s largest city. Known as the ‘City of Sails’, there are plenty of reasons to take to the water here.
The ultraviolet index is a measure of the risk of skin damage due to exposure to the sun. Be aware that the potential damage caused by the sun varies from person to person as well as by time of day, altitude and several other factors. We recommend contacting your GP for further advice.
Wear sunglasses on bright days; use sunscreen if there is snow on the ground (which reflects UV radiation) or if you have particularly fair skin.
Wear sunglasses and use sunscreen, cover the body with clothing and a hat, and seek shade around midday when the sun is most intense.
Wear sunglasses and use sunscreen having SPF 15 or higher, cover the body with sun protective clothing and a wide-brim hat, and reduce time in the sun from two hours before to three hours after solar noon.
Wear sunscreen, a shirt, sunglasses and a hat. Do not stay out in the sun for too long.
Take all precautions, including: wear sunglasses and use sunscreen, cover the body with a long-sleeved shirt and trousers, wear a very broad hat, and avoid the sun from two hours before to three hours after solar noon.
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Auckland & Northland, in the vicinity
Auckland & Northland, 15 miles away
Auckland & Northland, 31 miles away
Auckland & Northland, 56 miles away
Auckland & Northland, 104 miles away
Include a visit to Auckland on your tailor-made trip around New Zealand by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in New ZealandRegions of New ZealandWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout New ZealandCountry Guides
Other countries in Australasia:AustraliaFrench PolynesiaSamoaThe Cook IslandsFiji
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