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
The winding, weaving Marlborough Sounds were formed by the glaciers of an ancient ice age, deep valleys were flooded by the sea, leaving a mass of bays, inlets and hidden coves.
For most people, the Marlborough Sounds are their first overwhelming sight of the South Island. Formed by the glaciers of an ancient ice age, deep valleys were flooded by the sea, leaving a mass of bays, inlets and hidden coves.
The winding, weaving Sounds are home to an abundance of wildlife, including the rare Okarito brown kiwi, which lives in the miles of coastal forest fronting the sheltered waters.
This is the picturesque scenery that greets you as you arrive on the Interislander ferry. Picton, the ferry’s docking point, is a charming town and the gateway to the region’s attractions, including the famous Queen Charlotte Track.
However, to really experience the solitude and uninterrupted peace of the region you need to venture out to one of the guest houses tucked away in the coves and usually only accessible by water taxi.
From here you can take a sea kayak or canoe to get a seal’s-eye view of the waters, spend a few days exploring walking trails, take one of the excellent boat trips that spot the resident dolphins at play, visit the bird sanctuary of Motuara Island or simply sit and take it all in on the shores of one of the beaches.
New Zealand's diverse landscapes have ensured the country's place as one of the world's foremost outdoor activities destinations. For a relatively small country, the diversity of adventure experiences on offer is very impressive.
New Zealand is now recognised as a producer of world-class wines and for the wine connoisseur no trip to the country would be complete without a visit to a winery.
Nelson & Marlborough, 10 miles away
Nelson & Marlborough, 26 miles away
Nelson & Marlborough, 42 miles away
Nelson & Marlborough, 61 miles away
Nelson & Marlborough, 80 miles away
Include a visit to Marlborough Sounds 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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