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 in Maori as ‘Aoraki’, Mount Cook is the highest mountain in the continent of Australasia. The National Park which surrounds the peak is certainly one of New Zealand’s most spectacular, with more than one third covered in permanent snow and glacial ice.
You can get up as far as Mount Cook village by road, from where air safaris, trekking, 4WD tours and dinghy cruises set out for the dripping ice faces of advancing glaciers.
Mount Cook National Park is yet another of New Zealand’s havens for walkers. There are paths here to please gentle day walkers, as well as challenging hikes that require specific mountaineering experience.
There are ten short walks leading from Mount Cook Village with two of the most popular being the trail to Kea Point (two hours return) and the walk over the swingbridges and up to the Hooker Valley (four hours return).
Maps and information are available from the Department of Conservation visitors centre in Mount Cook Village, and in the summer guides can be arranged for the more tricky paths.
20 days from £4,290pp
Christchurch & Canterbury, 27 miles away
Christchurch & Canterbury, 36 miles away
Christchurch & Canterbury, 91 miles away
Christchurch & Canterbury, 127 miles away
Christchurch & Canterbury, 143 miles away
Include a visit to Mount Cook National Park 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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