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
Few towns in the world - if any - have so dramatic a setting as Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and backed by the constantly dramatic ‘Remarkables’ Mountains.
With a colourful history of Maori pounamu (jade) hunting and gold mining, Queenstown has always drawn on its surrounding landscapes to attract visitors and residents alike.
More recently it has proudly proclaimed itself the ‘adventure capital of the world’ and it’s hard to argue with this due to the sheer number of high adrenaline adventures available amongst the surrounding Southern Alps. While any trip to Queenstown should involve some form of outdoor adventure, there is every opportunity to witness the mountains first-hand without being suspended from a bungy cord.
Many visitors find it is quite enough to simply relax and drink in the ‘once in a lifetime’ scenery from one of the cafés on the lakeshore.
From Maori pounamu hunters to European gold prospectors, Queenstown has always been attractive for those in pursuit of bounty. Now this beautiful outdoor playground appeals to people seeking adventure and excitement, with a wealth of activities including mountain biking, bungy jumping, sky diving, hang-gliding, jet boating - the opportunities are endless.
Queenstown hosts a wealth of sporting events and festivals, of note the New Zealand Open golf championships and a selection of international skiing competitions. For those who prefer a more sedate pace there is still plenty of choice, from golfing and fishing to hiking and riding.
Regardless of how you choose to spend it, every day closes the same way, with the sight of the sun setting over the lake, casting a tincture of red across the Remarkables.
Nomad Safaris are the local experts for getting you out and about in some of Queenstown’s most inaccessible scenery. With roads such as Skippers Canyon being closed to rental vehicles, this is the best way to explore the Queenstown back country.
Much of the landscape was used in the filming of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, and there is also a wealth of gold-mining history in the area, putting a historical spin on an exhilarating experience. Nomad operate with the approval of the Department of Conservation, and are actively involved in the preservation of the historical areas.
Cycling in New Zealand is incredibly rewarding and there is perhaps no better way to immerse yourself in the landscapes and magnificent scenery than from the saddle of a bicycle.
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.
14 days from £3,120pp
19 days from £3,720pp
19 days from £3,645pp
Southern Lakes, 9 miles away
Southern Lakes, 18 miles away
Southern Lakes, 33 miles away
Southern Lakes, 44 miles away
Southern Lakes, 53 miles away
Include a visit to Queenstown 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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