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
Board the Dart River jet-boat on a white-knuckle ride for an hour and a half up the narrow, meandering waterway, into real wilderness country.
Guests are collected from a convenient pick-up point and driven to the tranquil village of Glenorchy, on the northern tip of Lake Wakatipu. Here you board the Dart River jet-boat on a white-knuckle ride for an hour and a half up the narrow, meandering waterway, into real wilderness country. Jet boats are a New Zealand design which allow high speed travel up extremely shallow glacial riverbeds, and a by-product of this design feature is that they are able to put on the brakes suddenly which is hugely exciting.
Once you have disembarked from the boat, take a short guided walk on some picturesque forest tracks, where your knowledgeable guide will enliven your walk with and informative and entertaining commentary about the ancient native beech forest the unique flora and fauna, as well as the fascinating Maori and colonial history of the area. Finally, you return to Glenorchy by 4WD coach via a scenic back-road route, while hearing stories about the surrounding countryside and stopping to view scenery that has formed the epic backdrop for many international films, including 'The Lord of the Rings'.
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.
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.
33 miles away in Lake Wanaka
44 miles away in Milford Sound
Include Dart River Wilderness Safari 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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