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
This harbour cruise is one of the most picturesque in New Zealand and gives you the chance to experience the Banks Peninsulas most majestic scenery.
The cruise takes in the magnificent Cathedral Cove, volcanic rock formations at Onawe Peninsula, a variety of bird life and the Hectors Dolphin, one of the rarest species in the world. The cruise also takes in many relics of Akaroa's past and includes an informative commentary by the skipper.
Formed by the eruption of the Akaroa volcano, Banks Peninsula was once an island itself and reminders of this dramatic geological past are everywhere. Akaroa is the oldest town in Canterbury and lies in a scenic harbour on the peninsula in which dolphins can often be seen.
Stretching out like a patchwork quilt, the Canterbury Plains cradle the South Island’s largest city, Christchurch. Discover the diversity of the region by visiting Waipara, Hanmer Springs, Kaikoura and Mount Cook National Park.
25 miles away in Christchurch
103 miles away in Kaikoura
165 miles away in Blenheim
Include Harbour Wildlife Cruise 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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