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New Zealand Travel Wiki
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Travel to New Zealand
New Zealand offers visitors one of the most unique opportunities to explore that can be found in the world today. It is a breathtaking nation that can offer you a quiet, rural holiday, a relaxing resort experience, or a rugged exploration adventure. You can divide your trip into a North Island trip, a South Island trip, or have an extended getaway and see both cultures.
For many, a visit to New Zealand begins with an exploration of the nation’s incredible coastline landscapes. You’ll find plenty of walking trails, cycling opportunities, and road trips to help you enjoy this wonder to its fullest extent. Along the way, you’ll also discover diving, sailing, and kayaking opportunities.
New Zealand is known for its volcanic mountainous landscapes. This lush green country is split in to two islands, the North and the South Islands, the North Island being more densely populated. For tranquil towns and small cities surrounded by picturesque mountains visit the South Island. Head to the North Island and experience thermal hot springs, adrenaline fuelled outdoor activities, white sand beaches and of course more magnificent mountain ranges. New Zealand holidays possesses the perfect balance of high-energy outdoors fun and pure indulgence.
If there is adventure in your veins, then bungee jumping is a common activity in New Zealand. There are zip lines, guided rafting tours, and sky diving opportunities throughout the country as well. You’ll find award-winning wineries, farmer’s markets, and plenty of community festivals to enjoy as well. It’s also not an exaggeration to say that the seafood and coastal restaurants in New Zealand is some of the best that you’ll find in the world today.
There are numerous attractions to visit throughout New Zealand to enjoy as well. Art galleries are everywhere, as are the incredible hot pools, and there are plenty of stargazing opportunities to enjoy. The dramatic scenery is going to tempt your eyes, while the promise of incredible cuisine is going to tempt your tastebuds.
Explore the wilderness in New Zealand’s South Island. The two biggest cities, Christchurch and Queenstown, provide the perfect comfortable base for day long adventures hiking through the mountains, extreme outdoors activities and are the place to be for snow skiing in the winter.
Visit the beautiful cities Auckland and Wellington on the North Island on your New Zealand holiday. Both cities are built on picturesque harbours, but Auckland is on a volcanic spine between two. Head in to the mountains and visit Rotorua and Taupo. These two mountainous towns are rivals for the title of adrenaline capital of the North Island. Spend time on the Coromandel peninsula, which juts in to the pacific ocean just east of Wellington. Serene beaches on the eastern edge are the perfect place to relax, while old gold mining towns and organic farmland in the west provides for a great road trip.
Due to its high volume of volcanic mountain ranges New Zealand can be enjoyed fully in summer and winter. Head over in summer and enjoy the beautiful mountain views, hike around rivers and lakes or spend time on the white sand beaches that dot the coast between spectacular rocky coastlines. Come to New Zealand in the winter and be blown away by some of the world’s best snow skiing slopes, full snow parks and a multitude of different runs for beginners to professionals.
Find the best skiing on the South Island around Queenstown. In the summer, visit Queenstown and get involved in outdoor activities, then have fun in the bustling bars at night with generally younger crowds. Experience the provincial charm of Christchurch. Characterised by its gothic architecture this city has an emerging energy. Modern bars and restaurants are becoming popular hangouts around Christchurch. This easy going city is the perfect place to chill out after a pumped up week on the slopes or big hike through the mountains.
A trip to New Zealand would be wasted if you missed out on Rotorua, the most dynamic thermal area. Hot springs are commonplace and geysers shoot hot water up to 30 metres out of the ground. Enjoy the fascinating Maori culture here and feast on the traditional meal that is cooked in a large underground oven, the hangi.
Best of New Zealand North Island
If you’re looking for a holiday that’s full of adventure but also relaxation, a holiday to North Island in New Zealand will give you just that. Choose to venture into mountainous forests, explore the cultural capital of Wellington or simply just relax in one of the natural hot springs in Rotorua. With a destination that has so much to offer, the opportunities for a holiday in North Island are endless.
Known as the gateway to New Zealand, the North Island is an oasis of natural beauty. There are ragged mountains to climb, deep rainforests to explore and endless stretches of sandy beach to relax on. Stylish cities including Auckland and Wellington are also found here, where travellers can experience top city attractions including Karori Wildlife Sanctuary and the 328 metre high Sky Tower.
Being such a diverse destination, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a place to stay. Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city is compact but by no means quiet- stay here if you want to enjoy city amenities, including unique bars, great restaurants and top shopping spots. Further north, Rotorua is a popular town that is home to therapeutic hot springs and mud pools, making it the perfect place to relax. Adrenaline junkies will love the city of Taupo where there are plenty of opportunities to skydive, bungee jump and jetboat along rough rapids.
It’s not surprising that the North Island in New Zealand was the top location choice for the filming of Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit films. Home to some of the world’s most awe-inspiring landscapes, the North Island is full of forest topped mountains, steaming volcanoes and deep tropical rainforests. With such a wealth of natural wonders around you, it’s easy to see that a holiday to the North Island will be full of exploration, adventure and amazement.
Known among locals as the thermal capital of North Island, the city of Rotorua is a brilliant place to explore volcanic valleys, stand in touching distance of active geysers and ride along tranquil lakes. If hiking and trekking is more your thing, Ruapehu and Taranaki have some of the most breath-taking mountain ranges.
The cosmopolitan city of Wellington is great place to experience a slice of city life. Wander through the streets and discover the array of quirky bars, restaurants and boutiques before getting to know the island’s Polynesian heritage in one of the many downtown museums. Make sure you take a trip in the cable car to the top of Mount Victoria – the views are phenomenal!
If you’re travelling with small children, North Island has a great range of family activities for every budget. Spend a day face to face with the vibrant wild life that inhabits one of the untouched national parks or spend a thrilling day at Rainbow’s End, a theme park that caters to every age. Also, kids will love a boat ride through the Waitomo Caves that are covered in millions of glow worms.
When you fancy a break from all the action, take up a spot on one of the glorious beaches along the coast. The Bay of Plenty is the perfect place to kick back and relax, where you can also enjoy great seafood dishes and top quality wine made in the local vineyards. For the ultimate relaxation treat, travel to the Bay of Islands and take a dip in some of the best volcanic mud pools and hot natural springs.
Best of New Zealand South Island
As New Zealand’s biggest island, North Island is a great holiday destination for anyone looking for adventure filled days followed by low-key nights. With its diverse landscape, cosmopolitan cities and friendly locals there’s so much to see, explore and experience, you can choose to do as much or as little as you want!
The island is renowned for its scenic highlights and boasts a range of amazing landscapes. From the glacial valleys of Franz Josef to the Southern Alps and the tranquil lakes of Queenstown, there’s a natural wonder waiting around every corner, ready for you to explore.
Whether you want to have an action packed holiday full of discovery and exploration or prefer to take things a little easier, South Island has something to offer everyone. Take your pick from relaxed city life in Christchurch to the secluded lake town of Wanaka where you can stay among the alpine lakes and majestic mountains.
Being the largest island of New Zealand, South Island is a holiday destination that has something for everyone. Sitting on two tectonic plates the island boasts some of the most spectacular geological activity in the world. There are dramatic mountain ranges, glacial valleys and tranquil lakes, just waiting to be discovered.
Queenstown is one the island’s most popular destinations and it’s easy to see why. Set on the edge of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by spectacular mountains, it’s picture perfect whatever time of year you visit. The city is a paradise for thrill seekers who can enjoy thrilling ski slopes in the winter and canyon swinging, river rafting and skydiving the rest of the year. However, if adrenaline sports aren’t your thing you can always spend the day in town, shopping in quirky boutiques or indulging in some spa therapy.
If you are a lover of the great outdoors, a trip over to Stewart Island is a must. Over 85% of the island is declared a national park, so it’s popular with hikers who enjoy the gorgeous coastlines and rugged mountains the island has to offer. There’s also a chance to visit Ulva Island, located just a short boat ride away. It’s home to an enormous Bird Sanctuary, the only place in New Zealand where you can catch a glimpse of the native Kiwi bird in its natural habitat.
When it comes to relaxation, a trip to one of the many glorious coastlines should do the trick. The north-western town of Nelson is the sunniest region of the island and is perfect for kicking back and relaxing. Try Golden bay for powdery sand and crystal blue water or Takaka for New Zealand’s largest fresh water springs. Nelson is also well known for its creative flair and home to more than 350 well-known artists and crafts people. Visit their studios for the chance to take home some of their handmade pieces and learn about the town’s Maori heritage.
Wild Foods festival – A taste of New Zealand
One festival not to be missed is the legendary Wild Foods festival held annually in a small town on the West Coast of the South Island called Hokitika.
Due to the isolated location of the West Coast the ‘Coasters’ have always done things their own way, paying little attention to how the rest of the world lives. The festival is a prime example of this, as it show cases the rather random delicacies of the coast and the local characters that live there. You name it, it’s on offer and both locals and tourists come from afar to challenge themselves to eat the huge selection of wild foods.
Some of the more memorable dishes at this years festival included Mountain Oysters (goat testicles); huhu grubs that were very much alive; eel spine, marinated duck tongue; semen sauce; cow tit; seagull turd; rotten fish eyes and possum pie. The atmosphere is awesome as everywhere you look people are egging their friends on encouraging them to try the most vulgar of the vulgar wild foods on offer.
A few of the more tame – or should we say edible foods – included “Bambi” burgers, white bait fritters, homemade fudge, pickled punga (native fern), mussels and wild pork.
Hokitika has a population of about 6,000 and with more than 10,000 people attending the Wild Foods Festival accommodation options get rather interesting. So where does everyone sleep? The local fire brigade set up a couple of large camp sites right by the beach which over flows with tents and campervans.
Below you can find usefull travel resources for your visit to the country
When are holidays and no working days in the country ?
|1 January||New Year's Day||Following Monday if Saturday or Sunday|
|2 January||Day after New Year's Day||Following Monday if Saturday / Following Tuesday if Sunday|
|22 January||Anniversary Day||Wellington Province only|
|29 January||Anniversary Day||Auckland Province and Northland only|
|1 February||Anniversary Day||Nelson, Tasman, Buller and parts of North Canterbury|
|6 February||Waitangi Day||Following Monday if Saturday or Sunday|
|23 March||Anniversary Day||Otago Province|
|25 March||Anniversary Day||Southland|
|31 March||Anniversary Day||Taranaki (New Plymouth)|
|25 April||Anzac Day|
|variable||Queen's Birthday||1st Monday in June|
|25 September||Anniversary Day||South Canterbury|
|variable||Labour Day||4th Monday in October|
|1 November||Anniversary Day||Hawke's Bay and Marlborough|
|11 November||Anniversary Day||Canterbury|
|30 November||Anniversary Day||Chatham Islands|
|1 December||Anniversary Day||Westland|
|25 December||Christmas Day|
|26 December||Boxing Day|