• New zealand-
  • Culture of new zealand
  • North Island
  • South Island

New Zealand is an island country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses that of the North and South Islands as well as numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometers east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometers (600 mi) south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans.

New Zealand is a land of immense and diverse landscape. You’ll see things here that you will not see –in the same country – anywhere else in the world. Within a day or two’s drive you can see spectacular glaciers, picturesque fiords, rugged mountains, vast plains, rolling hillsides, subtropical forest, volcanic plateau, miles of coastline with gorgeous sandy beaches. Much of these landscapes are protected by National Parks with thousands of kilometers of walks and trails opening their beauty to the public.

Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand, which translates as 'Land of the Long White Cloud') was first settled by Maori between 950 and 1130 AD. Highly sophisticated ocean navigators, Maori journeyed south through the Pacific from their original homeland, Hawaiiki (believed to be near Tahiti), to their new home of Aotearoa.

Aotearoa possessed a more temperate climate than their original Pacific Island home, with no indigenous mammals (aside from the native bat) to hunt for food. Bird and marine life was plentiful however, and Maori also began to cultivate kumara, taro and yam.

Isolated from other Polynesian peoples by thousands of miles of ocean, Maori developed a unique and vibrant culture of their own, reflecting their natural environment and affinity with the land. Maori, the tangata whenua (people of the land) were the only inhabitants of New Zealand for over 600 years, until the arrival of European explorers in the mid 1600s

From the 1790s onwards European settlement was sporadic, mainly consisting of whalers, traders and missionaries, who lived in scattered settlements throughout the country. It was not until 1840 when a number of Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, ceding governance to Britain, that the new colony was opened for mass European settlement.

European settlement in Aotearoa had a profound effect on Maori life and customs. Policies of enforced assimilation meant the loss of traditional Maori society, traditions and language. European endemic diseases such as Influenza also spread rapidly amongst Maori, who possessed no immunity to such diseases. The Maori population, estimated at 85,000 in the mid 1700s, fell to just over 40,000 by the end of the 19th century.

New Zealand is a land of nature and a land of immense natural diversity. The scenic attractions alone – the stunning landscapes, glorious beaches, the up thrust volcanoes and spectacular geothermal activity – will leave you reaching for superlatives. There’s the lush and diverse flora, the product of our temperate climate and geographic isolation. Walk through the cool air of amazing evergreen forests where rimu, totara, native beech, and the tallest of them all, the giant kauri, tower overhead and where the undergrowth is dense with native ferns, shrubs, mosses and lichens. And the fauna – the wildlife; somebody described New Zealand as the ultimate storehouse for discontinued zoological models. It’s the place of the millennially ancient tuatara lizard, birds of beautiful song and flightless birds – the waddling native parrot kakapo, the takahe and the iconic kiwi. And the sea has its own unique environments and wildlife with native seals, dolphins and penguins. One country and so much nature Get out and see it.

As New Zealand lies in the Southern Hemisphere, it has opposite seasons to those living in the northern half of the world.

Summer: - December - February
Autumn: - March - May
Winter: - June - August
Spring: - September - November

New Zealand's average rainfall is high and evenly spread throughout the year. Over the northern and central areas of New Zealand more rain falls in winter than in summer, whereas for much of the southern part of New Zealand, winter is the season of least rainfall. As well as producing areas of stunning native forest, the high rainfall makes New Zealand an ideal place for farming and horticulture.

Snow typically appears during the months of June through October, though cold snaps can occur outside these months. Most snow in New Zealand falls in the mountainous areas, like the Central Plateau in the north, and the Southern Alps in the south. It also falls heavily in inland Canterbury and Otago. Snow rarely falls in the coastal areas, with the exception of the South Island's east coast which can experience some snow in winter.

Disabled Facilities
New Zealand law requires that every new building and major reconstruction provide ‘reasonable and adequate’ access for people with disabilities.

New Zealand's Maori culture is an integral part of Kiwi life and adds a unique, dynamic experience for visitors.

Maori are the tangata whenua, the indigenous people, of New Zealand. They came here more than 1000 years ago from their mythical Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki. Today Maori make up 14% of our population and their history, language and traditions are central to New Zealand’s identity.

You’re bound to hear te reo Maori, the Maori language, during your travels in New Zealand. There would be few New Zealanders who do not recognise common Maori terms and phrases. You’ll probably pick a few up yourself. Start with ‘kia ora’ – hello!

Maori cultural performances, which include traditional singing, dancing and haka (ancient war dances) are a wonderful way to experience our culture first hand. In Rotorua, and indeed throughout the country, organised tours provide a traditional Maori welcome onto a marae (meeting area), where you can enjoy a cultural show followed by a hangi feast cooked in earth ovens.

Maori visual arts like carving, weaving and tattooing are also alive and well in New Zealand. Precious adornments and traditional weapons can be found at cultural centres and studios on both islands. If you catch a carving or weaving demonstration, you’ll see that many of the techniques used remain unchanged since days goneby. But check out some contemporary Maori art, fashion, film and television, and you’ll find that Maori creative expression is ever growing and developing.

Being at the narrowest point of the North Island, it literally stretches itself from one side of the country to the other, from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea. This means, wherever you are in Auckland, you’re never far from the water. And what amazing water it is. From wild surf beaches to the tranquil Hauraki gulf, the sea and all its attractions are why this is known as the City of Sails.

Waiheke Island is a 40 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. It is the most populated of the Hauraki Gulf islands. The landscape is a picturesque blend of farmland, forest, beaches, vineyards and olive groves.

In the Maori language Auckland is known as Tamaki-Makau-Rau - ‘the maiden with a hundred suitors’, because it was a region coveted by many tribes. The name still holds true, as Auckland's lifestyle is ranked amongst the best in the world.

Come and experience it for yourself. A few days in Auckland, building in a tour or two, is the perfect beginning to your New Zealand vacation.

The Manawatu is heartland New Zealand. A landscape that sweeps from the sea to the Tararua Ranges, it offers an exciting choice of adventure from rafting and kayaking to horse trekking, mountain biking and rock climbing. And if you want experience country life, it’s all around you. Go to a real stock auction. This is where the farmers buy and sell their stock, gathering around pens as the auctioneer rattles off the bids. Stock auctions are one of New Zealand’s oldest traditions, dating back to the 1880s. Or find a farmstay and meet farmers whose families have been on the land for generations.

You’ll experience kiwi culture here in so many different ways. In Palmerston North you can explore the world’s first museum devoted to rugby. If you’re a garden lover there are some fabulous public and private gardens to see including one of the top rose gardens in the world. And a little way down the road around Horowhenua you’ll find such quirky attractions as an owl park, a farm devoted to Clydesdales and a fully operational Dutch windmill.

Bay of Plenty
When James Cook arrived in 1769, he anchored off a great bay ‘full of plantations and villages’ that was, he noted ‘a bay of plenty’. The Bay of Plenty, today, is no less a place of plenty. Around Tauranga are hectares of orchards and gardens producing everything from kiwifruit and citrus fruit to avocados. Add to this bounty the local wines and the plentiful fresh seafood and you just know that this is a place where you will dine well.

Mount Maunganui, a short distance from Tauranga, has spectacular beaches which are a magnet for surfers all year round. For the adventurous, there’s skydiving and for those more keen on terra firma, blokarting (small land yachts) will blow the cobwebs away.

Visit White Island – a quick helicopter ride from Whakatane – and you can walk, yes, on an active volcano as it hisses, belches and rumbles. It’s that same geothermal activity that provides the hot pools and spas that you will find in many places where you can relax and let the world slide by. There is plentiful accommodation in the area; everything from bed and breakfasts through to hotels and boutique lodges.

Northland’s story is a story of two coastlines. Much of the coastline remains unspoilt but on the west coast it is rugged and soulful and simple while on the east coast it is relatively more sophisticated and urbane.

Drive north along the west coast and you’ll come across the magnificent Tane Mahuta, the tallest kauri tree in an area that was once covered in kauri. Exit the forest and you come to the Hokianga Harbour with its huge white sand dunes and quiet beach communities. Then head to the northernmost tip, Cape Reinga, and watch the seas of the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea collide.

The east coast has different charms. Here the pristine beaches are white-sanded and tranquil, places of relaxation and activities – golf, swimming, sailing and diving. In the beautiful Bay of Islands, take a cruise, soak up the sun or immerse yourself in Maori culture at Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

The city of Whangarei has plenty of accommodation and is an excellent place to enjoy the Northland lifestyle. Sit at a quayside café and watch the yachts or visit New Zealand’s first Farmers’ Market on a Saturday morning and stock up on the freshest local food.

The Coromandel is one of New Zealand’s most popular and best-loved holiday destinations. When you visit it you will see why. A binocular’s view across the gulf from Auckland, it is everything that a big city isn’t. Cloaked in native rainforest with dazzling white sand beaches, it is rustic, unspoiled and relaxed. Activities and attractions are plentiful. You might choose skydiving in Whitianga or a guided sea kayak tour around the coast. You could take a walk in the coolness of the pristine bush - the Coromandel is a walker’s paradise – or simply sit and relax in a warm bubbling pool at Hot Water Beach. You might even like to explore your own secret lagoon in Donut Island. And there are many more.

The Coromandel is the home of many artists and craftspeople. Pop into their studios – you’re welcome to visit – and pick up a unique piece of art or pottery to take home with you. It’s also the home of many events and concerts that draw locals and visitors alike to this remarkable place. Staying in the Coromandel is easy. Most of the accommodation providers have found themselves spectacular locations so whether your tastes are for the upmarket or the simple, you’ll find a room – or tent site – with an amazing view.

Rotorua is one place where the turbulent forces that formed New Zealand are most evident. This city, on the Volcanic Plateau, has one of the world’s most lively fields of geothermal activity. Skyrocketing geysers, hot springs and boiling mud pools all tell you that this place sits squarely on the Pacific Rim of Fire.

Rotorua is also the ancestral home of the Te Arawa people who settled here more than 600 years ago and their presence offers the visitor numerous cultural experiences. Try a hangi feast – cooked in the steaming ground, take a tour of an authentic pre-European Maori village or treat yourself to an indulgent spa therapy. If adventure is your thing, Rotorua has many attractions to get the adrenalin flowing; everything from skydiving and luging to zorbing and one of New Zealand’s best mountain bike circuits.

It’s also a big trout fishing area with fishing on the lakes and tributary rivers and if you’re unlucky there you can sight some of the huge trout (but, alas, not catch them) at Rainbow and Fairy Springs. With its international airport, Rotorua is also the gateway to the North Island’s skifields for excellent skiing and snowboarding at Mt Ruapehu in the winter.

Eastland is the place where the first Polynesian canoes landed, where Captain Cook made his first landfall and where Maori and European first encountered each other. Gisborne, the largest settlement in Eastland, is the first city in the world to see the sun each day.

In this relaxed and tucked-away part of the country, the world moves slowly; horses and bare feet are common forms of transport. You might wish to take a car but you’ll also want to take your time.

Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway and Maori culture is evident in every settlement you see. There are carved meeting houses, beautifully painted Maori churches, and conversations in Te Reo.

Deep in the misty Te Urewera Ranges, descendents of the ‘Children of the Mist’, the ancient Tuhoe tribe, still live in harmony with the forest around the village of Ruatahuna. You’re unlikely to come across them if you go hiking in Te Urewera National Park, but hire a local guide and you’ll learn some of their stories and legends while exploring the largest untouched native forest in the North Island.

Sunny Eastland is famous for its beautiful, often deserted beaches, and its exhilarating and diverse surf breaks. Hire a surf board and get out there, or watch the peeling waves from the comfort of your outstretched beach towel. Other popular pastimes include fishing, diving, cycling, mountain biking and golf.

Trying the wine here is a must. Known as the "Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand", Gisborne produces premium white wines which can be readily enjoyed on a scenic winery tour.

Accommodation in Eastland can be as fancy as an upmarket lodge, boutique B&B or waterfront hotel. But Eastland is also heaven for those in motorhomes or tents, with plenty of freedom camping amid picture-perfect scenery.

The Ruapehu region is defined by the three volcanoes that stand sentinel over the landscape. Everything stems from them; the tussocked desert, the rivers and lakes, and the thermal springs. You cannot ignore these volcanoes.

Today they are part of the Tongariro World Heritage Park, New Zealand’s first national park. The centerpiece is the snow-capped Mount Ruapehu with, alongside, the two smaller cones of Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro. For skiers and snowboarders, Ruapehu is the site of two of the North Island’s best skifields.

Snow pursuits aside, there are many other outdoor and adventure activities in the region. For mountain bikers, there’s the famous 42 Traverse. The area is popular with hunters and, for trout fishers, the small tributary rivers provide excellent if challenging sport. And then there’s hiking. For sheer scenic incredibility, you must take the Tongariro Crossing This one-day hike takes you from alpine meadow to mountain summit across a surreal landscape of craters, coloured lakes and volcanic rock.

There is plenty of accommodation in the towns around the area with everything from the basic backpacker’s hostels to boutique lodges and the Edwardian grandeur of the Chateau on the slopes of Ruapehu.

Just over an hour south of Auckland you enter the Hamilton & Waikato region; a land of lush verdant pasture where the fertile soils and reliable rainfall have made this the centre of the dairy industry.

If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, drive east to Matamata and visit the Hobbiton Movie Set, the village created for the movies, or if surfing is more your style, then Raglan is the perfect spot for you with one of the longest left hand breaks in the world.

For a different underground experience, drive south to the Waitomo Caves where the natural beauty of stalactites and stalagmites lit by the blue light of glowworms will take your breath away; or for those seeking more of an adrenalin rush, the blackwater rafting and abseiling are not to be missed.

The city of Hamilton boasts stunning gardens and river walks, and a popular nightlife and restaurant scene. With abundant accommodation, Hamilton provides a perfect base for exploring the wider region too.

Hamilton & Waikato is a place of fierce and proud history where the New Zealand Land Wars were fought and the Kingitanga (Maori King) movement was formed. Visit the historic places and museums and you will hear the stories for yourself.

No region in the North Island has more defined character than Taranaki, nor more symmetry. Wherever you are in Taranaki, the majestic symmetrical cone of Mount Taranaki gazes down at you. Seen from the summit the green fertile lowlands below are threaded with roads and dotted with toy-like towns and the coast is rugged and wild. It’s a place where you can go snowboarding in the morning and surfing the same afternoon.

The region offers a huge range of outdoor activities. You can take a gentle stroll through cool native forest or embark on a multi-day hike. There’s river rafting, ocean surfing, and winter snow sports. If you fancy a little less adventure, walk the New Plymouth coastal walkway and see the Wind Wand, conceived by the pioneering kinetic artist, Len Lye. There are art trails, festivals and award-winning museums and galleries and a thriving café culture. And there are gardens. Walk the parks and gardens in the rhododendron season and they are a beauty to behold.

Hawke's Bay
There are two words the sit with Hawke’s Bay and they are Wine Country. Hawke’s Bay is one of New Zealand’s warmest, driest regions and this has made it one of the country’s leading producers of wine; notably red wines – cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah – but also with some quite stunning whites.

But there is much more than wine to this glorious place. It is New Zealand’s Art Deco centre, rebuilt in the 1930’s after a huge earthquake. It hosts the country’s most elaborate celebrations of Matariki – the Maori New Year. It’s a place where you can shop at the farmers market for locally grown delicacies, indulge in artisan gourmet food, and join the lunchers at Napier’s Great Long Lunch. And it’s a place where you can walk the forest trails of the Ruahine and Kaweka Forest Parks or the glorious beaches that stretch along the coast.

Hawke's Bay offers every kind of accommodation, from exclusive lodges and self-contained cottages to hotels, motels, camping grounds, bed & breakfasts and homestays. Some wineries have room for guests, providing the perfect setting for a romantic stay.

Wairarapa is an hour’s drive north of Wellington, tucked away in the south-east corner of the North Island. Coming from Wellington, you drive over the winding Rimutaka Hill road. Halfway down there’s a corner where the whole vista of the Wairarapa opens up before you, bush-clad ranges to the west across flat plains to a rugged coast on the east.

A rural area with an off-the-beaten-track charm, the Wairarapa offers the traveller a wide range of experiences. Head up to the Waiohine Gorge at the foot of the Tararuas and a swing bridge is your gateway to tramping tracks into the ranges. Head out to Cape Palliser on the coast and you’ll pass through the tiny fishing village of Ngawi where you’ll see a colourful array of old bulldozers and tractors parked on the beach.

The towns have their own individual character and charm. Martinborough is the centre of the local wine industry – take a tour of the vineyards - while Greytown has an architectural charm and is a favourite weekend getaway for Wellingtonians.

Accommodation ranges from boutique hotels to homestay cottages. Having a car for transport works best; it’s a big area.

The Kapiti-Horowhenua region sits on the North Island’s West Coast, just north of Wellington. Known as the Nature Coast, it’s a place of kilometres of unspoilt, wild, West coast beaches and forests climbing up the ranges. It has many attractions.

There’s horse trekking along the beach and forest walks. Take a tour to Kapiti Island Nature Reserve and you can see (and, oh yes, hear) the phenomenal bird life of the country including birds that are rarely or never seen on the mainland. Or browse the many galleries and pick up a piece of unique art to take home with you.

Nestled between a sparkling harbour and rolling green hills, Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city. Lonely Planet named Wellington ‘the coolest little capital in the world’ (2011), and the city is renowned for its arts, culture and native beauty.

Things To Do
Relax at Oriental Bay, Wellington’s golden-sand inner-city beach and delve into the many museums, art galleries and theatre shows that make up the city’s pulsing cultural scene. If you’re into the outdoors, Wellington has action-packed adventure activities like mountain biking and sea-water kayaking, as well as beautiful walks around the harbor and surrounding hills. Try the visually stunning Makara Peak track, as well as the City to Sea walk where you can experience the best of Wellington's waterfront. Ride the cable car up the hill to Kelburn for amazing views over the city and enjoy an ice cream at the top.

On the waterfront itself you’ll find Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, New Zealand’s national museum. Te Papa, as it’s colloquially known, means ‘our place’ and is one of the best interactive museums in the world.

A gourmet food experience
Wellington buzzes with delicatessens, cafes and restaurants – it’s a city that enjoys gourmet food and fine wine. Known as the culinary capital of New Zealand, Wellington is famous for its tucked-away bars, quirky cafes, award-winning restaurants and great coffee. Head to Courtenay Place or Cuba Street to get amongst the good stuff.

The Lord of the Rings
A must for any Lord of The Rings fan, Wellington is home to Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop and the Weta Cave, where you can get a behind-the-scenes look at movie making magic. It’s also a great base for day tours to experience “Middle-earth” scenery. And if you're a big fan, plan on being in New Zealand November 28, 2012 when Wellington will host the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Close to Wellington
If you want to visit the South Island, Wellington is the city where you can board the inter-island ferry with or without a car. This 3 hour ferry ride offers daily services and is one of the most spectacular in the world. Leaving regularly from Wellington, the ferry takes passengers past the magnificent scenery of the Marlborough Sounds, before berthing in the picturesque town of Picton at the top of the South Island.

A must-stop on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail - an adventure that takes you through some of New Zealand's top wine-producing regions - Wellington is a great place to start your wine-tasting journey. Marlborough, Wairarapa and Hawkes' Bay are all a few hours' drive or ferry-ride away from Wellington and offer unforgettable winery experiences.

Lake Taupo
This beautiful lake is about the size of Singapore - more of an inland sea really. It was created nearly two thousand years ago by a volcanic eruption so big it darkened the skies in Europe and China. Visit the Craters of the Moon and you'll see evidence of the lake's fiery birth in the geysers, steaming craters and boiling mud pools.

At some of Lake Taupo's beaches, swimmers and paddlers can enjoy warm, geothermal water currents. Other scenic highlights include the magnificent Huka Falls, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second, and the Aratiatia Rapids. Across the lake loom the massive volcanoes of Tongariro National Park, just 1-2 hours' drive away.

Taupo is a great lake for water-skiing, sailing and kayaking. The forests surrounding the lake offer hiking and mountain biking to suit all levels of experience. But what Taupo is really known for is fishing. With the largest natural trout fishery in the world, this is the place to cast a line and look for the big one.

The river city of Whanganui was one of the first to be founded in New Zealand. The name Whanganui, meaning ‘big river’ comes from the great river that flows through it. The city is picturesque and has much to show the visitor. Prominent heritage buildings in the city include the Wanganui Opera House and the Sarjeant Art Gallery. Visit the regional museum and see the magnificent collection of Lindauer portraits and Maori treasures. And have a look at one of the more unusual attractions, the earthbound elevator that rises to the top of Durie Hill.

But the real heart of this place, both physically and spiritually, is the Whanganui River. In early times the river was an important transport route for Maori and European settlers. Today, the Whanganui National Park is a place of river adventures where you can zip up the river by jetboat or cruise it by paddle steamer. For a kayaking experience, try the ‘Whanganui Journey’ which starts in Taumaranui and ends in Pipiriki, taking you through stunning bush-clad hill country and long narrow gorges. Time, indeed, to go with the flow.

Central Otago
Central Otago is a powerful landscape, sunny, dry and brown with weathered ancient mountains, alpine herb fields and fast flowing rivers. In the 1860’s this was a place of gold; you can still pan for it, in amongst the miners' old trails, stone cottages and relics of mine machinery.

But the gold today, in Central Otago, is wine. Pinot noir, that most fickle of grape varieties, excels in these southernmost vineyards and most of the wineries will welcome you for tours and tastings. Many tourists hire a motorhome. This way you can see some of the region’s more remote sights; incredible scenery that you will often have to yourself. Go wildflower walking in Alexandra, take a cruise on Lakes Dunstan and Roxburgh, or for another form of transport entirely, go biking along the Central Otago Rail Trail. The 150 km trail follows the route of the old railway and you cycle from station to station staying in places little touched by modern hustle and bustle.

Accommodation in Central Otago ranges from the luxury lodges set in inspiring locations through to character B&B’s, historic backpackers, country pubs, motels and camping grounds. Wherever you stay you will be welcomed.

Mount Cook Mackenzie
The first glimpse of Aoraki Mount Cook across the turquoise waters of Lake Pukaki is one that will last you a lifetime. There are 19 peaks in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park over 3,000 metres but at 3,754 metres, Aoraki Mount Cook dwarfs them. If you’re a climber then this is one of the best climbing regions in Australasia but if you’re inclined to less dramatic adventure there’s hiking with mountain walks that lead to alpine tarns and spectacular glacier views.

Nearby, the small farming town of Fairlie marks the beginning of the Mackenzie Country – an area named after a legendary Scottish sheep rustler who once roamed the hills. Fairlie is handy to a number of ski fields or take a tour of Raincliff Historic Reserve to see wonderful Maori rock art.

Take a ski-plane trip from the massive Tasman Glacier and get a bird’s eye view of the glorious magnificent scenery including the surreal opaque torquoise-coloured lakes that are a feature of this glaciated area. Lake Tekapo is one of these and Tekapo township features, amongst other attractions, the exquisite Church of the Good Shepherd which, with its alter window framing Aoraki Mount Cook, is probably the most photographed church in the country.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Canterbury stretches from ocean to the Alps, a land of plains and peaks. It is a place of variety and innumerable attractions where, within two hours of an international airport, you can ski, play golf, bungy jump, go whitewater rafting, mountain biking, wind surfing, whale watching, and visit world-class vineyards and gardens. Where else in the world can you do that?

A must-see is New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook. Go hiking in Arthur’s Pass National Park or just wander around the picturesque bays and villages of Banks Peninsula. And then there’s New Zealand's second-largest city, Christchurch known as ‘The Garden City'.

In February 2011, Christchurch was hit by a huge earthquake. Much of the central city with its classic neo-gothic architecture was destroyed. But it remains a beautiful city, a city where you can cycle alongside the river, stay in good hotels and indulge in fine sophisticated dining, and a city where, just 15 minutes from the centre you can scramble up mountain bike tracks or ride a wave at a surf beach. The buildings may have been damaged but the soul of the city and the welcoming spirit of the people remain very much intact. Don’t miss visiting Christchurch.

Nelson is a lifestyle; that’s the best way to describe it. Sitting at the top north-west corner of the South Island, it’s the sunniest region in New Zealand with a geography which captures everything from the long golden beaches to untouched forests and rugged mountains.

Perhaps it’s the sun, perhaps it’s the location, but Nelson has long been a magnet for creative people. There are more than 350 working artists and craftspeople living in Nelson, traditional, contemporary and Maori. Visit their studios and find a unique piece to take home with you.

Walk the sun drenched sands of Golden Bay or head inland to Takaka and see the impossibly clear waters of New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs. Walk the Abel Tasman track – it’s a three to five day walk – or, for a different view, take a sea kayaking tour around the coast and see a seal colony and little blue penguins bobbing in the water. Or just relax. Sit in the sun, sip a wine from one of the local vineyards, and dine on the famous Nelson Bay scallops.

Accommodation options in Nelson range from basic backpacker lodges to luxury spa retreats, and everything in between.

Dunedin - Coastal - Otago
The Otago coast stretches from the Waitaki north of Oamaru to the mighty Clutha River south of Dunedin, Unlike its Central namesake, coastal Otago is moist, green and often misty with its population seeded evenly along its shores.

Start at the north. The Waitaki district is a place of haunting natural beauty with green pastures and small picture-book fishing villages. Stop in at Oamaru and look at the historic whitestone architecture, an amazing townscape that towers over a modest community.

Dunedin is the city of the south. Known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, it wears its Scottish heritage with pride. Surrounded by dramatic hills and at the foot of a long harbour, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. The accommodation is good and plentiful; equally so, the natural attractions. On Dunedin’s doorstep you will find incredible wildlife including the world’s rarest penguins and, at Taiaroa Head, the world’s only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross.

Head further south, and you join the Southern Scenic Route, a tourism must of the South Island that follows the wild coast down to Invercargill and then north-west to Manapouri and Te Anau.

Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s top visitor destinations and if you come to the region you’ll understand why. The town sits on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu among dramatic ranges.

The lake and mountain landscape make it suited to all kinds of adventure. There’s skiing in the winter and activities such as bungy jumping, sky diving, canyon swinging, jet boating, horse trekking and river rafting all year round. If hardcore adventure isn't your thing, there are plenty of mellow options available. Experience one of the many walking & hiking trails, sightseeing tours or indulge yourself with spa treatments, boutique shopping and excellent food and wine.

Head out of Queenstown and the drama of the Central Otago landscape unfolds around you. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan you’ll recognize many of the locations of Middle-earth here. Twenty minutes from Queenstown, Arrowtown’s gold-mining history is alive and vibrant. Visit the Lakes District Museum or go gold panning. Forty minutes from Queenstown at the northern tip of Lake Wakatipu is rural Glenorchy and Paradise Valley. From here it’s a short drive into the Mt Aspiring National Park and the start of some of New Zealand’s great walks.

New Zealand has a comprehensive network of international and domestic airports.

While Auckland Airport serves the largest number of international arrivals and departures, airports in Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Rotorua and Queenstown also receive flights from other countries..

Tour CodeNights/DaysPickup - DropPlaces
NZL_A4 N/5 D Auckland - Rotorua Sightseeing - Waitomo Glowworm - Maori Hangi & Concert
NZL_B6 N/7 DWaitomo Glowworm Caves - Rotorua Sightseeing - Maori Hangi & Concert - Art Deco Napier - Vibrant Wellington
NZL_C6 N/7 D Hot Water Beach - Cathedral Cove - Rotorua Sightseeing - Maori Hangi & Concert - Port of Tauranga
NZL_D7 N/8 DWhale Watching Cruise - Wine Tasting Tour - Punakaiki Rocks - Tranz Alpine Tain (seat in coach only)
NZL_E8 N/9 DDoubtul Sound - Stewart Island Ferry - Guided Tour of Stewart Island - Catlins Coast
NZL_F9 N/10 D Discover Auckland, Rotorua - Queenstown and Christchurch - Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Lunch - Milford Sound with Buffet Lunch
NZL_G10 N/11 D Waitomo Glowworm Caves - Capital City of Wellington with City Tour - Rotorua Sightseeing - Maori Hangi and Concert - Interislander ferry - Milford Sound - Mt Cook National Park - Church of The Good Shepherd
NZL_H11 N/12 DAuckland, Rotorua and Christchurch City Tour - Maori Hangi & Concert - Waitomo Glowworm Caves - Church of The Good Shepherd - Milford Sound - Glacier Region
NZL_I12 N/13 DWaitomo Glowworm Caves - Maori Hangi & Concert - Rotorua Sightseeing - Milford Sound - Dunedin - Adventure Capital Queenstown
NZL_J14 N/15 D Milford Sound - Glacier Region - Lake Reosrt of Wanaka - Punakaiki Rocks - Winery Tour - Whale Watching Cruise
NZL_K15 N/16 DAuckland - Rotorua - Taupo - Napier - Wellington - Picton - Blenheim - Christchurch - Kaikoura - Mt Cook - Omarama - Dunedin - Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown - Fox Glacier

"Vraj" Opp. Panchal Hall Anand Vidyanagar Road Anand Gujarat - 388001 Ph: 02692 245455,
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