Lying in a seemingly distant corner of the globe, even further south than the vast and beautiful Australia, New Zealand is a diverse country with so much to see and to enjoy. The two main islands which make up the country are themselves profoundly different landmasses: the North Island is warmer, with sandy beaches on the coast and rolling farmland further inland, whilst the South Island offers spectacular mountains and fjords, large glaciers and forests. The surrounding smaller islands meanwhile are a wild collection of remote windswept and sometimes uninhabited spots.
Known widely as ‘The City of Sails’, Auckland is the largest and most populous area of New Zealand, with over a million people living in the metropolitan area. On the banks of the Waikato River is the verdant and plush Hamilton, about eighty miles south of Auckland, and home to two of the country’s foremost sports teams – the Chiefs (super 14 rugby) and the Magic (ANZ cup netball). Visit Wellington meanwhile, and you’ll get to see the national Parliament as well the incredible Te Papa museum.
Elsewhere in the North Islands, the Bay of Islands is well worth a visit. In the centre of the island you’ll find Taupo, a great spot where you can enjoy all kinds of adventure activities and fun and games, not to mention try your hand at a bit of trout fishing.
On the South Island is Queeenstown, where adrenalin junkies come from all over to try their hand at skydiving, bunjee-jumping, jet-boating, and all manner of exciting thrills and spills. Christchurch meanwhile is known as The Garden City, as well as being the gateway for New Zealand to Antarctica and the South Islands.
The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a truly stunning area on the South Island, offering visits the chance to hike across a spectacular landscape as well as climb New Zealand’s highest mountain. Milford South meanwhile is another well-known spot, a beautiful fiord in Fiordland National Park.
Wherever you head, New Zealand offers so much for its visitors that you’ll have to save enough time to enjoy it all.