Not as well-known as Australia as a vacation destination, New Zealand boasts some of the most amazing natural attractions in the world and is truly an off-the-beaten-path gem. A country that has a larger population of sheep than humans (known as ‘kiwis’), New Zealand offers outdoor lovers an amazing array of sights in both winter and summer.
Visitors will be captivated by the Maori history. The country is split between North and South islands, each offering its own unique landmarks. Start by exploring the North Island, arriving in Auckland and taking to the amazing east coast, which is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and the town of Rotorua, with its natural hot springs. The larger South Island is where some of the most pristine national parks, glaciers and raging rivers can be found. Whether it’s skiing, hiking, bungee jumping, hiking, rafting or kayaking, New Zealand has it all.
A fun way to experience the country is on a road trip or by renting an RV. New Zealand offers excellent and extensive camping facilities, beautiful national parks and vast areas to explore without having to look for a place to stay at the end of the day. Keeping in mind that seasons are generally reversed, the peak travel months are New Zealand summers, which run from November to April and perfectly aligns with North America’s winter break. Hotels fill up well in advance and prices are high, making campers a viable alternative.
Although Wellington is the capital, most visitors will arrive via Auckland International Airport. It is the main air gateway and Air New Zealand offers direct flights to Asia, North America, and Europe. Within the country, there are seven international airports and 28 domestic airports, which makes flying the primary method of transportation. It is also possible to get around by car, train, bus, ferry, or boat.
- Take a ferry from the North Island to the South Island and enjoy the incredible Cook Strait, one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world
- Bungee jump off the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, the first commercial bungee jumping site in the world
- Enjoy the hot springs at Rotorua with their natural geysers and mud pools
- Watch an All Blacks rugby game
- Experience the energetic Maori dance, the Haka, and get some tongue exercise!
- Ski at one of the numerous resorts in the South Island and hike the Fox Glacier
- Trek through the national parks in the South Island, such as the incredible Fiordland National Park
- See the amazing glow worms while black water rafting in the Waitomo Caves
- Spend a night at New Zealand’s most famous hotel, the Hermitage, and enjoy fabulous views of Mount Cook
- Embrace your geeky side reliving Lord of the Rings on a visit to Hobbiton
- Cruise the incredible fjords of Milford Sound
- Give the kooky, hamster ball sport of zorbing a try