Geographically isolated for 80 million years, New Zealand is as otherworldly as you can get on earth. Encompassing two main islands and a number of smaller ones, New Zealand is as diverse in landmass as it is in geography. With a variety of star attractions and incredible nature sites at every turn, here's a bit of insight into what you should see in this incredible country.
Auckland’s blend of harbor, islands, Polynesian culture and modern city environment has created a lifestyle ranked amongst the best in the world. The natural assets of Auckland have made it a dream destination for all kinds of travelers, from doing-it-on-the-cheap backpackers to cost-is-no-issue super yacht owners.Welcome to Auckland. Our largest and most diverse city. 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 big wild rolling surf beaches to a beautiful gulf scattered with tranquil holiday islands, the sea and all its attractions are why this city is known as the City of Sails. Don’t miss having a leisurely lunch at one of Waiheke Island’s scenic vineyards, just a 40 minute ferry ride from downtown. From some of New Zealand’s best shopping and dining experiences to a cruise on the beautiful gulf harbor – a few days in Auckland is the perfect beginning or end to your vacation in New Zealand.
Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city and one of the most picturesque. The city is compact, cultured and full of character, hosting a vibrant café scene. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot - shopping, cafes, transport, accommodation and the city’s major attractions are compressed into an area that’s conveniently walkable. Wellington’s visitors come to browse museums, historic buildings and galleries, including the highly acclaimed national museum Te Papa, which is a must-see.
From a food and wine point of view, the city is truly delectable and has some of the best restaurants in the country. It’s a city that enjoys fine food and especially good coffee. Night time entertainment includes professional theatre, live concerts, comedy shows and dance performances. Accommodation in Wellington ranges from high-class hotels and city apartments to backpacker lodges. Wellington is also the gateway to the South Island. From the harbour, you can take the three hour stunning ferry ride to Picton.
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 mountain 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, 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 & biking 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 aptly named. From here it’s a short drive into the Mt Aspiring National Park and the start of some of New Zealand’s great walks.