Get active on a Mount Cook Hike, or wind down on a tour of the vineyard with a glass of sauvignon. Explore Northern and southern islands highlights with this must-do business…
- Discover the culture of Maori.
The Maoris have an indelible impression on New Zealand after they arrived in their legendary Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki more than 1,00 years ago. The Maori language, culture, and customs still form a huge part of modern New Zealand, from the names and daily phrases of locations to the formidable “Haka” that precedes every Black rugby.
Sulfuric, bubbling Rotorua is Maori’s cradle of culture; it is here that the majority of people go to the Marae for a night of tribal singing, dancing, fire poi, warrior training, impromptu ‘hakas’ and delicious Maori ‘hangi’ fiestas cooked on Earth.
- Get your motorcycle on
New Zealand provides something for cyclists of all sorts, from adrenaline junkies to those who want to combine biking with a wine sample, looking for the newest white kneecap trip. Alps2Ocean journeys through some of the most beautiful scenery on the South Island, while the Hauraki Rail Trail showcases the amazing Coromandel peninsula of Northern Island.
This is a field in which the government spends. The Nga Haerenga, a cycle trail that links 19 main trails to many more short ones, has been invested at NZ$50 million (£25,6m) for a national circuit extending over a distance of km. It is not shocking that New Zealand is rapidly becoming the new cycling hub.
- Sprinkle your oar
New Zealand is difficult to beat as an all-around sea kayaking destination with a busy landscape, plenty of wildlife, and an established pedigree of paddling. In more extreme areas, such as Fiordland, you can find calm warm-weather options especially in North Island) as well as white knob paddles.
New Zealand is amazing, that you are just 128 kilometers from the sea. And you are spoiled for your choice with more than 15,000 kilometers of coastline. An excellent selection of excursions from gentle half-day trips to wild expeditions of a week or more is also available.
- Upload your trap inside
No trekking in new Zealanders. They trap. And New Zealand has some of the finest tramplings on earth, with its superb landscapes of mighty forested fjords, snow-capped peaks and craters, and lakes.
In reality, it’s your most difficult job to choose where to go trapping. See ‘9 Great Walks’ in the country and take your pick. Time-limited? Try a ride across the famous Tongariro Crossing. Are you trying a challenge? Perhaps the Milford Track is for you for 4 days. There is a Perfect Walk for all from the natural forests, lakes, and rivers to rough mountain tops, deep gorges, and vast valleys.
- Middle Earth Journey
New Zealand has always been a synonym for the Middle Earth of JRR Tolkien since the first Lord of the Rings film came out in 2001. The Kiwis completely welcomed it with Air New Zealand, the national carrier, to release a Hobbit protection video on every movie release.
While you aren’t a fan, the rolling hills of Matamata to deserve visits and watch the idyllic film set Hobbiton, situated in a land full of green pastures with 44 Hobbit holes. And without a stop at the Weta Cave, a workshop in which all the wonderful costumes and special effects were made, no visit to Wellington (or Wellywood, as local people call it is complete.
- Campervan drive across the sky
Is there a better place for camping on the planet? There are nice empty roads and nature takes all stops just outside your window – a transport belt of hills, beaches, fiords, and glaciers. A wild gorge, mountains on both sides, and a wild seashore, or a glacier’s tops, can be reached around the corner. That’s New Zealand’s beauty – it cracks a tiny universe of drama.
Of course, the fun of exploring by camper is if you like a place, you can stay for the night. The local law allows you to camp free as long as the nearest big city and off the public highway are at least 15 km from you.
- Fiordland sound out
New Zealand’s Fiordland is, appropriately, seen as one of the natural wonders of the world, a vast wilderness of glaciated mountainous formations rising straight from the sea along the Alpine Fault line and twinkling away inlets. Milford Sound is her star, front and center.
Milford Sound sounds thrillingly wild, rainy, distant, and sandblasted. There are beautiful waterfalls and snow-capped peaks here. The fjords are spectacular. Her status and her relative inaccessibility as a world heritage site have kept her from mass tourism to the worst.
Milford Sound, either by cruise or kayaking, is best heard from the water. ‘Flightseeing’ is another option when time, but not budget, is limited.
- Follow the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary
The Maori refer to the cloud piercer Mount Cook Aoraki, and this is where sir Edmund Hillary cut off his teeth before he captured Mount Everest. By climbing the highest mountain in New Zealand you will go in the footsteps of the most popular mountaineer in the world.
Consider a helicopter ride if that sounds too overwhelming. The helicopter sets off on a glacier, where you make your crampons and tentatively walk up the edge after a spectacular flying around the mountain.
- Reach Queenstown terminal speed
Queenstown is the world’s capital of adrenaline sports. Situated between The Remarkables well known and the crystalline Lake Wakatipu, the company offers all kinds of activities to pump your blood.
Here was invented Bungy Jumping. And much earlier, Kiwis hurt on jet boats through canyon channels. Take your option between skiing, rafting, jet boat walks, rides and cycling, or jumping in bungees. Or if you’re up to it, all of them.
- The origins of Sip Sauvignon Blanc
New Zealand is renowned for its white and central Otago pinot noir Marlborough sauvignon. But the very good news is that the major wine-growing areas in New Zealand are situated in some of the country’s most beautiful areas.
Go along the Classic New Zeland Wine Trail on a journey along the shore from Hawke’s Bay through the village and Marlborough. Or only take a 35%-minute ferry ride to Waiheke Island Vineyards from downtown Auckland, where you can enjoy the stunning beach views on a relaxing afternoon snack with fine wine from New Zealand.
- See whales during the year
Kaikoura is a commonly-known whale watching capital of New Zealand, situated on the South Island between Christchurch and Picton. It is also one of the few locations in the world where whales are visible during the entire year. Sperm whales can be found all year round and bump migrate through the winter, orcas in the summer.
Here’s plenty of marine life, with frequent tourists being dolphins and seals. And the mountains in snowcapped shape a truly unforgettable atmosphere. Try the nearby crayfish from a restaurant or café that also borders the port.