With their striking, varied countryside made all the more famous as the undisputed star of The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, the astounding islands of New Zealand have something for nature lovers of every flavour. With ten times as many sheep as humans, and abundant indigenous cultures to explore, few dispute NZ tourism’s claim to be amongst the most memorable spots on earth.
Largest city Auckland gets in on the natural wonders, with volcanoes and lava ridges forming the backdrop to a vibrant city and green suburbia, littered with sometimes dazzling and often embarrassing architecture, the best dating from Victorian and Edwardian times.
Few hang around in the cities, though; there are just too many adventures to be had. Hefty bungee jumps are essential traveller fare, while the still more intrepid head out to sea aboard kayaks to drift nervously amongst the numerous whales and dolphins. Windy Wellington is an essential stop off on the significant sailing scene, while Tongariro National Park is home to off-the-beaten-track bike rides, and dramatic roof-of-the-world hikes. Then there are the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, which can be explored on foot or absorbed in full from the air, plus the picture-postcard waters and craggy shorelines of Abel Tasman National Park, and the astonishing views from the southern Islands TranzAlpine train.
As much as the nature is utterly compelling (and should be at the core of every trip), New Zealand throws up countless other memorable moments, like munching on slimy hu hu grubs straight off the grill, stumbling across ancient Polynesian ceremonies, and exploring the vineyards or boutique beer barns of the inner islands. Then there are the surf towns, the vivacious nightlife and blend of steamy thermals, and Maori culture to be found amongst the tattooed tribes of Rotorua.
Overcome your fears all at once, by swimming with whales, rolling down steep slopes in polystyrene balls, and coming face to face with the kind of food you’d rather have left under a rock. Or you could just stick to ogling the stunning scenery, but where would be the fun in that?
Auckland has new Zealand's largest population and is located near the top end of the North Island.
It's population growth has been matched by soaring house prices and limited supply.
Christchurch is the gateway to the South Island of New Zealand.
Many international visitors will either in arrive or depart from this largest, centrally located, South Island city.
Queenstown is to New Zealand what Ko Phan Ngan is to Thailand. That is, Queenstown is an undisputed party capital. New Zealand’s reputation amongst backpackers precedes it: the place to go …
Named after the nearby lake and nicknamed Sulfur City, Rotorua is a small New Zealand North Island city known for its geothermal activity, a quirk that leaves the smell of Sulfur forever drif…
Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, is – like much of New Zealand – set on a harbor, surrounded by undulating hills and home to plenty in the way of outdoor adventure. Wellington has a h…
There's just something about New Zealand that sparks the inner adventurer in everyone. Perhaps it is the majestic skylines, the deep-blue waters, or the lush forests that cover entire regions…
The second-largest city on the South Island of New Zealand, and one of the main centers for the country as a whole, Dunedin sits at the head of Otago Harbor on a series of hills and valleys o…
Most commonly known as the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park, Wanaka is a resort town in the Central Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand, nestled on the southern banks of La…
When you first hear the name it almost sounds fairly bland, like an unseasoned steak or a bad red wine. But, just as you cannot judge a book by its cover, you cannot judge a town by its name,…
Located on the southern coast of Marlborough between Christchurch and Blenheim, Kaikoura is one of the most famous places in New Zealand if you are coming for the seafood. Technically it is n…
Napier is proclaimed the "Art Deco City" of the world, after it was re-built in the 1930s in the wake of a very destructive earthquake. The city was re-built using traditional art deco techni…
Located within the Bay of Islands in the Northern part of the North Island, New Zealand, Paihia is a town full of tourist attractions.
Paihia serves as an excellent base for cruises and ex…
Picton is the port for the Inter-island ferry from Wellington and arrives after a delightful 3 hour cruise through the Marlborough
The ferry transports trains, trucks, cars and passengers a…
Hamilton is the largest inland city in New Zealand and 5th largest city overall. It lies in the Waikato region of the north island. Because of its location along the Waikato River, it has a h…
The city of Tauranga is the largest coastal city in the Bay of Plenty region and although it has typically been a place to retire to, it's growing rapidly and there is plenty to see and do fo…
Te Anau is a small tourist town located on the edge of the Fiordland National Park in the south island of New Zealand.
The name Te Anau is taken from the largest South Island lake that the…
Nothing more than a dot on the map in the West Coast region of the South Island of New Zealand, Franz Josef is nothing more than a little town in the middle of nowhere, built in reference to …
Considered to be the 8th Wonder of the World by Rudyard Kipling, as well as booked by New Zealand as their most famous tourist destination, and arguably one of the world’s most ecotacular-d…
Blenheim is not yet a city, only a large town of 32000 people.
There is good shopping in the town and in the outskirts at Springlands, and Redwoodtown and Renwick.
The town is situated alon…
Fox Glacier is a small township located about 3 hours from Greymouth on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. This area is called ¨Glacier Country¨ as there are 2 glaciers in c…
Hanmer Springs is approximately 1.5 hours drive North of Christchurch.
In recent years the hot springs resort has been upgraded providing visitors with world class facilities.
The scenery i…
Greymouth the main centre of the Grey District lies beside the Tasman Sea and the Grey River. It is the geographic and commercial heart of the West Coast, with the largest population. Today i…
Invercargill is New Zealand's most southern city in New Zealand and is located on the Southern Scenic Highway.
The south island has a Scottish influence as can be seen in Invercargill with t…
Kerikeri, home to many historic buildings, is the largest town in the Northern part of the North Island, New Zealand.
The oldest surviving house in New Zealand, Mission House or Kemp Hous…
Palmerston North or in Māori Te Papa-i-oea is the main city of the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is an inland city with a population of 79,800 (June 2008 es…
New Plymouth is located on the west coast of the North Island, about 5 hours drive from both Auckland and Wellington. It is a much looked over attraction which is locally well-known for its b…
Hokitika is a township on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, 40 kilometres (25 Miles) south of Greymouth, and close to the mouth of the Hokitika River. The town has a population of…
Whangarei is the northernmost city and capital of the Northland Region in New Zealand. Located by the coastline, Whangarei is famed for its laid-back reputation with Quayside being a popular …
Lake Tekapo is near Mt Cook which is New Zealand's highest mountain. Its waters and views are a must see. There are accommodations there and some activities to do.
Oamaru is known for its penguin colony, viewable at night in summer in hundreds rushing up ashore.
Do not miss the Historical District, Penny Farthing Factory and Lime Stone Sculptures!
Whitianga is on the east coast of the north island and is considered part of the Coramandel Peninsular.
It is a great spot for tourists hoping to fish or kayak.
The town is a big game-fis…
The Coromandel is a rugged, densely forested peninsula where rivers force their way through gorges and pour down steep cliffs to the sea. Teh peninsula, with its beautiful coastal scenery and…
Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. The community lies on the edge of the Paparoa National Park.
The name Tongariro originally covered the three mountains of the park (Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu) and comes from tonga (south wind) and riro (carried away). The story goes that Ngatoro…
Arrowtown is small historic gold mining town on the South Island of New Zealand. It is a great destination for a day-trip if staying in the area. It is central to the region's fabulous wineri…
Go to the bay of islands and not visiting Russel is.....verry bad indeed!!
Russell hase everything Pahia "a ferry ride away" does´nt have!wonderfull helpfull and friendfly people, Nice scen…
Raglan is a quaint little surfing town located just an hour west of Hamilton, New Zealand. In addition to great surfing, there are lots of unique shops and restaurants. It is a relaxed town a…
Waitomo is famous for its limestone caves.
Tours through the Waitomo Cave (more commonly know as the Glow-worm Cave) and the Aranui Cave have been feature attractions for decades and are sti…
Cambridge is located in the Waikato region of New Zealand. It is located about 25 kilometers southeast of Hamilton on NZ 38, along the Waikato River. It's population is about 15,000 persons…
Wanganui is a city with about 40.000 inhabitants that is surrounded by wide green hills. The city is located on the southwest coast of the North Island.
In 1840 this town was founded and …
Abel Tasman National Park (established in 1942) is renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, and world-famous Abel Tasman Coast Track. It also has a mild climate and is a go…