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New Zealand

New Zealand Travel Guide

flights to New Zealand

New Zealand may only be a small country but when it comes to variety it is virtually unrivalled. To call it spectacular would be an understatement as the country boasts glacial mountains, volcanoes, foaming rapids, broad fast-flowing black rivers, deep crystal clear lakes, geysers, bubbling hot mud springs, lush forests and endless beaches. It's no wonder that ‘Kiwis’ favour the outdoor life with inhabitants of all origins Pakeha, Maori, Yugoslavian, Polynesian, Indian and Chinese all united in their love of sport. It is simply unacceptable not to follow the national game, Rugby Union. Watersports are also a favourite and boat ownership is probably the highest per capita in the world. New Zealanders are generally a warm, friendly people, outgoing, enthusiastic and cultured with their love for challenges reflecting the landscape in which they live.

Wellington is the capital, situated on the southern tip of North Island. The weather here can be pretty extreme with winds often hitting gale force, but the city is interesting enough to make the trip worthwhile. Places of interest include the modernist Beehive building, the Old Government Building (one of the largest wooden buildings in the world) and the Katherine Mansfield Memorials. The best views of the city and surrounding countryside can be enjoyed from the top of Mount Victoria. New Zealand’s largest and most spectacular city is Auckland. Situated on 46 volcanic hills and virtually surrounded by water Auckland is a microcosm of the entire country. The magnificent harbour is arguably on a par with Sydney Harbour in Australia and the sheer diversity of attractions, entertainment and activities is mind-boggling. From sunbathing on the islands in the Hauraki Gulf to swimming in Kohimarama and Mission Bay, the fascinating collection of Maori artefacts at the Auckland Museum to the multifarious marine life at Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World and Antarctic Encounter, there is more than enough to see and do. The nightlife is superb and runs well into the early hours and the shopping and dining exciting and eclectic. Queenstown, on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, is a Mecca for extreme sports fanatics and adrenalin-addicted head cases can really push the boat out by indulging in parasailing, jet boating down rapids, white water rafting and the big favourite - bungee jumping from either Skippers Canyon Bridge or out of a helicopter.

New Zealand is a place where the simplest of pleasures become something unbelievably special. Trekkers never cease to be impressed by the strange, otherworldly landscape and diversity of wildlife. The mountain wilderness of Fiordland, the alpine walks of the Routbern Track and the verdant forests of Catlins are simply stunning. Beach-wise, it’s hard to beat New Zealand and the eastern shores of Great Barrier Island are amongst the best beaches in the world. Diving wise, you can’t get much better than a stamp of approval from Jacques Cousteau who rated Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve amongst his all time top ten dives. A visit to New Zealand is a bona fide adventure, but what really makes it a place to love is the people - warm friendly and obliging. New Zealanders’ penchant for the great outdoors is only matched by their love of good food and good company. Expect a very warm welcome.

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