Discover the beauty & majesty of New Zealand
on 17 Aug 2020
For its size, New Zealand packs plenty of diverse and awe-inspiring sights into its relatively compact package. While the North Island is mostly volcanic in origin, and best-known for its beautiful beaches and water sports, the South Island is mainly glacial with a cooler climate, and popular for snow sports and adrenaline-pumping activities.
The North Island is a land with miles and miles of spectacular coastline and tranquil beaches, rolling green hills and rugged mountain ranges, geothermal wonders and sprawling farmlands, rich Maori culture and not one, but two beautiful harbour cities.
Visit the modern city of Auckland with its melting pot of culture. Enjoy a leisurely harbour cruise, catch a ferry to one of the nearby islands or stroll along the waterfront, dining in one of the many popular restaurants, cafes and bars.
Take a leisurely cruise around or a scenic flight above the 144 islands that make up the gorgeous Bay of Islands, or drive along the west coast up Ninety Mile Beach towards the northern-most point and the lighthouse at Cape Reinga.
In Waitomo, visit the underground labyrinth of limestone caves where glow-worms twinkle like stars in the enchanting Glow-worm Grotto. Try your hand at cave rafting or abseiling into chasms and experience these incredible cave formations in a truly unique way. Discover ‘Middle-Earth’ in Matamata, on a magical Hobbiton Movie Set guided tour of the farmland used in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.
For something out of this world, wander around the ethereal moonscapes of Hells Gate Geothermal Park, the most active geothermal field in Rotorua. See the incredible volcanic landscape of Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland and the awe-inspiring Waimangu Volcanic Valley where you can witness Lady Knox Geyser, sizzling hot pools, steaming fumaroles and vividly coloured terraces.
Heading south, visit the charming town of Napier with its many Art Deco-styled buildings, a town rebuilt after a major earthquake in 1931.
The gorgeous South Island has some of the most magnificent landscapes you will find anywhere in the world comprising of untouched wilderness, spectacular glaciers, beautiful fjords and breathtaking scenery.
Witness the majesty of giant sperm whales or frolicking dolphins and snorkel with fur seals in the shallow waters of the Kaikoura Peninsula. Soak in the warm open-air thermal pools in the charming alpine hamlet of Hanmer Springs or visit the West Coast and Glacier Region for 600km of magnificent coastline with panoramic seascapes, lush rainforests and impressive mountain vistas.
A highlight to any visit on the South Island is a helicopter flight over the remarkable Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers or a hike across the awe-inspiring frozen landscape, amongst turquoise coloured ice caves, pinnacles and seracs. Beautiful Queenstown, located on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, is the adventure capital of the South Island and where you’ll find the best ski slopes nearby, plenty of thrill-seeking adventures by day, and lively bars and restaurants by night.
Explore the dramatic wilderness landscapes of Milford Sound for crystal clear lakes, dense rainforest, jagged mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, sheer cliffs and bush clad islands. Emerging from the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, Christchurch is a city in transition. Rebuilding and re-emerging as a funky, arty and modern version of itself, the city centre is a fascinating blend of creatively repaired existing buildings and improved infrastructure using shipping containers for shops and cafes.
However you decide to explore New Zealand, your Phil Hoffmann Travel consultant will be able to help you plan the trip of a lifetime to this picturesque part of the world.
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