More about New Zealand
Aotearoa – New Zealand; the Land of the Long White Cloud.
A magnificent country famous for its varied landscapes; New Zealand has many diverse regions stretching more than 1600 kilometres across two main islands.
A haven for those seeking peace, rejuvenation and relaxation as well as a playground for thrill-seekers and adventurers. New Zealand enjoys a temperate climate with relatively small seasonal variation making it an ideal year-round holiday destination.
Comparable in size to Great Britain or Japan, the country is so compact that it’s easy to visit several of the distinctive regions on one trip, with a wide variety of landscapes and attractions within easy reach of each other. Whether you are planning a trip for a few days or a few weeks we have plenty itinerary ideas.
A coastline of golden beaches and rocky outcrops circles the stunningly beautiful Bay of Islands. Scattered with 150 islands, this bay with its blue-green ocean and abundant wildlife, is renowned as a maritime adventure playground. Steeped in a rich and colourful history, the Bay of Islands is known as the birthplace of our nation
This beautiful peninsula, on the eastern side of the North Island, is a favourite holiday destination for New Zealander’s. For nature lovers, the white sandy beaches and lush green native forests of the Coromandel bring travellers back time and again. Not surprisingly, with 400km of coastline, the ocean is a destination in itself.
Birthplace of New Zealand tourism in the 1800s, Rotorua continues to fascinate as an adventure, cultural and spa destination. Historically known as the Nature’s Spa of the South Pacific, the healing waters of hot springs, therapeutic massages and mud wraps are offered to rejuvenate the spirit.
Lake Taupo is centrally located in the middle of the North Island, approximately 3½ hours drive from Auckland and 4½ hours drive from Wellington. Popular with both international and New Zealand visitors alike, Taupo offers something for everyone. Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s largest lake and extends over an area of 250 square miles – similar in size to Singapore. At its deepest point it is 522 ft deep and was formed by an enormous volcanic eruption nearly 2000 years ago.
Regularly named as one of the best life style cities in the world, Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city with a busy nightlife, world-class restaurants, a stunning waterfront and diverse neighbourhoods to explore. Facing the sparkling waters of the Manukau and Waitemata Harbours, New Zealand’s largest city is fondly known as the City of Sails.
Just south of Auckland lies the fertile Waikato Valley – a land of green hills and lush pastures, small rural towns; wild West Coast beaches, limestone caves and Hobbits! The main centre is Hamilton, New Zealand’s largest inland city and home to Waikato University and the world renowned 142 acre Hamilton Gardens.
Situated on the East Coast of the North Island, the sunny Hawke’s Bay region is a favourite destination for food and wine lovers. Known for its artisan food producers and local farmers’ markets in Napier, Hasting and Havelock North, the area has a rural charm, with a mix of steep hills and plains. The twin cities of Napier and Hastings are the main population areas.
Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city is set between bush-clad hills and the splendid natural harbour. Perched on the hills above the harbour are Victorian wooden houses intermingled with modern high rise buildings reminiscent of San Francisco. Recently named “the coolest little capital in the world” by Lonely Planet, Wellington offers something for all interests.
Located at the top of the South Island, Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine growing region and the home of world-renowned sauvignon blanc. Marlborough enjoys high sunshine hours and a temperate climate so that visitors can experience all of Marlborough’s diversity through the seasons. Marlborough offers over 40 cellar doors for wine-tasting – or join a local operator to visit a selection of the areas premier wine producers. With a predominantly flat terrain, cycle tours that include wine tasting are another popular option.
With the backdrop of the mighty Southern Alps, clear rivers and lakes, vast podocarp forests, temperate coastal forests, diverse wetlands, accessible glaciers and wild beaches, the West Coast of New Zealand is a wonderland of natural features just waiting to be explored. The Great Coast Road, stretching from Westport to Greymouth, has previously been named by Lonely Planet as one the top ten coastal drives in the world.
Stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Southern Alps, Canterbury is a land of plains and peaks, small coastal, alpine and rural towns and a city rebuilding itself. Located in the middle of the South Island, Canterbury is easily accessible by air, land, sea and train. Within two hours drive of the international and domestic gateway airport Christchurch, you can ski, play golf, bungy jump, go whitewater rafting, mountain biking, whale watching, swim with dolphins, and visit world-class vineyards, gardens and galleries.
At the top of the north-west corner of the South Island, is the sunniest region of New Zealand. Known by the Maori as Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui – the tip of the nose of the canoe of Maui – Nelson is a truly beautiful region that should not be missed by the visitor who loves nature, adventure, art, crafts, wineries and good food. Situated close to several national parks, including the Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi, the region offers great hiking trails, beaches and rivers for kayaking and swimming.
Surrounded by majestic mountains and set on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, the natural beauty and the unique energy of the Queenstown region create the perfect backdrop for a holiday full of adventure, exploration or relaxation. Queenstown is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin Z-shaped lake formed by glacial processes, and has spectacular views of nearby mountains such as The Remarkables Cecil Peak, Walter Peak and just above the town; Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill. Lake Wakatipu is New Zealand’s third largest lake and the longest at 80kms long.
This intriguing city was founded by the Free Church of Scotland in the 1840’s and is located under severe hills at the head of a long twisting harbour. The city has a distinctive Scottish flavour with prominent street names from Edinburgh and a statue of the famous Scottish poet Robbie Burns located in the city centre.