New Zealand is a bit of a mystery for the world, a little more evasive than her sibling to the west. And despite the fact that it played host to the shooting of the hugely popular Lord of The Rings Trilogy and yet has managed to keep that shroud of mystery.
Travelling New Zealand is travelling a postcard. The mountains loom high, the rivers rush fast and nature thrives. New Zealand is perfect for hiking and camping wherever you go in the country.
The country is composed of two major islands and a sprinkling of smaller ones, all of them mountainous to varying degrees with volcanoes speckled here and there.
Given its terrain and the locals affinity to traipsing all sorts of inclines, perhaps it no surprise that New Zealand is the birthplace of bungee jumping and beyond that there is all sorts of sporting to be had.
And it may come as a surprise but a relaxing beach vacation is just as possible as extreme sporting adventures. The country has some of the most beautiful and cleanest beaches you will find in the world and surfing is also a popular sport.
The weather is even-tempered throughout the year. Because New Zealand is located below the equator, the summer months run from January to March and the temperatures are in the very comfortable low to mid 20s. The autumn season runs through to June and temperatures cool slightly, however even the winter months are quite comfortable hovering in the teens.
One of the most popular cities to visit in the country is Auckland. It sits between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea. Tourist attractions include the Auckland Art Gallery which features work by doe of New Zealand's most renowned artists. To get a taste of Auckland history check out the old Civic Theatre and step back into the 1920s. One of the most fun things you can do with kids is take a visit to Stardom. Get close and personal with the stars using the planetarium's powerful telescopes and learn all about the world out there. Auckland is a great place to do this since it has low light pollution and you can see the stars shining their brightest.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was shot in Mount Aspiring National Park, which is a part of the Te Wahipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Site. The movie set itself sits in and around Glenorchy Village. If you've seen the films you get a sense of how magical the area is and it isn't limited to the park, that magic can be found in velvety shawls of grass and gnarled wood throughout the country.
The area was popular for mountaineering and hiking far before it ever reached superstardom and still is today.
If you’re more of a powder bunny, New Zealand has an answer for that. The country has some great ski resorts on both the South and North Islands. The most popular skiing can be found on Mount Cook - which is also the highest point in New Zealand and sits on the South Island.
If you’re looking for summer fun then head to New Zealand’s North Island to the the city of Christchurch, this is where rugged New Zealand gets a little soft. Here you can lay out on beautiful beaches and bask in the sun or surf the waves. The city has a number of great restaurants and bars that help pull together the whole surf’n beach scene.
A visit to New Zealand will reconnect you with nature and help you truly appreciate the beauty of earth.
New Zealand Airlines
Airlines servicing the route between Australia and New Zealand include Virgin Australia, British Airways, China Southern Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Air France, KLM, Singapore Airlines, Qantas Airways, Garuda, Alitalia, Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia and Turkish Airlines.
Australia to New Zealand
Popular stopovers between Australia and New Zealand depend on where you are leaving from and can allow you either to do a multi-city tour in New Zealand or a stop off in another Australian city and then on to your destination in New Zealand.
More information at the New Zealand Holidays guide.