Otherworldly landscapes for all seasons
A third of New Zealand is protected—and it’s easy to see why. Glacial caves, mountains, and wildlife such as a flightless bird which inspired the nickname Kiwi, set the scene for nature explorations of two islands that meet the Pacific Ocean. From the Fiordland on South Island to over 140 subtropical islands found further north, witness scenery of the exceptional kind wherever you go. Experience the war dance of the Māori in Rotura. Visit Abel Tasmin, a wilderness reserve that invites you to kayak the coastline or perhaps take flight and sky dive.
New Zealand can appear cinematic. Coated in green vegetation, the spiralling mountains of Milford Sound is a boat cruise location where you can scuba dive. A hike to Key Summit is atop of most travellers must do lists. Enter the capital city of Wellington which flatters with harbour front strolls that lead to cosmopolitan bars that invite you in for a Tom Collins. Snorkel the waters at Bay of Islands, an enclave where pods of dolphins play among the surf. Franz Josef, a chunky glacier with ice caves and climbing opportunities is otherworldly.
Milford Sound is a fiord on the South Island with over 700 kinds of flora, towering cliffs, and valleys that lead to glaciers. Watch as water spills from the mossy rockface of mountains. The marine wildlife impresses as fur seals, Bottlenose dolphins, and the Crested penguin occupy an area considered the “eighth wonder of the world.”
The coastal paradise of Abel Tasman National Park is located between Golden and Tasman Bay. Explore these coastal surroundings in a kayak as seals splash around. The coastline provides 37 miles of tracks to hike alongside a beach that acts as a launching point for a boat tour through Tasman Bay where, if lucky, a dolphin might stop by to say hello.
A lakeside city in the Bay of Plenty, Rotorua thrills with hot springs, woodland walks, and relaxing mud pools. Locally known as “The Redwoods”, trees tower over you in a playground for the adrenaline junkie: mountain biking, hikes, and horse rides are all available. Longing for more nature delights? Visit one of 18 lakes that surround the city and later, enjoy a craft beer as the sun sets behind a stratovolcano in the distance.
144 islands make up an enclave found at the edge of North Island known as Bay of Islands. A sail or fishing excursion are popular attractions here, as is a 4,800-metre skydive that would thrill most adrenaline junkies. Kayak across the Haruru Falls and feel alive in a subtropical region renowned for its Māori traditions and mythical Middle Earth settings seen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Visit the west coast of South Island where the Franz Josef Glacier descends from the Southern Alps to 300 meters below sea level below. These temperate climates provide easy access to an iced land of imposing stature. A hike leads to caves, an expert guide can provide you with opportunities to climb as you manoeuvre through narrow crevasses and learn how to step cut.
Experience four seasons in a day when you visit New Zealand. December through February has a warmer climate with the North Island more subtropical than South Island which presents pleasing beach weather. A higher percentage of rain can be expected in spring and winter months, with the weather considered changeable. The South Island has milder, temperate climates and more seasonal changes than the north. If you’re looking to visit at a less touristy time, November, March and April are quieter months on an island that provides contrasting habitats shaped by changeable weather.
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