The Land of the Long White Cloud doesn’t fall short when it comes to heart-stopping, jaw-dropping, eyeball-popping travel experiences. New Zealand holidays are often an exercise in embracing the outdoors as the country possesses some of the most spectacular scenery and best skiing in the world.
Our Oceanic neighbour can be summed up in one word: easy. New Zealand is a mere three-hour flight from Australia’s east coast and six hours’ from the west, hosts several airports across its two lengthy isles and is incredibly transport-friendly, whether your method of movement is self-drive, cruise, rail, bus or bike.
North Island Highlights
Wellington may be New Zealand’s capital, but Auckland certainly doesn’t play the role of a ‘runner-up’. This north island hub is the largest urban centre in the country, and the first port of call for most international travellers.
Auckland is a favourite destination for adrenaline junkies, who can get their adventure fix by base-jumping off the Sky Tower or bungy jumping from the Auckland Harbour Bridge against the glittering Waitemata Harbour.
Perched at the very southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island, Wellington ticks all the boxes a capital city should: a compact city centre, plenty of cultural haunts, a buzzing nightlife and roaring cafe culture.
Whether you’re combing Cuba Street for a caffeine fix, taking a peek behind the curtain at Weta Cave or traipsing through the lush Zealandia eco-sanctuary, make sure you have an all-weather jacket in tow – windy Welly’s weather is perhaps its most infamous attraction!
South Island Surprises
Queenstown is renowned as one of the world's adventure capitals. Be it winter or summer, fun abounds for young singles and families alike in this exciting South Island town. Snow bunnies can hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding, or experience the adrenaline rush at one of the world's first and bungy leaps: the 47-metre high Kawarau Bridge jump.
Queenstown is also the starting point for tours to Milford Sound – a world-renowned natural wonder regularly voted among the most scenic tourist spots in the country.
Nearby Wanaka rivals Queenstown with some of the most spectacular scenery in the Otago region and is the perfect springboard if you’re thinking of cycling the extensive Otago Central Rail Trail, or vineyard-hopping across the Central Otago wine region.
Christchurch is the major city of the Canterbury region – a land of alpine ridges, snowfields and lake-dappled country plains. Most ski holidays are based on the South Island (though the North does have two ski fields to its name) so, if you’re planning a winter escape, chances are you will find yourself in the charming city of Christchurch.
From scaling glaciers to skyscrapers, sampling top-shelf wines and hearty fare cooked on hot stones, New Zealand is a destination to enrich the senses and satisfy even the most persistent travel-bug.