New Zealand is one of the most popular countries in the world to visit, whether you’re staying somewhere and basing yourself in one place, or you’re moving around, perhaps backpacking or road tripping. However you choose to explore this wild and rugged land, it’s important to pinpoint the must-see regions, so you don’t miss out on anything extraordinary.
Of course, Wellington is the country’s capital, and this is somewhere you must visit, and the cities themselves are vibrant and friendly, but there is much more to New Zealand than cities. Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit were filmed in New Zealand, so fans of those movies will love visiting the areas they were filmed in, and anyone into adrenaline sports will be seriously in their element.
Here’s a few other highlights you shouldn’t be missing when you head Down Under.
Otago Rail Trail
Outdoorsy types will love the walking trails and cycling tracks around here, and this is a great idea for a family holiday too. You can follow the steam train tracks that used to move around this region, and take in the stunning scenery.
We said New Zealand is about more than the cities, and whilst this is true, Queenstown is a total must visit for those wanting adrenaline-pumping sports. This is known as the Adventure Capital of New Zealand, officially, and is full of stomach churning activities, such as bungee jumping, paragliding, rafting, and a plethora of other sports to try, including skydiving for the ultimate thrill!
This is a very popular area to visit, and is a great spot for eco-tourism. Here you will find geysers, mudpools, and natural geothermal pools, full of reputed healing properties. You can also get active with cycling, fishing, walking, and a spot of zorbing, if you so wish.
There’s something rather enchanting about the beautiful caves in Waitomo, and it’s nothing to do with the stalagmites and stalactites either, and an awful lot to do with the thousands of glow-worms which light up the darkness!
The White Island is home to the country’s largest active volcano, and is a seriously imposing sight to see. On top of this, there are many dramatic walking trails to follow, taking in the best of the nature around the area, and many scuba diving sites, so you can check out what lies beneath the surface of the ocean too.
For nature and dramatic landscapes, you won’t get much better than Milford Sound. You will have to travel far south for this, but it is worth the hours, with amazing wildlife spotting opportunities, and some of the most jaw-dropping scenery you will ever set eyes on.
The great thing about New Zealand is that the landscapes and weather conditions are so varying, depending on where you go, that you will never get bored of looking at, and experiencing, the same thing. The Mt Cook region is alpine in nature, so you can expect chilly temperatures, and beautiful snowy scenes. This is also the country’s highest mountain, and home to the Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre.
These are just a few highlights in a country full of many, many more.