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Are you visiting Australasia? New Zealand is a beautiful place, and I think everyone should visit it at least once in their lives. One of my favorite facts about the place is that practically the entire country (sans the cities) was the set for both The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. Wouldn’t it be great to be a tourist on a movie set that spans an entire country?
They didn’t pick New Zealand for nothing. Here there’s just about everything, from rainforests, to glaciers, to fjords, to rivers full of fish! New Zealand is home to one of the largest areas with geothermal activity in the world: Rotorua, and visiting this place will give you a front-row seat to witness the phenomenal forces that shape Kiwi Land’s landscape.
New Zealand is also a great place to try sports that spike your adrenaline, thanks to the varied landscape. You can go jet boating, white water rafting, mountain biking , hiking, and skydiving. The list is practically endless.
But let us not get ahead of ourselves. In today’s article, we will take a look at 7 of the most interesting and exciting places you might want to visit while in this most interesting and exciting land.
Fiordland National Park is a World Heritage Site, with some of the best scenery you’ll see in the country and pretty much the world as well. This landscape has lots of glaciers, responsible for sculpting fjords like Dusky, Doubtful Sounds, and Milford. You can explore rainforests, lakes, mountain peaks, and offshore islands while here.
The park is also fantastic for hiking, and has some great tracks for the activity, such as the Milford Track. If hiking is not your thing, consider exploring the fjords via sea kayaking, or fly over the park and witness its beauty as the birds would witness it.
This national park is popular for the Abel Tasman Coast Track, listed among the nine Great Walks of New Zealand. The national park sits on South Island on the northwestern-most tip. This is the ideal place to go in New Zealand if you want to go hiking, though there is also the option to go kayaking in the coves around the park or on the open sea. If you visit at just the right time, and are lucky, you might spot some dolphins!
Queenstown sits cozily between the Remarkables on the one side and Lake Wakatipu on the other. This beautiful city is a treasure trove for the adventurous, and features as one of the top destinations for most tourists coming to New Zealand. Some of the activities you can enjoy while here include mountain biking , white water rafting, jet boating, bungee jumping, rock climbing, paragliding, and skiing, among others.
There’s plenty of scenery to take in in the alpine peaks of the Remarkables, and a variety of hiking trails you are bound to enjoy. But Queenstown does not stop at the adventure. There are also world class hotels, galleries, retail stores, and other comforts characteristic of a modern city.
The Bay of Islands lies north of Auckland, and it will take about three hours to get there in a car. It still remains a popular destination, thanks to the variety it offers through its 144 islands. If you’re into yachting and sailing, this is the place to be.
Sport fishing is also a popular pastime at the Bay of Islands, and here you will find not only marlin but also whales, dolphins, and penguins (the latter three are not for fishing, though, just viewing). If you like, you can take some time in the coves to bask, hike on the numerous trails on the islands, or kayak on the coastline. My personal favorite is the “Hole in the Rock” rock formation and the tropical forests.
Rotorua is one of the most active areas of geothermal activity in the world, thanks to sitting smack on the Pacific Ring of Fire. Here you will find volcanic craters, thermal springs, and boiling mud pools, telling stories of how the beautiful New Zealand landscape was born.
You can tour the geothermal features and even take a bath in the steaming springs if you want. You can also visit the different features and learn more about the culture and history of the Maori people. In case you’re more of the adventurous kind, there’s lots of that to do here as well, including luging, skydiving, and hiking. You can even ski at Mt. Ruapehu nearby.
The Aoraki National Park is located in the Southern Alps, near the highest peaks in the country. In fact, the country’s tallest mountain is Mt. Cook / Aoraki. A good portion of the park consists of glaciers, and it is home to the longest glacier in the country: the Tasman Glacier. If you are passionate about mountaineering, then you won’t want to miss this destination.
There are over 300 species of alpine plants, as well as dozens of bird species, so wildlife lovers will not be bored as well. You can also try out activities like hunting, stargazing, skiing, and heli-skiing.
Napier rounds out our list, thanks to its Art Deco architecture and delicious gourmet cuisine. The town was destroyed by a violent earthquake in 1931. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because it was rebuilt in the Art Deco and Spanish Mission style that has made other places, like Miami Beach, quite popular. You can check out the architecture on a self-guided tour if you want, or just lounge on the beach.
Napier is also a great place for food lovers, and the restaurants will titillate your taste buds as you finalize on what will inevitably be an exciting trip to an exciting country.
And with that we come to the end of our short list. As you can see, New Zealand has plenty to offer. The destinations on this list are only the tip of the iceberg, but they’re a great place to start. By the time you’re done, they’ll literally be dragging you out of the country because you won’t want to leave!
Nicole Holmes is a journalist and editor at a publishing agency in London. She also offers assignment help to private clients during her free time. She is interested in reading, dancing, sports, and financial issues.Back to overview
We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest.