New Zealand, home of the big white cloud, where the raged landscapes meet lakes, juxtaposing geological mountains, vegetation and sea against the fine dine affairs in Auckland and Wellington. New Zealand, surrounded by numerous small islands that shine like pearls on the Pacific Ocean create an ambience where dreams and reality can sometimes be one.
The A – Z of New Zealand:
White Island is a unique active marine volcano which you can actually explore. Geologically astounding, volcanic tours can provide you with an in depth first hand experience into the history of the volcano as it is the largest in the country. It can be found off the coast of Whakatane in the North of New Zealand. Another alternative is Mount Tarawera, possibly more famous as a result of its explosive eruption in the 19th century. Instead of the easily accessible White Island, Mount Tarawera contains fissures formed during this eruption which makes it harder to reach the top. It is surrounded by clean lakes that are heated because of the geothermal activity, so take a picnic and enjoy the sites.
Nature and Wildlife
If nature is your thing, where else in the world are you going to find creatures found nowhere else, in the same day? Where else are you going to be charmed by whales (in Kaikoura on the South Island), find a range of dolphins from the largest (some 3 metres) to the smallest and rarest; or be enchanted by beautiful penguins. And in the southwest, (the rainforest) lives the most beautiful Fiord land crested penguin, sharing its home with other truly special birds, such as albatrosses.
A heaven for gardeners, and a national hobby for New Zealanders, due to its climate everything grows from native to exotic from sub-tropical to sub-alpine. The Christchurch Botanic Gardens in Canterbury is a must for the connoisseur gardener. Nearby for an extreme contrast, visit the Southern Alps for glacial ice formed mountain range.
Walking and Hiking
The best way to see and feel the most beautiful and wild landscapes is to physically walk among them. Catering to suit everyone, New Zealand has miles and miles of walks and trails. There are a lot of areas unseen from a car window, so the best way is to get yourself involved to fully experience the inspirational scenery. Famous walks include Tongarior Alpine Crossing for day trips and for brave souls there are nine Great Walks that can take up to a few days to complete.
On the West Coast, Milford Sound offers daytime or nighttime boat cruises that take you through various 1000 meter waterfalls, fiord cliffs and mountain tops that cower over you as you pass through in the calm waters underneath. An opportunity to experience the Milford Sound via kayak, diving or flight seeing is also available for an adrenaline seeker. The variety of marine life creates an excellent opportunity to visit the underwater observatory. Check out some photo’s taken by Echo of Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, and Dusky Sound on OverseasAttractions.com.
When your passion for water activities is exhausted after kayaking, sailing, cruising, diving or surfing for something really different, you can always go stargazing. A mid-winter treat is the display of the Matariki 7 star, star cluster best seen in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
New Zealand is natural beauty, but also portrays wonderfully unique culture. Trailfinders New Zealand holidays provide a range of options to adapt to the increasing attractions of this amazing country.