Stunning landscapes and friendly people, New Zealand is the perfect destination for fresh air and adventure holidays. Created in relatively speaking recent years in the evolution of the Earth, the mountains, lakes and forests are a nature lovers paradise. Endless hiking trails, weird wildlife and volcanic hot spots, New Zealand is a long haul destination par excellence. Well known for it’s fabulous wines and huge sheep farms New Zealand’s culture is steeped in Maori tradition. There are cosmopolitan cities, country settlements and plenty to do on the water here.
Car rental and motor homes are a great way to spend time in New Zealand and be your own boss. The range of vehicles is huge so ask me for a selection to choose from. With a car we can pre-book accommodation or arrange for hotel ‘passes’ where you pre pay for a range of hotels and take you pick which you stay at when you arrive. If you prefer public transport we can arrange passes for bus journeys or go for train travel. The TranzAlpine train goes coast to coast Christchurch to Greymouth, there is the TranzCoastal in the South and The Overlander through North Island between Auckland and Wellington. Escorted tours and small group adventure tours can be arranged all over New Zealand with this being a fabulous destination for adventure holidays. Kayaking, sailing, hiking, diving, helicopter rides, jet skis, cycling, caving and rafting are just some of the activities to be enjoyed here.
Most of the population of New Zealand live on North Island and the culture of the people is a welcoming factor of the country. The heartland of New Zealand’s Maori culture is Rotorua in the heart of an active thermal area and famous for steaming lakes, boiling mud pools and geysers and there are some great spas and pampering options in this region. Visit Pohutu Geyser at Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve which erupts 8% of the day shooting boiling water 31m into the air. Take a bush walk to Okere Falls near Rotorua and visit huge California Redwood and Doublas Fir trees. The seven metre high Okere Falls is the highest navigable waterfall in the southern hemisphere and popular for white water rafting here.
Auckland on North Island, is New Zealand’s largest city and sitting between two harbours means that you are never far from the water giving Auckland it’s nickname the ‘city of sails’ as it’s an adventure playground for being on the water! There are great beaches around Takapuna, stroll round the waterfront at Auckland Harbour with it’s cafes and bars, Visit the Botanic and Rose gardens or take a panoramic trip along Tamaki Drive, explore 100s of walking trails through native forests in Waitakere Ranges or visit some of the regions 80 wineries!
At the south of North Island is Wellington, the capital of New Zealand set between rolling hills and a gorgeous harbour. There is a vibrant nightlife here, great shopping, restaurants, arts and culture. Get a 360 degree view of the city and harbour from the Mt Victoria lookout. Go on the Karori Wildlife Experience and the strange flightless bird, the Kiwi or take the Wellington cable car to the Botanical Gardens.
On South Island visit the beautiful ‘garden city’ of Christchurch which is a great base from where you can explore Canterbury. The Southern Alps are to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east, this is a diverse region with plenty to see and do. Take a scenic drive around Banks Peninsula to the seaport of Akaroa, swim with dolphins or enjoy a harbour cruise. You can ski at Mt Hutt, 90 minutes from Christchurch between July and September. Akaroa and Lyttleton Harbours are actually volcanic craters, created 9 million years ago. If you are stepping off from New Zealand on an Antarctic Expedition, Christchurch is the usual departure point though there are others including Dunedin. You can take a tour from Christchurch to the film location for Lord of the Rings.
New Zealand has some fabulous wines and nearly 600 wineries. World class wines are now produced the entire length of the country, equivalent to Bordeaux to southern Spain! There are various wine tours and tasting options, some of which can be pre booked. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the specialist grapes from the North and Auckland while Hawke’s Bay in the south which is the second largest wine growing region has excellent Chardonnay. Marlborough is probably one of the better known wine regions of New Zealand and being at the top of the South Island produces a range which includes Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Noir. This region, with Hawkes Bay and Wairanrapa make up the 380km New Zealand Classic Wine Trail, a perfect touring holiday for wine enthusiasts!
Walking trails and hiking are popular holidays all over New Zealand. Join a group adventure holiday here or take a self guided walking trail. Some popular walks and hikes include the most famous Milford Track, a 5 day guided walk. Two ,more great walks are the Milford Track and the Routeburn Track.
New Zealand’s highlights
Helicopter rides over the Bay of Islands or over the Franz Josef Glacier; take a sea kayak round Tasman National Park and get up close to seals and dolphins; enjoy wine tasting at Blenheim for world class sauvignon blancs; hot air balloon over the southern alpine peaks; whale watching at Kaikoura; penguin and albatross colonies near Dunedin; volcanic mud pools and geysers at Rotorua; dramatic hiking trails over the Tongariro Crossing; soak in thermals at Hot Water Beach.